3 Day Projects (3DP)

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Teango
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40. Small steps count (ru)

Postby Teango » Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:23 am

Russian #24 (0.9h)

Speaking practice and freewriting.

This past fortnight has been thoroughly exhausting, and as a consequence, my health has taken a hit. I've come close to breaking my current chain of projects on several occasions (having completed 19 projects in a row since I returned in September 2021, and 40 projects in total since this blog's inception). Nevertheless, and I must repeat myself here, committing myself to at least a minute of language study and practice a day has been a real saving grace. It's hard to NOT do at least 1 minute a day; it's a doable daily discipline! And once I start something, I rarely stop after just one minute anyway, and every little step toward a better horizon counts.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teango
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41. Crabs in a bucket (ru)

Postby Teango » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:49 am

Russian #25 (6.5h)

Conversations, story writing, and some aspiring yet anti-heroic attempts to encourage my daughter to speak more Russian.

I made a concerted effort over the last three days to chat more extensively in Russian with my wife. This seems to have made her very happy, and as the saying goes: "Happy wife, happy life!" My children, on the other hand, are not so keen on me ramping up the Russian in daily conversation. I feel the constant pinch of tenacious claws, pulling me firmly and eagerly back down into an English-only bucket. Although to be fair, my young son still enjoys using sign language with daddy (which makes me very happy!), and my daughter loves watching cartoons and playing games in Russian on her Fire tablet and actually understands a fair bit. Essentially, wherever this leads us together, we're all a work in progress...and that's a good thing (so long as it's not boiling water!)
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teango
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42. Instant noodles (ru)

Postby Teango » Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:46 am

Russian #26 (2.4h)

Conversation, podcasts, and a plethora of Russian nibbles.

On a recent recommendation, we treated ourselves to a hamper of Russian goodies from a family-owned online grocery store on the island (пряники, сушки, варёная сгущёнка, икра, халва, пельмени, борщ, квас, ряженка, гречка, творог, соломка, и т. д.) Having watched way too much Bald and Bankrupt, I also included some доширак instant noodles in the order (origin: 도시락 = ko: "lunch box"). My wife initially had reservations, but after she tasted some, she was pleasantly surprised.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teango
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43. Fun with Flipper (ru)

Postby Teango » Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:42 pm

Russian #27 (3.1h)

Group conversation, some minor grammar discussion, and trying out language apps on my new phone.

We had a big day out at with another Russian family at Sea Life Park on Saturday. I probably spent a good 6 hours speaking mainly Russian on and off while watching dolphins, gesticulating at bemused whiskery sea lions, and serving as a shoulder chauffeur to a little troop of errant Homo sapiens. It was a looooong day, to be sure, and I'm still recovering. Given all the multitasking and running around, my wife estimates I spoke in Russian at least 20% of this time.

Other news...I finally bought a new phone (and I've been holding out for a long time now). This means I've been playing around with language apps. I wasn't particularly impressed with "Drops" and their aggressive advertising (despite deleting the app and clicking all the appropriate tickboxes, my inbox is since littered with a flood of unwanted daily emails!) But on a more positive note, I am enjoying the speech recognition and text-to-speech on my iPhone Translate app. The accuracy of the translations is not as good as those provided by Google Translate, and the interface clearly needs work, but my British accent doesn't trip it up so much and the voices are more pleasant, natural, and clearer. All in all, I find this Translate app meets my particular needs for now.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teango
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44. Full moon rising (ru)

Postby Teango » Thu Nov 18, 2021 4:15 am

Russian #28 (3.5h)

Conversation, self-talk, and listening practice.

Every now and again, I take a little time to read through past projects, motivating moments, and interesting replies in this thread. As a form of constructive metacognition, it's reassuring to look back over some of the steps and stumbles, small and big, that led me to where I am now. And in so doing, this all too often gives me further motivation, direction, and a sense of accomplishment when I need it the most. This post marks my 80th day in a row of 3DPs without a break in the chain (and all in Russian!), working out on average at 50 minutes a day so far. Looking through my window at the full moon rising over the mountains tonight, my goal of breaking into advanced Russian feels closer than ever before.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Teango
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Motivating moments: Russian

