Homeward bound

Yesterday I had a good time in London with a Russian-speaking friend. We talked mainly in English with a sprinkling of Russian from time to time. In the morning we went to the Design Museum and saw a special exhibition about Moscow, which was interesting. Then had a wander around Holland Park, which is beautiful, especially at this time of year when lots of trees are in blossom (see below).

A photo of the Kyoto Garden (京都庭園) Holland Park in London

After lunch in Hammersmith we played mini golf in Acton Park, which was great fun. Neither of us were very good, but I did manage to get one hole in one. In the evening we went tango dancing, then watched a Russian film – an interesting re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast story called Аленький цветочек (The Scarlet Flower). There were no subtitles, and my Russian isn’t yet good enough to understand much, so my friend translated for me. The Russian they use in the film is old-fashioned, and they speak in a very dramatic, almost operatic way, so it’s not easy to understand.

Сегодня я еду домой or I’m going home today (“Today I go/travel homeward”). The word домой [dɐˈmoj] is one I learnt and used quite a bit yesterday. It means home, homeward or to the house, and related words/forms include:

дом [dom] = house, home, family, household
дома [ˈdomə] = at home (genetive singular)
домашний [dɐˈmaʂnʲɪj] = home, household, house; private; domestic, family; home-made, homespun
домовой [dəmɐˈvoj] = house; a house spirit or sprite
домосед [dəmɐˈsʲet] = stay-at-home, homebody

Source: Wiktionary

Y Llyfyrgell

Last night I saw the film Y Llyfrgell / The Library Suicides, a Welsh-language thriller based on the book Y Llyfrgell (The Library) by Fflur Dafydd, who also wrote the script and produced the film.

This was the first film I’ve seen in Welsh, and I enjoyed it. It’s set in Aberystwyth, and most of the action takes place in the National Library of Wales / Llyfyrgell Genedlaethol Cymru. The main characters are identical twins who work in the library, and the film starts with the apparent suicide of their mother, a famous author. There are many other twists and turns, and stories within stories which make the film well worth a look.

The twins are played by one actor, Catrin Stewart, who in real life is a twin, though has a twin brother rather than a twin sister. It’s very cleverly done and you never realise that one person is playing both of them.

I didn’t understand all the dialogue at first as it’s in a dialect of Welsh I’m not used to hearing – I’ve got so used to hearing northern dialects of Welsh, other dialects sound a bit strange to me now, but I soon tuned into to it. There were subtitles in English as well, but I tried not to read them.

After the film there was a question and answer with Fflur Dafydd, which was entirely in Welsh, with simultaneous interpretation in English, for those who needed it. It was an interesting discussion and provided many insights into the film making process.