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Dorian Montoir
And true
Mon Jul 30, 2018 08:53

He assumed that was good staring. Katerina was looking at him all wide eyed, in what he hoped was pleased surprise and not incomprehension at the jabber of syllables he had just produced. He had never tried speaking Russian on anyone who spoke it except for Tatya. Given that she tended to laugh at him when he was utterly incomprehensible (or, if she was feeling overly sorrowful at her linguistic isolation, to sigh as if he had physically pained her), he thought he had honed his pronunciation to a point that was probably intelligible. Given that she then thanked him, he guessed he’d got enough of his message across, and then she was back to French. That was getting more familiar… Everyone in his family switched languages all the time, and so it was a concept he was familiar with, and his brain effortlessly could transition along with the rapid succession of French to English to Chinese and back again and in and out and round in circles that came with talking with his family but especially with his sister. Émilie was always far too keen to just get her words out to mind which language they came in. Adding Russian to that mix - switching out of Russian and into other things - and following French with a distinctly Russian accent was a different mental gymnastic, but after two years with Tatya, he was become well practised at it.

“Je pense que tu es un bon élève,” he complimented her, “Oui, moi aussi,” he nodded, when she mentioned that she enjoyed studying languages, “You have tried any others?” he asked. "Though study two so well is already very impressive," he added, not wishing to undermine her quite considerable achievement. He was just curious, and enjoyed the subject. “Or have any other thing that you enjoy to studying?”

Tak mnogo slov, was such a familiar complaint that he could not help but smile. Katerina bore a family resemblance to her sister but they were not the most similar-looking pair of siblings he had ever seen. The jewellery certainly helped the effect, but that phrase did more than any amount of pearls and gemstones ever could have to cement the similarity. The sentences Katerina was using were short, and had familiar vocabulary. Dorian’s eyes flickered away breaking eye contact for a fraction of a moment, almost looking like he was searching the meaning out in the air around him or inside his own mind, before he came back to her with a nod. He had understood, it had just taken him a moment to do so - to check with himself that he had.

"Professor Wright khorosh. Mne on nravitsya," he said, more to confirm his understanding than because it was a witty or sparkling insight. There had been The Incident last year in which Professor Wright had not been those things but luckily there did not seem to be any permanent dischord between the teacher and Tatya. A lot of things had happened last year that... just should not count to one's permanent reputation.

He wondered what it meant that Katerina had not commented on anything beyond Professor Wright. He supposed not everyone could meet their Jehan on their first day. He tried to remember if he had even commented on the other boy at the feast, or whether he had just... kept it to himself. He remembered still being nervous at the feast, that the wonderful person he had met would quickly realise that he wasn't worth it. He had worried so often that Jehan would get bored of him, of his clumsy grammar, that he wouldn't be... enough. Those thoughts seemed strange now. They felt like they belonged to someone else. He had not thought them in a long time. Now, Jehan always made him feel safe and content.

"Toujours," he confirmed, as Katerina asked about the hall and its decoration, a little surprised that Tatya had failed to mention this. He thought it... rather noteworthy, especially to someone who did not exactly go in for subtlety and understatement. Her mention of it being a fete reminded him, they had been distracted by the pleasnatries and introductions from the other purpose of the evening, "I may get you something?" he enquired. The verb 'servir' would have been more elegant and appropriate but the English version was escaping him at present, and he wasn't quite sure it would have come in Katerina's studies. He did not wish to embarrass her by surpassing the level of French she knew as that would not be polite or gentlemanly behaviour.

  • A pretty thought.Katerina, Sun Jul 29 15:04
    Dark blue-grey eyes widened in surprise when Dorian began speaking Russian, even saying her name correctly. Tatya had said she had tried to teach her friends some Russian, but after all the English... more
    • And true — Dorian Montoir, Mon Jul 30 08:53
      • “Oui,” said Katya, glowing with pride at all these compliments. “J’ai étudié un peu l’allemand.” Katya was also good at and enjoyed her lessons – less formal ones than what she learned with Anton... more
        • Katerina seemed to be relaxing - she looked happier and more animated. He did not attribute anywhere near as much of this to himself as he probably should have done. Certainly, he assumed he was... more
          • Very well, then, I allow it.Katerina, Tue Jul 31 22:41
            Katya shared in the conspiratorial smile, thinking that this was very like Tatya – Katya wouldn’t think of ordering someone here to study Russian, but that was Tatiana. Her sister wanted what she... more
            • Glad to hear itDorian, Thu Aug 2 07:31
              Mozhesh and mogu were so very different sounding that it was hard to recognise that they were conjugations of the same verb. But, as often happened, there was enough meaning in the words he did get... more
              • I will try to return the favor.Katerina, Thu Aug 2 20:51
                The next sequence of French had unfamiliar vocabulary in it, but concentrating, and picking out words she did know, Katya thought she got most of the gist of it – that Dorian knew that Byzantiya was... more
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