Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sat May 09, 2020 5:22 pm

lingzz_langzz wrote:How do you even manage to go through textbooks in more than 3 languages per day? :D


Well, actually I hardly ever use textbooks - I prefer homemade bilingual texts. The last time I mentioned a genuine text book in this thread it was the old "Mowimu po Polsku" (Warszawa 1979, base language German), which turned up again when my bookshelves crashed a month ago. It has a running story line (unlike many other text books), and the authors have tried hard to make it entertaining, but I prefer reading about science and history, and if I want to learn grammar then a text book is just about the last place I would look for it. In a real grammar book (or even the small grammar sections in language guides) I get the elements in a logical order, but this is rarely the case in text books because they have to be oh so pedagogical - and the newest ones are the worst in this respect. And tests and games and exercises ... no way, I hate those things!

So when I write here in this log that I have studied a language using a certain text, what does it mean? If you look at the Icelandic example below you see a snippet of original text about the planet Venus plus a machine made translation. In this case it is in English, but more often than not I choose another language just for fun - and in a collection of texts I generally use a new language for each text. The only criterion is that I must be able to read the translation language more fluently than the language of the original text.

Actually I could read the Icelandic text with just a few lookups. The purpose of having a translation is to make it easier to skip the lookups and to permit me to check dubious points. But you can't trust the translations totally. For instance the title line of this translation says "Venus collided". The original says "Venus varð til i árekstri", which means "Venus was created in collision" - and that's obviously something quite different. But if I had forgotten the word "árekstri" even the seriously deficient translation could have helped me. It wouldn't be better with most human made translations because they often are too free to be trusted. A machine translation with errors is actually better than a typical free human made translation.

OK, then I copy the text by hand, generally one sentence at the time. This takes so much time that I really have time to check that I understand all the words and recognize all the endings and their function, and that I understand how each sentence is constructed. And when I run through a sentence again I can rejoice in the feeling that there is at least ONE sentence in Icelandic or whatever which I understand completely. With very recalcitrant passages I sometimes add a hyperliteral translation to nail down what the sentence actually means, but with Icelandic I don't need that. But again: you can't just assume that the translation gives you a perfect key. For instance the first sentence here says: "Venus er stjörnufræðingum að mörgu leyti mikil ráðgáta". The real translation of this is "Venus is (to) star-knowledgables(Dative) at-many-ways ('på mange ledder' in Danish) big guessing-riddle". If I can't contain this information in my aging brain then I have to write it down - but it is normally not necessary. After many years of language studies I have a fairly welltrained gnomus sitting between my ears.

In the margin to the right I jot down all truly new words, but also words which I just think I ought to do add to my active vocabulary - and a few idiomatic expressions, but only if they are very short. Items in this margin will at some point be incorporated into a triple column wordlist to make sure that I remember them.

And finally: how much text do I get through with this system per session. Ahem, not much - maybe a quarter of a printed page up to half a page. So the eight languages yesterday would probably not amount to much more than 2-3 full printed pages. But on top of that I also have also read extensively in the sources from where I copied the sample texts - if my level was sufficient to do it, of course. If not, then I might have resorted to using Google translate to help me without printing the result.. You rarely hear about my extensive readings in this thread because those activities are so random and badly documented, but reading extensively is of course important (and listening extensively likewise, of course). If I could get enough full books about relevant themes I would read them, but I only get the chance to buy such books (or magazines) when I'm travelling, and right now that's a problem. My local main library has books in many languages, but apart from English and other Nordic languages almost exclusively fiction - and I'm not a fan of lies on paper.

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Speaking about libraries: our libraries have been closed since mid March due to corona, but will now be allowed to reopen for borrowing books (not for computer use or language cafés etc.). However the morons that rule us have in their infinite stupidity decided not to include zoos and museums in this phase, even though their own experts have categorized these institutions as some of the LEAST risky things to open. Instead they want to reopen cafés and restaurants, albeit with restrictions that will make it almost impossible for those institutions to make a profit. I hate politics and politicians, but at least the ones we have got here in Denmark haven't forced me to sit indoors and watch telly all day long.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby lingzz_langzz » Sat May 09, 2020 7:10 pm

I see, that´s an interesting approach, especially focusing on such difficult topics. But from this I understand you focus more on passive skills for your languages? Or it changes with time? Or it´s true for only some languages?
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sat May 09, 2020 7:39 pm

It would be more fair to say that I focus on the written languages, and I think the number of languages I have used in this log shows that I take that aspect quite seriously.

