Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

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Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby Teango » Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:46 am

I was very sad to learn today that the writer, poet, and prize-winning Russian-English translator Dr Mary Hobson had died. I offer my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. Mary was a huge inspiration to me and so many of my students, as I always included her in my syllabus as an inspirational example of language learning each semester. She started learning Russian from scratch at the age of 56 so that she could read Tolstoy's "War and Peace" in the original, and later moved on to studying Russian language and literature at university in London and Moscow, eventually earning a PhD at the age of 74. Mary's story and vibrant passionate personality have given hope and motivation to people all around the world, and likewise, she has touched and illuminated the lives of many members here on our forum over the years too. Maybe I missed an earlier post informing us of her passing, but just in case no one has done so yet, I'd like to add a thread here for anyone who would like to pay their respects to a great lady and fellow language learner.

"...есть память обо мне,
Есть в мире сердце, где живу я…" (Александр Пушкин, "Что в имени тебе моём?")

lit. "...there is a memory of me,
There is a heart in the world, where I live." (Alexander Pushkin, "What is my name to you?")
- I don't know if Mary translated this poem. I'd love to read her translation if she did.

Video tribute by Eleanor Cantons, Mary Hobson's granddaughter.

Mary Hobson (aged 90) talking in Russian about her passion for Russian literature.

Repost: 8 tips from Mary Hobson (aged 91) on how to master Russian.
Last edited by Teango on Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby stell » Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:25 pm

Thank you for sharing, Teango. I had never heard of Dr. Hobson, and those videos were fascinating! What a beautiful human being.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby zenmonkey » Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:39 pm

I'm sorry to learn this. I was just watching her video yesterday and inspired to write down her 8 tips.
I join my thoughts to yours.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:56 pm

Oh dear! I loved her story and found her to be delightful in videos. What a cool lady she was.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby luke » Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:42 pm

Wow, she is full of wisdom.

After reading War and Peace, "ask me about a cheese sandwich or tax laws and I might be done for, but nevertheless, that wasn't what I wanted anyway. I wanted Tolstoy."
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby s_allard » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:47 pm

Wonderful. So inspiring. Looking at the video of her 8 tips for learning Russian, I was reminded of two things. First, learning a language at an adult age is really hard. And, second, there are no revolutionary, magical methods to proficiency. The technological resources we have today are fabulous - especially the Internet - but the effective learning strategies remain essentially the same. Doctora Mary Hobson, que en paz descanse.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby Le Baron » Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:55 pm

Best two bits of advice: to learn and then use words rather than writing lists; to surround yourself with a language and 'live' it.

On the purely Russian video I had to pause it to read all the subtitles. :lol: Then look up words.
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Re: Dr Mary Hobson (1926-2020)

Postby IronMike » Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:29 am

I loved her so much. What a wonderful lady. RIP, Doc.
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