“Word Meaning is Important”: Andy Blunden

Perezhivanie as a word in the English language

The Russian language does not use definite or indefinite articles, so in appropriating a Russian word into the English language, and thereby giving perezhivanie an English meaning, the writer has to make a decision as to whether ‘perezhivanie’ is a countable noun or a mass noun. As a mass noun, it can be used in sentences like “Perezhivanie is the source of all personal development.” As a countable noun, it can be used in phrases like “A perezhivanie I had as a child changed my life,” or “The perezhivanie of being left on my own at such an age was traumatic,” or “Some perezhivanija have a profound effect on development.” We do not need John Dewey’s article “Having An Experience” to tell us that ‘an experience’ has a different meaning from ‘experience’. Every native English speaker knows this, except that very few…

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About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.

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