Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:01 pm

Thank you for the words of encouragement, Teango :)

Karaoke isn't really my thing, but you're right - I should spend a couple of days watching trashy TV in Russian and then I'm sure I'll feel more positive and ready to tackle some more grammar!

I just get frustrated sometimes because I'm not convinced I've ever put as much consistent effort into trying to learn anything as I have into learning Russian, so it's disappointing to look at an exercise on present passive participles and not even be able to remember what a present passive participle is :lol:
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:43 pm

18 Aug - Russian: 44 mins, Croatian: 2 mins
19 Aug - Russian: 57 mins, Croatian: 47 mins
20 Aug - Russian: 49 mins, Croatian: 47 mins
21 Aug - Russian: 51 mins
22 Aug - Russian: 33 mins
23 Aug - Russian: 67 mins
24 Aug - Russian: 47 mins

Well I spent a few days watching trashy TV in Russian and then I felt ready to go back to Chapter 10 of Colloquial Russian :) The good news is that I've finally finished the chapter and the remainder of it wasn't so bad. The final few pages were mainly about the use of по, from which I learned that in the right circumstances по can be translated as pretty much any preposition you like and there is literally no way I am ever going to be confident when to use it or with which case :lol: I don't understand how to use po correctly in Esperanto either and that has never really hindered me, so it's hopefully not a big deal.

I've watched six episodes of 'Татьянин день' now and I'm starting to get into it. I spent the first few episodes mainly trying to work out what all the characters were called and understand their relationships to one another. Briefly, the series is about a young girl called Tatiana who moves to Moscow from the countryside with her mother in order to study. They turn up assuming they can stay with some relatives who have a flat in Moscow, but the relatives don't seem terribly pleased to see them. I think the main storyline for the next 200+ episodes is going to be a love triangle between this Tatiana (who I'll call Tatiana 1) and her new best friend, Tatiana 2. Tatiana 2 is rich and blonde and can walk on ice in high heels without falling over. Not sure why the makers of the show felt the need to give the two main characters the same name, but never mind! Tatiana 1 and Tatiana 2 are currently both in the process of falling in love with the same guy (unbeknown to each other, of course).

It feels like it's going to be a fun show to watch and hopefully I'll get some cultural insights. Things which have struck me as being very "Russian" so far are:

1. Far too many family members are all living in the same apartment. There's a mother, her three grown up children, plus the wife and child of one of those children all living in a flat which so far only appears to have two rooms. Then Tatiana 1 and her mother turn up to stay and end up sleeping on camp beds in the kitchen. The lack of personal space which everybody must have is already stressing me out :lol:

2. One of the characters was chopping raw cabbage and he obviously thought it looked so delicious that he started eating it as he chopped :o

3. Two characters sat down to drink tea, a process which they interspersed by eating mouthfuls of jam from small dishes on the table :?

4. The characters have a rug hanging on the wall :lol:

I was hoping to do some more serious studying - and some reading in Croatian - at the weekend, but I ended up running out of time. Work is very busy at the moment so I ended up working for 4 hours or so on Saturday morning to try and get ahead with things. Then I spent most of Sunday trying to plan an epic road trip around Scotland for the two weeks of holiday which I have booked off work in September. Those were the two weeks when I was originally supposed to be going to Croatia/Montenegro/Albania, but obviously none of that is happening now. Scotland should be fun though, so long as it doesn't rain every day!
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:35 pm

Oops, I haven't updated for a while :oops:

