Thursday, 2 May 2019

Translation Services

I am delighted to announce that a new professional human translation service has been opened here in Smolensk. Anton Anishchenkov, Clever Translation © director, said that the path to success in translation is a powerful combination of human creativity and machine intelligence to craft consistent quality translations, quickly.
  Anton is a highly professional translator with a reputation for getting things done.  He is heavily involved in English, Russian, French and Chinese translators communities. His latest professional accomplishments include Expo event translation jobs in Singapore.
  Full information can be found on the Clever Translation website:

  Congrats and good luck!

Sunday, 24 March 2019

On the issue of Brexit

      The 2016 vote on Brexit turned out to be a non-binding vote with a small majority that does not say much for MPs – after all, it only reflected the aspirations of the hoi polloi in England and Wales and it had started purely for display purposes to show younger voters that the conservative party was not ‘The Nasty Party’ at all.
      Consequently, the House voted and said there cannot be no-deal under any circumstance; there is no appetite for no-deal. But the vote would not have been binding even if it had got through the Commons. Theresa May (fading into the gray background) could not afford a no-deal lying to the nation that ‘we will leave with or without a deal’. 
      On the bright side, listening to BBC Radio Norfolk on the issue of Brexit, I have noticed positive change. Brexiteers once proudly proclaiming that ‘they need us more than we need them’ are now being apprehensive about 'just getting out'
      Anyway, I am happy to accept that democracy in the UK can change its mind. After all, Brexit is like half the country rang the bell on the bus by accident, and now they feel like they have to get off even though it is the wrong stop...

Monday, 4 March 2019

My Writing Techniques

    So I decided to risk writing this blog post focusing exclusively on recycling my literary wares. I still don’t want you to think that learning to write with clarity, emphasis, and style is easy. It’s not.

    1. Create a vivid expression
    Listen to your language . Well-chosen words can make your writing memorable. Here is a title by Margaret Mitchell with one word altered.

    Gone With the Snow.

    Here is the original tittle.

    Gone With the Wind.

    Can you feel the cold damage done by the former security agency contractor Snowden who has no regrets from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents?

    2. Write with detail
    Move beyond generality and abstraction.

    World Cup gave Putin cover for pension-age increase.

    Immediately after Russia’s 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup, president Putin’s government pushed for a bill to raise progressively the national pension age, thereby steadily decreasing the probability of surviving until retirement for more than 5 million elderly people.

    Which of the two sentences above makes you think?

    3. Appeal to the senses
    Don’t tell the reader; show the reader.

    Change “There are still a lot of wild animals and birds of prey in the forest. ” to “Bears and wolves lurk in the thickets, and white-tailed eagles circle above the forest canopy”.

    4. Collect good words that are just right for your intended meaning
    After listening to hundreds of teachers tell their stories, I have reached the conclusion that there is one deciding factor that makes the difference in whether the teachers in any given school will lean toward positive and productive or desperate and crushed: that factor is the administrator.

    Change “factor” to “element”

   After listening to hundreds of teachers tell their stories, I have reached the conclusion that there is one deciding element that makes the difference in whether the teachers in any given school will lean toward positive and productive or desperate and crushed: that element is the administrator.

     Some other techniques are outlined below:

  • appropriate level of formality; delete “that” for rhythm and flow; avoid indefinite negatives; eliminate wordy references to time; don’t trust modifiers; use strong verbs and don’t nominalise; unstack those noun stacks; prefer the active voice; keep your verbs near their subjects and avoid mid-sentence shifts; punctuate for emphasis and use dashes for dashing effect; use ellipses for compression; use semicolons to both separate and connect; delight your readers with classic two-way setup; use antithesis; build towards climax; trim sentence endings for closing emphasis; end with the thought you intended to develop next; use three-part paragraphs (topic, development, resolution) to frame your thoughts; write in sentences but think in paragraphs; use parallel structures to create rhythm; use periodic sentences instead of loose ones to create suspense; use anaphora and epistrophe, anadiplosis and isocolon, analogies and comparisons; return to your metaphors and similes; avoid cliches; write with personal and style; add a light-hearted touch to your writing; know your options for comic effect; go beyond clarity to eloquence and grace; develop your persona to be Christian; 
  • and finally, start with something old and end with something new.