On the other hand I have been on monolingual holidays in around a dozen languages, and there I will of course be speaking at least some of the languages I have studied. And just make sure: when I speak about monolingual voyages then it is not just a question of saying "thanks" and "where is the loo?" in the local language, but also discussions about local sights and history and science and practical things like "why isn't my fridge working?". Of course I'm not at the same level in all of my languages, but I don't count languages where I can't have a decent discussion about an array of topics.

The good thing about writing is that I can take all the time I need to compile a sentence in a weak language. I can't do that when speaking.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun May 10, 2020 5:14 pm

Earlier today I was sitting peacefully in my comfy chair, working with a text about the Sumerians from the Greek Wikipédia, and then the program I had running on my TV ended and I had to find something else - and gosh, the French haven't changed a bit: France must the only country in Europe where you still have spelling competitions on national TV. In the 90s it was the legendary monsieur Pivot with a series called "Dicos d'or" who kept the French busy, but it seems that others now have grabbed the torch and reintroduced this national sport. It may sound like a weird kind of fun, and normally I hate being tested, but I grabbed a piece of paper and and participated in the game, albeit without any live connection to the studio.

FR: Le texte en question était pris d'un roman de Kessel qui racontait l'histoire de l'amitié d'une fille africaine et un lion. Parmi ceux qui ont participé il y avait deux ou trois dans le studio et quelques personnalités VIP à la ligne, mais aussi une foule d'écoliers dans leurs maisons. Certains des français natifs ont eu moins de fautes que moi, mais il y avait d'autres qui en avaient bien plus - or on n'a pas fait la statistique complète. Avec mes cinq gaffes j'étais probablement au milieu de l'échelle, ce qui est assez bien pour moi comme étranger qui ne lis des textes en français chaque jour.

Trois des fautes m'irritent pourtant parce qu'elles montrent que j'ai mal compris un passage. La première c'ést d'ecrire "baya" au lieu de "bâilla" - certes, les deux mots existent, mais avec un lion confortablement allongé 'bâiller' est plus approprié dans le contexte. Peu après je fus assez surpris d'entendre un mot totalement inconnu *'énoueux' - mais il est inconnu pour une raison: ça devrait être "et noueux" (visant à l'étât boueux des pattes de l'animal). Le troisième faute - et cette fois impardonnable - était de ne pas immédiatement reconnaître le passé simple "allèrent" du mot "aller". De plus j'avais écrit "ralenti" avec deux 'l' et "à côté" au lieu de "de côté" dans la phrase "glisser son mufle de côté". Mais bon ben, je suis relativement content avec mon niveau, et heureusement je n'ai plus besoin de passer aucun examen pour le reste de ma vie.

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GER: Ich habe heute ganz viel über die aktuellen Corona-Beschränkungen in Deutschland gelesen - vor allem, weil die Rede davon war, daß Schleswig-Holstein möchte, daß die Dänen wieder dorthin auf Besuch kommen könnten und umgekehrt. Aber die dänische Regierung möchte die Grenze lieber nicht sofort in die umgekehrte Richtung öffnen. Ich werde aber vorläufig nicht nach Schleswig-Holstein reisen - auch nicht wenn die Museens und Zoos dort offen sind (im Gegengensatz zu die in Dänemark, wo wir von Kulturlosen Menschen regiert werden). Das Leben dort muß zuerst in andere Hinsichten normaliziert werden. Ganz generell glaube ich, daß es eine Weile dauern wird, ehe man als Turist wieder frei 'rumreisen kann - mit oder ohne Maske.

