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I don't remember if I have ever done any remarks about not a good ability of russians (read: ex-USSR) to put articles into English sentences.  Today, right during our tea-break our Prof. mentioned that PhD-thesis of Anna, my co-worker from Kyiv, should be corrected, since there are plenty of articles missing. Here, I should note that with a term "an article" I mean small particles like the, a, an in English and der, die, das, den, dem bla-bla-bla in German, because "an article" can mean also a paper. So, right after this professor's suggestion we started discussing whether we really need articles. Our Prof. speaks about 8 languages (German, English, Romanian, Spanish, Israelian (Idish, Eurit, whatever), Arabic, French, Italian), but he could not understand, how came that there is no article in Russian. He expressed his thoughts about it in such a way:
"So, I go to Berlin to listen talks is different from I go to Berlin to listen THE talks, because in the second case I am going to listen every talk."

Pause. Russian counterpart (Anna, Maxim, and me):

"Then in Russian you should say: I go to Berlin to listen ALL THE talks; then it is fine".
Professor's answer:
"Isn't it too complicated to add some additional words?"
Funny. I always thought that articles only add complexity to sentences.
HOWEVER, when I write in English, I apologize, I do sometimes errors, spellings; especially  English punctuation is still a big surprise for me. For instance, did you know that an enumeration in English is nearly always with commas, even when "and" is included? =)

***

Sorry for such a long unmotivated Introduction. Differences between PhD in Germany and in Ukraine. Mhm, it is a long topic. But motivation to start this is a recent chat via "vkontakte" with my ex-university classmate. Apparently, she is very proud to be an Ukrainian PhD-student. I would not like to disappoint her, anyhow, and don't want to make some other people here angry. Just expressing my point, ok?. So, please don't throw any solid bodies, as apples, tomatoes or eggs, into me afterwards. OK?  If so, continue to read. =)

So, about half of year ago, my friend wrote me: "Hello! How are you? How is your PhD-thesis? Did you finish it already? I am going to pass an exam in English soon, do you have it, too?" WTF! If my English was too bad or had to be checked, I would never get this position. My PhD-thesis?? Ha-ha-ha, in 3 years at least. Maybe, in 4 years. We don't do referats, therefore, it is not so fast to hand it in.

It happened yesterday. Eating my favourite "buterbrod" with a red caviar, I was checking my "vkontakte". Again the same question:
"как, ты уже написала диссертацию?" WTF! :) How can I write it so fast? I need to have at least 4 publications in the journals with a good reputation (Phys. Rev., Phys. Rev.Letters, J. of Phys. etc) to be able to hand in my PhD-thesis. It costs then about 30$ to download every copy of article, such that, first, we earn some money from publications, second, we do a good background for citations. A good scientist need to have a good index of citations. Otherwise, it means that nobody reads him. But if everybody of the corresponding society read him, then, again, he would have a lot of new friends, meetings, discussions etc. So, first, what we (PhD-students) do here is do publish our articles in good journals. Second, we accumulate these articles. Only after 3-4 years of work (articles) we do write PhD-thesis. Meanwhile, we also visit conferences, but only important ones, where there are many useful for our research people; then, there are also scientific schools, where we listen to specific topics. Such schools are placed in Switzerland, Italy etc., where one can be provided with actual for nowadays new ideas and possible research topics. Yes, there are also proceedings of conferences, which are good for other participants to know, what you currently do. Such proceedings usually are available online: http://www.dpg-verhandlungen.de/year/2011/conference/dresden/part/dy/session/6/contribution/3. But they are normally much more important for other scietists during a conference, such that they can orientate in a poster session, for instance. But in any case, such a system is different from the one described in this message: "пишем, Настя, и читаю я статьи, и вписывают меня в международные журналы(на конферцуию в Ялте как я поняла) только я не заслуживаю этого. Настя, я ничерта не знаю вообще. просто ... - один из ведущих институтов Украины, вот так и получилось. Плюс люди с которыми я работаю- очень добрые и искренние, всегда готовы помочь. я им очень благодарна."

No comments. This girl is happy. I am happy for her, too =) Just funny.