Day 19 Russian Snap Shot Challenge

Well, I’m over half way of my month in Russian. In my last post, Day 9, I outlined my intentions:

5mins Memrise (alphabet)

20mins Russianpod vids on the alphabet (includes my own cursive writing)

20mins Duolingo – I’m gradually noticing the sounds in words so I’m keeping at this. I’m not doing any ‘Review’ as this is too hard at this stage – I can’t remember the spellings of some words whether there is audio or not.

10mins ‘Read and Write Russian Script’

10mins LingQ – making links and listening to the texts. I’m saving phrases but not doing a great deal of over studying yet until I’m secure with the writing system.

I have completed the alphabet podcasts, which were extremely useful, and tend now to dip into various parts of the website just for the exposure to the language. Still woWIN_20170819_14_20_22_Prorking with Duolingo. I wasn’t sure for awhile but the short phrases and sentences is supporting my character and sound recognition. I’ve also been staggering the ‘Read and Write Russian Script’ book – I haven’t done it everyday but like to leave it a day or so almost liked a spaced-recognition practice.

The biggest shift has been on LingQ. I’m working more here on the lessons both to hear the words, look at the phrases, notice things both in terms of structure and word endings, review vocabulary and finally to consider the text as a whole. I’m doing this a number of times with each text, coming at it from different perspectives. I certainly feel my prediction of how the word should sound often matches the record. Where my prediction isn’t spot on just alerts me to the things like ‘o’ when it is stressed and unstressed or reminding myself of pronouncing ‘e’ correctly. I’m certainly sticking with text-based resources and not getting involved in spoken-language courses (Pimsleur etc.). I want to be able to ‘see’ what I’m saying. I think this focused approach is really helping and slowly but surely my word recognition is getting there. In fact, I’m not worried that learning the language will take a great deal of time as I do think securing the very basics and not taking on too much is vital.

So, where do I want to be by the end of the month?

Be comfortable with the script – print and cursive. Ideally have all characters remembered in the cursive script.

Read at a 70% accuracy in terms of sounding the characters correctly when saying words (using Duo and LingQ for this).

Have some foundation in Russian grammar.


Back to it

It’s been far, far too long since I’ve been seriously focused on my languages. Through one thing or another, it must be close to a year now. This happens to a lot of people be it for personal reasons or just moving the interest to another language. It’s not something to worry about. In fact some linguists say, that by forgetting the language you actually make it stronger when you revisit it. Well, we’ll see. So, last week I decided to set myself a couple of challenges with my languages. A three month challenge for Italian and Japanese which I will hopefully post on each week.

So, I’ve thought carefully about what I would to achieve. Like all learning endeavors, there needs to be some kind of goal to reach otherwise you just end up coasting (if you’re lucky). These long-term goals need to be broken down into chunks – mid-term goals (month) and short-term goals (weekly/daily) So, for me this means the following.
3 months of immersion 
Japanese – 3 months: secure my past knowledge and be ready to tackle the difficulties of N3
Month 1 – can I secure N4?
500 Kanji
N4 grammar and vocabulary reviewed, noticed and used for a wealth of reading and listening
Italian – 3 months: take part in an Italian book club
Month 1 – how far can listening and reading get me?
Reading & listening (vocabulary revisited simply as part of the process)- ‘La Fabbrica di Cioccolato’ (finish) ‘Io Sono Leggenda’ (complete about 50%)
For my weekly goals, I’ve simply worked out how many chapters I need to cover a week. For alongside these goals, I’ll be doing other things with the languages. immersing myself into books that take my fancy, watching films/dramas, listening to podcasts and generally following articles on websites in my target languages. It’s good to have goals but it’s also good to do whatever I like. I find this nurtures my enthusiasm and motivation. So, time to get comfortable with the language.