Ich habe übrigens ein Fündchen gemacht, das für Deutsch-studierenden Llorgianer vielleicht interessant sein könnte. Der Virologe Christian Drosten von der Charité in Berlin und Journalistin Korinna Hennig haben eine ganz informative Sendereihe mit Informationen über die Corona auf NDR, und ich habe dar mehrmals zugehört. Ganz zufällig habe ich nun entdeckt, daß es von der ganze Sendereihe PDFs mit genauen Abschriften gibt.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon May 11, 2020 8:24 pm

Today I have not worked too much with my languages - first I took a long walk, and after that I have prepared visits to zoos, aquaria and museumss next month where they probably will be allowed to open again (unless a couple of witless politicians get worried again). However yesterday was different. There I worked with three languages after I had finished the message above: Slovakian, Modern Greek and Russian.

When I produce a collection of bilingual texts for later study it will typically be around 3-5 pages, divided vertically, and mostly all the texts illustrate one common theme - that makes it easier to remember where I read about a certain thing in a certain language. For instance my Slovakian collection contains two articles about castles and plus one about a museum in the Tatra region, and after that I have one fairly long article about the open-air museum outside the small town Martín and a short one about an art museum in the town center. I have visited the last two, but not the castles in Tatra - yet. But now I have read about them.

My Greek collection is actually an old one, and its topic is very old Middle Orient civilisations and their writing systems. I'll write some more about this below, but I can just as well confess that most of the articles are from Wikipedia. When my shelves crashed the heaps of fairly new texts ended up in a big unordered mess on the floor, so I have spent some time putting them into the paper folders where I had stashed all my older printouts (apart from those I have thrown away along the way), and during that process I found some old things that looked interesting enough - and forgotten enough - to deserve a second round. And especially in a case like Greek I can feel that my skills today are way above my skills when I first tried to look at articles about Sumerian/Akkadian writing systems and the early history of Semitic literacy.

My Russian text yesterday was once again taken from the history book with accents which I have mentioned quite a few times already - however this time it was an article about the first print house in Russia, and not one more bloodcurdling brutal battle tale.

RU: Первый русский печатный двор был создан энергичным человеком по имени Иван Федоров в 1553 году в здании возле Московского Кремля, где еще правил Иван IV Грозный. Первая книга называлась "Апостолов" - и, конечно, это была религиозная книга. Однако он был впервые опубликован в 1564 году, поэтому я не знаю, чем занимался Иван Ф все это время. Следующая книга была опубликована уже в 1565 году: это был первый из двух ежегодников - теперь Иван Ф очевидно научился искусство печати. А его конкуренти были писеци в монастырях, которым понадобился месяц, чтобы переписать один рукопись..

GR: Έχω ήδη αναφέρει τη γραπτή σφηνοειδής των Σουμερίων μια φορά φέτος, αλλά αυτό βασίστηκε σε ένα αγγλικό βιβλίο. Έχουν περάσει αρκετοί μήνες, αλλά τον έχω ακόμα, επειδή οι βιβλιοθήκες έκλεισαν λίγο μετά και δεν θα ανοίξουν ξανά μέχρι την επόμενη Δευτέρα. Αλλά χθες μελέτησα επίσης ένα κείμενο σχετικά με τα αραμαϊκά, το οποίο σε καμία περίπτωση δεν θα προσπαθήσω να μάθω - αλλά έχω ακούσει αυτήν την αρχαία γλώσσα σε μια μικρή πόλη που ονομάζεται 'Μααλουλα' στη Συρία (προτού όλα πήγαν στραβά εκεί).

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri May 15, 2020 6:46 pm

I got a call of distress from my mother (assisted by and morally supported by my sister), saying that her garden har started to grow like mad - especially the weeds (not so much the flowers I sowed during my last visit). So Tuesday I left home and didn't return until today, and in the meantime I not only removed the worst eyesores and weed concentrations from her garden, but I also added some flower beds (in the hope that the flower seeds I placed there will be more interested in seeing the light of day than the lazy ones I distributed during my last visit there several weeks ago). I also patched up her bird feeding house which some big fat bird or critter had found out how to jostle down to the ground. The problem is that I want to be able to take it down myself for cleaning so I can't just nail it with seven inch nails to the nearest pole - but I think I found a viable solution. Beside I smeared concrete in several holes indoors and outdoors and painted the concrete and surrounding areas white, and I cooked food and surveyed the state of her loft (I'm the only one in the family who still dare to climb ladders) and helped her with other small tasks, like baking European-style pancakes and Danish-style 'frikadeller' etc. etc.