Postby Teango » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:20 am

My family and I went to a couple of Russian kids' birthday parties over the weekend, which meant hours of bonus Russian conversation with little to no English. After shooting the breeze with one of the Russian dads for a while, he said, "У тебя небольшой акцент. Откуда ты?" (You have a slight accent. Where are you from?) I mentioned I was English and he laughed out loud. Later on, he told me that he was sure I was Yugoslavian (most likely from Croatia or a nearby country), and more specifically, one of the older Soviet-era-born generation that grew up speaking Russian from the cradle but as a second language. He was genuinely shocked to discover I wasn't Slavic (in fact, I'm not sure he quite believed me at first). And I was equally shocked to hear this kind of motivating feedback, especially given he's a regular candid Russian dude, and I'm pretty sure my Russian sucks and has a long way to go. He further added that my constructions were very colloquial and sophisticated and nothing like the type of language you learn in textbooks or at college. And I should probably mention here, everyone was sober at the time too (just cartons of apple Capri Sun and slices of Napoleon cake). ;) I guess all this one-on-one and group conversation practice is starting to really pay off?!
Last edited by Teango on Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Motivating moments: Russian

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:02 am

Teango wrote:My family and I went to a couple of Russian kids' birthday parties over the weekend, which meant hours of bonus Russian conversation with little to no English. After shooting the breeze with one of the Russian dads for a while, he said, "У тебя небольшой акцент. Откуда ты?" (You have a slight accent. Where are you from?) I mentioned I was English and he laughed out loud. Later on, he told me he that he was sure I was Yugoslavian (most likely from Croatia or a nearby country), and more specifically, one of the older Soviet-era-born generation that grew up speaking Russian from the cradle but as a second language. He was genuinely shocked to discover I wasn't Slavic (in fact, I'm not sure he quite believed me at first). And I was equally shocked to hear this kind of motivating feedback, especially given he's a regular candid Russian dude, and I'm pretty sure my Russian sucks and has a long way to go. He further added that my constructions were very colloquial and sophisticated and nothing like the type of language you learn in textbooks or at college. And I should probably mention here, everyone was sober at the time too (just cartons of apple Capri Sun and slices of Napoleon). ;) I guess all this one-on-one and group conversation practice is starting to really pay off?!


Nice work, Teango! *PM scratches head metaphorically and wonders for a few nano seconds (okay, it was closer to actual seconds) whether he should learn Russian too. Maybe one day PM, maybe one day*

I recently attended a kids party too and ironically spent a lot of time speaking foreign languages as well- Dutch with my kids, which is normal, but French with a Czech lady married to a Moroccan but consequently use French as their home language. Yay to kids parties! Uuhhh... ummm... the 'yay' was because of the kids having fun, I think? :? )
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Teango
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45. Hit the switch (ru)

Postby Teango » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:19 am

Russian #29 (8h)

Self-talk, one-to-ones, and group conversation with native Russian speakers.

I've been thinking and speaking in Russian a lot more lately, and it's starting to make a noticeable difference. Looking over the CEFR self-assessment grid, I probably fall more under the C1 category for "Spoken production" and am somewhere on the border between B2 and C1 for "Spoken Interaction". I'm relatively comfortable talking about most topics and can just about keep up with groups of Russians chatting for extended periods of time in a relaxed colloquial environment. However, I still pause momentarily here and there to search for less familiar or absent words, to find a different way of saying something, or to double-check grammatical endings during conversation. All in all, it's now very difficult to count the hours I use Russian throughout the week, and I'm simply at the stage where I'm ready to switch over to thinking and communicating in Russian more often at home and to make it part of my everyday life. It's time.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Teango
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Re: 3 Day Projects (3DP)

Postby Teango » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:39 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Nice work, Teango! *PM scratches head metaphorically and wonders for a few nano seconds (okay, it was closer to actual seconds) whether he should learn Russian too. Maybe one day PM, maybe one day*

Merci...merci, mon pote! And Russian...yes...ouais...даaa..."It is unavoidable. It is your destiny!" (cue Imperial March, maniacal laughter, and a hefty electric bill next month...:o).
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IronMike
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Re: Motivating moments: Russian

Postby IronMike » Sun Nov 28, 2021 1:27 am

Teango wrote:My family and I went to a couple of Russian kids' birthday parties over the weekend, which meant hours of bonus Russian conversation with little to no English.

These are my favorite Russian-speaking opportunities.
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You're not a C1 (or B1 or whatever) if you haven't tested.
CEFR --> ILR/DLPT equivalencies
My swimming life.
My reading life.


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