     If you’re a teacher, feel free to skip around. Assign the techniques in any order that suits your purpose. Use my examples to create your own.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Russia’s Education Woes

     We will often find that the reformers of  our education system including Olga Vasilieva, the Minister of Education and Science of Russia, went to traditional school. I believe they perhaps had a few boring teachers, or they felt education was too traditional for them, so they come out and spent their lives trying to reform the education system as best they can. And they mistakenly think that the Russian children nowadays are receiving the same eduction as the one they did.
     However, the result is that they create the situation where a number of children no longer have access to that essential ‘bag of goodies’. A bag of goodies which they themselves got from their traditional educations and have benefited from this bag so well throughout their lives. In other words they climbed the ladder to the top then ‘unwittingly’ pulled the ladder up from under them.
     A number of reformers in our education system believe, for instance, that we are educating our children for the 19th century world. But it would be a mistake to believe that our classrooms are like the 19th century classrooms: there are no canes, no inkwells, no cursive writing, no memorisation, no rote learning, no chanting – no; there’s lots of group learning , there’s lots of asking the children what they think of their teacher and so on – nothing like the 19th century classroom.
     I believe that in fact the problem is that the reformers    misunderstand what ought to be in that bag of goodies –  they misunderstand the essential parts. Let’s take Eton, for example. For super-wealthy Russian MPs, education at one of Britain’s top traditional boarding schools has become as desirable as a pad in Mayfair. Kitting out your little Boris or Svetlana in boaters and blazers has a particular cachet, and that is unlikely to change even if sanctions affect Russia’s relationship with the West (in Sep 2016 Eton boys secured private audience at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin).
      Eton has very traditional education;  and I’m sure everyone would agree that this is an extraordinary school. Though Eton has two interactive white-boards in its school – we have more interactive board in any primary school here in Smolenk than in Eton. Yet, in the state sector every classroom has in interactive white board, every teacher (there is an expectation) should be using those interactive white boards.
     In Eton where there is a very good education, children will learn Geography instead of taking Travel & Tourism courses: in Eton, they are doing Geography, Ancient History and Latin, and so on.
     One can hardly accuse Eton of  not being able to create creative thinkers when the likes of George Orwell, Hugh Laurie and James Bond himself (or rather I suppose I should say Ian Fleming) went to Eton.
     There’s a quote that I like which sums up what I’m saying: “The education that is best for the best is the education that is best for all.” And I believe that only when we understand the concept of rejecting some reform and embracing some tradition, only then will we be able to move our schools out of chaos and place them firmly in the 21st century.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

School Mills

"Feeding the nation healthy, nutritious and great tasting learning experience and mixes since 2000 BC”

Is 9 Men’s Morris a Tic-tac-toe taken to the next level? Oh, No!

Use it to teach logic and problem-solving in your class.The Mill board game transforms teaching through the use of engaging hands-on Miller Activities that inspire the joy and discovery of learning.

Grades Covered: 3 through 11+.
Subjects Covered: Math, Social Studies.
Curriculum topics: Logic, Strategy, Mathematical Reasoning, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, British Traditions and Culture.

Learn more with the following example: 

The setting phase is over with 9. ... Foxtrot 2. It seems like it is going to be a tie in spite of Black's closed mill at Bravo 2-4-6. By using this advantage, can Black claim victory in the second phase of the game? Yes, he can. Blocking technique is the key to success here. The AI with depth of 15 PLY can dance a Morris like that... at Delta 1 - Delta 2 - Dealta - 3. Can you  see the PC engine dancing the Black Swan pas de deux? Registered & Protected