But I didn't study - not a single minute.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun May 17, 2020 9:33 am

Yesterday I went downtown to buy some stuff, and later in the day I managed to squeeze in a bit of hardcore study time. But I started out reading some messages in Llorg first, and in Tommus' thread there I happened to notice the link to a series about the painting techniques of Rembrandt in something aspiring to be a reconstruction of the man's own voice. The problem is - I'm not terribly impressed by that voice. He may have sounded like that in his old age, but I would have preferred to listen to him as he spoke in his hayday. However this link lead to a homepage brimming with short scientific speeches with attached texts (maybe transcriptions). At the time I was listening to hour upon hour of music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy so I had to postpone listening to the actual recordings of the lectures, but I did try out a few samples, and it seems that I haven't lost my ability to understand Dutch - in spite of very little actual exposure to its spoken version.

DU: Ik heb enkele teksten uit Nemo afgedrukt voor latere gebruik - zoals "Helpt Nederlands-Friese bagage bij het leren van Engels?". En het eenvoudige antwoord is: nee, het helpt niet. Maar wonen in Nederland is op zichzelf een grote stap in die richting (en dat geldt ook voor Denemarken). Het volgende artikel: "Cultuur beïnvloedt hoe snel kinderen gaan spreken". In sommige Afrikaanse culturen praten moeders niet toe of met hun kinderen (die ze heromdragen in een tas) - ze praten alleen met andere volwassenen. Toch die kinderen leren spreken, en dit is eigenlijk zeer verbazingwekkend - en misschien het beste argument voor een aangeboren leermechanisme voor talen in Homo Sapiens dat eerdere hominiden waarschijnlijk hebben gemist.

AF: En noudat ek artikels vir verdere studium gedruk het, het ek met Afrikaans voortgegaan. En die artikels het titels soos: "Blote anwesigheid van selfoon belemmer prestasie" (ik stem toe) en "Verbeel jouself jy is Einstein en sien hoe jou breinwerking verbeter" (ongelukkig nie genoeg om die tensor-meganik van de algemene relatiwiteitsteorie te verstaan nie - sug, kla). Al die artikels was te lees op die webwerf psigotydskrif.

EN: After that I turned my attention towards Albanian, and I studied a text from the homepage of National Geographic about the Illyrians, an iron age tribe of unknown provenience that supposedly were the forefathers of today's Albanians. And after that I studied a short article of just some twenty lines plus the first part of a longer text about the Devonian period in Polish. I have however written about Devon earlier on in this thread (albeit based on an article from Wikipedia) so this time I'll refrain from burdening you with more details.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon May 18, 2020 9:12 pm

Yesterday I studied one Polish text about sharks and another about a group of armoured fish named Placoderms. The biggest and meanest of them was Dunkleosteus, which lived in the late Devonian and reached a length of almost 9 meters. The article also suggested that some of the smaller ones had funny shapes so of course I simply had to read more about them - unfortunately mostly in English. But after this digression I returned to Polish and did penance by writing a wordlist with almost 200 words. OK, today I wanted to continue the good work (after I had worked with half a dozen other languages) - and then I couldn't find the list! I looked among my other study notes and under my pillows and comfy chair and inside the dictionary I used yesterday and even in my paper bin, but to no avail. It had mysteriously disappeared from the face of the Earth. So today I did the first repetition by reconstructing the first half of the list, and then I'll continue with the second half tomorrow.

