A Snapshot Language Challenge

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I’ve set myself  have a number of challenges over the next few months and I’ll post a little bit more on each of them in other blog posts. Today, though, I want to share a monthly challenge which might seem a bit crazy. I’m calling it my ‘snapshot language challenge’ and aim to spend just a month working on it just to see what happens and even if I want to take it further.

Resource: Duolingo

Language: Russian

Time: 15mins

I’ve been using Duolingo for some time for Italian. I often find it a nice app on my android to brush up on my skills or to finish the evening off doing something short and snappy which involves, reading, writing, speaking and listening. Recently I’ve been thinking a new language so looked at the other ones available for English speakers. As I did this I wondered just how far can it teach me a language? If I ignored books, websites etc and just used Duo, where would I be at the end of a month? Indeed, can I really ignore other resources? Will I be able to figure out the grammar? Tackle the pronunciation? So, rather than using languages I have some awareness of I decided to choose the only one that I have no knowledge or experience of whatsoever. Russian. Here goes.

Day 1 – ‘Alphabet’

Installed the Russian keyboard (!) and have started ‘Basics’ lessons. So sentences today have included simple sentences – ‘This is Tom’, ‘where is the house?’ etc. Here I noticed that there seem to be two words for ‘and’ not sure if there are rules for which you use but I have used both correctly. I’ve also used words for ‘aunt’, ‘cat’, ‘where’, ‘house’. I noticed that there is no word for ‘is’ or ‘are’  it looks like it’s not there in Russian. I’ll keep a look out on that. In terms of ‘Duo’ itself, there have been no speaking exercises yet – maybe that will come later? The listening has been good – all words and sentences have audio.

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