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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-14 21:47:25
Typefacelarge in Small
Children have an amazing capacity for adapting themselves to new surroundings. In Vienna we had lived for the most part in the workers’ districts, and my boys mastered the Viennese dialect to perfection, besides speaking Russian and German. Dr. Alfred Adler observed with great satisfaction that they spoke the dialect like the good old Viennese cabmen. In the school in Zurich the boys had to switch to the Zurich dialect, which was the language in use in the lower grades, German being studied as a foreign language. In Paris the boys changed abruptly to French, and within a few months had mastered it. Many times I envied them their ease in French conversation. Although they spent, in all, less than a month in Spain and on the Spanish boat, it was long enough for them to pick up the most useful words and expressions. And then in New York, they went to an American school for two months and acquired a rough-and-ready command of English. After the February revolution, they went to school in Petrograd. But school life there was disorganized, and foreign languages vanished from their memory even more quickly than they had been acquired. But they spoke Russian like foreigners. We were often surprised to notice that they would build up a Russian sentence as if it were an exact translation from the French — and yet they could not form the sentence in French. Thus the story of our foreign wanderings was written on the brains of the children as indelibly as if they were palimpsests.

You think so?” he asked, adding with deadly civility: Probably I am not sufficiently well acquainted with the conditions in Russia.” We had no common ground for continuing our conversation. I saw clearly that the man was as far from revolutionary dialectics as the most conservative Egyptian pharaoh.

The French delegates noted in their report the value of the Nashe Slovo in establishing a contact of ideas with the international movement in other countries. Rakovsky pointed out that the Nashe Slovo had played an important part in setting forth the development of the international position of the Balkan Social Democratic parties. The Italian party was acquainted with the Nashe Slovo, thanks to the many translations by Balabanova. The German press, including the government papers, quoted the Nashe Slovo oftenest of all; just as Renaudel tried to lean on Liebknecht, so Scheidemann was not averse to listing us as his allies.


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