I mentioned some other languages: I have studied the geological era known as proterozoicum using my Indonesian Sejarah Bumi, followed by plate tectonics in Romanian and something about neutrons in Serbian (Cyrillic), and then I have also worked with some articles from the Dutch and Afrikaans text collections I told about yesterday (monolingual prints). And I even made two pauses in my musical listening, one to listen to the corona news from Spain, another to listen to the last half of a corona program in Danish. So far I intend to stay in Denmark the whole summer, and time will tell when it will be possible (let alone a pleasure) to take a journey by air somewhere. The Norwegian government apparently plans to erect a fence around Norway for the rest of the year, but the countries in Southern Europe seem to be more than willing to accept tourists as soon as possible - at least in the areas with least covid. But the question is how tourism can be organized under the circumstances.

AF: In die Afrikaans artikel word vertel vir 'n eksperiment wat na bewering zou toon dat mense dom raak as hulle selfone in die buurt het - selfs as hulle die nooit gebruik nie. Soomige proefpersoon is deur 'n skerm aan 'n taak toegewys, en 'n kladblok of 'n telefoon is langs die skerm geplaas. Die notepads het nie 'n mens beïnvloed nie, maar die telefone het hulle so afgelei dat hulle die taak baie stadiger opgelos het - alhoewel die foon soos gesê nooit lui nie.

DU: Het Nederlandse artikel vertelde van een experiment dat suggereerde dat tweetalige kinderen (Fries en Nederlands) niet sneller Engels leerden dan degenen die geen Fries spraken. En dit druist in tegen de leer van andere experimenten waarbij tweetaligen gewoonlijk sneller nieuwe talen leren. Maar het artikel noemde enkele factoren die dit zouden kunnen verklaren - zoals het tonen van tweetalige kinderwoorden die in het Fries zijn geschreven, maar hun geletterdheid was niet gelijk aan hun spreekvaardigheid, dus het zou hen kunnen afleiden. Overigens bestond hun controlegroep niet uit monoglots, maar uit kinderen die schlechts laat het Fries hadden geleerd. En toen maakte blootstelling bovenal aan heet Engels het verschil hoe snel de kinderen Engels leerde. Bovendien is het Fries niet zozeer dichter bij het Engels dan het Nederlands dat is op zich een verschil zou kunnen maken.

Zou die tweetaaligkeit een verschil hebben gemaakt als de kinderen Tibetaans zouden leren? Dit eksperiment zou uitwijzen kunnen of tweetaligheid in het algemeen het leren van talen bevordert. Of kies u Belgische tweetalige kinderen met de combinatie Vlaams plus Wals (Frans) - kunnen ze Spaans of Italiaans sneller leren dan Nederlandse kinderen met alleen Nederlands (en Engels)? Zo'n experiment zou uitwijzen kunnen of het leren van een taal gemakkelijker is als je al een verwante taal kent. En ik zou me afvragen of dat niet zo was.

EO: Ĉi tiu eksperimento memorigas min pri iuj eksperimentoj, kie studentoj lernis esperanton antaŭ la anglan. Kaj jes, ĝi akcelis la lernadon de la angla. Sed neniu registaro kuraĝus prokrasti instruadon de la angla kaj anstataŭe oferti esperanton. Tiom malmulte signifas la scienco.

GER: Meine Gutenacht-lektüre zurzeit ist übrigens die Baskische Grammatik von Bendel (auf Deutsch). Ich werde diese Sprache vorläufig nicht studieren, aber das Buch ist sehr effizient als Schlafmittel - ich brauche nur ein Paar Seiten zu lesen, dann schlafe ich....

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue May 19, 2020 8:27 am

POR: Hoje pela manhã, li artigos de jornais do Brasil sobre a situação da coroa. Bem, começou com um artigo em inglês do Guardian sobre o fato de patrulhas policiais nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro aparentemente continuarem. Mas tanto que eles matem sômente traficantes e apoiadores de drogas, esse é um problema menor. É pior que os habitantes das favelas achem difícil cumprir as regras de isolamento (mesmo que desejem faze-lo). Pode ainda ser difícil obter sabão e, em alguns lugares, só há água nas torneiras em dias alternados. E os hospitais da cidade estão agora tão lotados que novos pacientes precisam ser rejeitados até que alguns hospitalizados morram. E o presidente ... bem, nenhum comentário.

EN:
Apart from that I have continued my recreated Polish wordlist, but still haven't reached the end of A. However if this continues I can add a new message to the thread "Have you read a dictionary?". Today I'm going into town to return a book about ancient writing systems to the library where I borrowed it back in February. And then I can check whether the pizza places and Chinese food places have reopened, and how they manage to deal with the situation. I have even seen that restaurants serving buffet have been allowed to reopen, but I'm not going there for the time being. Alas, the museums and zoos are still closed, but it seems that there is some activity on the political front. I would welcome their opening very much since travelling abroad has become all but impossible. Apart from that I'm living a reasonably normal life, and that makes it even more grieving to think about those people in the third world who have been ordered to stay at home in tiny dwellings with tin roofs and no running water and seven screaming kids and a coughing neighbor just around the corner.

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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu May 21, 2020 7:58 pm

Yesterday I only did one thing about languaegs - but I did a lot of it: I added more than 450 words to my Polish wordlist. But at the same time our politicians had a 10-hour meeting where they discussed the reopening of the country. Their problem problem was that they had made a plan the 8. of May where they reopened some things (including a high-risk activity like the boarding schools for teenagers (the 'efterskoler'), but NOT low risk things like museums and zoos - those places had to wait until June 8. OK, the libraries were allowed to reopen, but only for brorrowing books and returning them, not for sitting down to read them. But you can sit down in restaurants and shopping centers. To make the whole thing more surrealistic the scientists at our 'Serum Institute' (which is the place where infection risks etc. are calculated) have publicly announced that they don't have an inkling of a clue as to why the infection numbers continue to rattle down in spite of all the pessimistic predictions - the r-number (reinfection rate) is at 0.6 right now.

OK, yesterday the prime minister then bowed to the pressure and convoked all the party leaders, and now a new series of reopenings has been announced, and this time the museums and zooes are included. Which meant that today I have spent a fair amount of time looking at home pages for those places, but it seems that most of them have sent their local homepage wizz home around mid April so I can't know for certain which places are going to open when (and with which restrictions - like internet tickets with an entrance time). However I can predict one thing: I'll be touring this country to visit as many places as possible this summer instead of taking a holiday abroad.

When I got tired of looking at un-updated homepages I went downtown to buy a new watch to my mother, and only then I discovered that it was Ascension day - so all the shops except supermarkets were closed. Time lost, but at least I got some exercise from walking around.

And then I finally was ready to study. I first used my sejarah Bumi in Indonesian, which I found on Facebook long ago. But either it wasn't complete, or I didn't copy it in its entirety. Only half the periods have been included, so after Proterozoikum the first epoch of the paleozoicum, Cambrian, is skipped and the next extant epoch in the text is the Ordovician. I have tried to search for the original text with Google, but it has disappeared from the face of the Bumi so I can't fill in the holes now - at least not from that source.

And after that I have studied a text in Icelandic about astronomy - although from its more speculative end: the article discussed the possibilty that forests on other planets might be red instead of green if the local stars have other characteristics than our sun. But right now the learned ones don't even know whether there are planets with forests within reach so they can't just have have a look. And after all that I read about Boris Godunov in my Russian history book - and no, it is not just an opera name. He really did exist.

RU: Путь Бориса к власти, возможно, начался с убийства сумасшедшего старого Ивана IV, который разбил череп наследного принца несколькими годами ранее в ярости. Второй старший сын Ивана также был мертв, поэтому последним царем знаменитой линии Рюрика стал слабо одаренный Фёдор I - с Борисом в качестве опекуна. Когда Фёдор умер, сам Борис принял титул царя (единственный выживший сын Ивана, Дмитрий Углицкий, умер очень удобно поножовщиной - после чего нескольки "фальшивы Дмитрии" бросили вызов власт Бориса). Но Борис внезапно умер, а его сын Фёдор II был убит от бандой мятежных бояров. А потом пришла династия Романовых, но это уже другая история.

Boris Godunov (Wikipedia).jpg
Boris Godunov (Wikipedia).jpg (25.09 KiB) Viewed 351 times
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