25 Aug - Russian: 31 mins, Croatian: 47 mins
26 Aug - Russian: 46 mins
27 Aug - Russian: 46 mins
28 Aug - Russian: 31 mins
29 Aug - Russian: 38 mins
30 Aug - Russian: 33 mins
31 Aug - Russian: 45 mins
1 Sept - Russian: 38 mins
2 Sept - Russian: 50 mins
3 Sept - Russian: 35 mins
4 Sept - Russian: 50 mins
5 Sept - Russian: 48 mins
6 Sept - Russian: 46 mins, Croatian: 16 mins
7 Sept - Russian: 39 mins, Croatian: 11 mins
8 Sept - Russian 32 mins
9 Sept - Russian: 41 mins
10 Sept - Russian: 32 mins
11 Sept - Russian: 30 mins, Croatian: 60 mins
12 Sept - Russian: 33 mins
13 Sept - Russian: 31 mins
14 Sept - Russian: 32 mins
15 Sept - Russian: 35 mins
16 Sept - Russian: 31 mins
17 Sept - Russian: 30 mins
18 Sept - Russian: 30 mins
19 Sept - Russian: 30 mins
20 Sept - Russian: 33 mins
21 Sept - Russian: 30 mins, Croatian: 45 mins

I don't actually have a very good reason for not having updated in so long. Well, the last two weeks of August were crazily busy at work. I normally try to stop at 7 and have dinner, then take the evening to myself but in those weeks I was going back to my laptop after dinner and putting in another few hours. Most of my Russian time logged in those weeks is therefore watching episodes of 'Татьянин ден' while cycling on my exercise bike, because by the time I'd finished work I didn't have time to do 30 minutes of Russian and 45 minutes of exercise separately before I needed to go to bed; the two had to be combined.

From 5 - 20 September I was then on holiday in Scotland. It was a really exciting trip where I visited lots of different islands (Orkney, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides) but the nature of it was that it involved a lot of travelling, mainly by car, and that meant I didn't have as much time downtime for studying as I expected. So a lot of the Russian time I've logged during those weeks is just Memrise reviews to get myself to the bare minimum of 30 minutes for the day. I did ask myself on some days whether it was worth trying to do the 30 minutes and what I was even trying to achieve by inflicting this requirement on myself, because it feels like by forcing myself to do 30 minutes of Memrise reviews in sub-optimal conditions (for example, sitting in a pub while waiting for my dinner) I'm just treading water and doing 30 minutes of Russian for the sake of doing 30 minutes of Russian. But I came to the conclusion that it was better to be treading water than to be actively going backwards, which is what would be happening if I started giving myself leeway to skip days, so I have kept going.

What have I achieved in all this time? I finished chapter 11 of Colloquial Russian 2. I found this one a lot easier than chapter 10 and the subject matter was also quite interesting; it was about Russian society, specifically the Russian middle class, and what criteria you would have to meet to be considered middle class in Russia vs in the UK. There was lots of new vocabulary for me in this chapter but I haven't got around to putting the new words either from this chapter or from chapter 10 into Memrise yet. Maybe that's a task for this weekend.

I have watched 11 episodes of 'Татьянин ден' now and I'm up to 23 films for my Russian Super Challenge. I can't remember any new words I've learned but I feel like I'm starting to understand slightly better. The main thing which I've found culturally quite shocking is the amount of sexism which the female characters in the series have to put up with. At best, the male characters are very old fashioned in their attitudes; for example, there's a lot of kissing of hands. At worst, there's blatant sexual harassment in the workplace. Tatiana 1's boss, who seems to have only given her a job because he thinks she's pretty, can't keep his hands off her. Tatiana 1 has also fallen out with her love interest, who is now dating Tatiana 2 to make her jealous. I assume we're supposed to find the love interest attractive and think he's a nice guy, otherwise I don't know why we would care whether he's with Tatiana 1 or 2. But in the very first argument which he and Tatiana 1 have, he loses his temper and while he may not actually have hit her, he at least grabs her or shoves her in quite an aggressive way. Meanwhile a different character has been told by her husband that her place is in the kitchen. And there's also a character who keeps turning up to work with bruises because her husband is assaulting her. All the characters do at least seem to agree that that final example of domestic violence is wrong, but none of the other behaviour seems to be raising any eyebrows.

While I was on holiday, I finished reading 'Narodno veselje' by Pavao Pavličić. I can't remember whether I mentioned it before, but it was a series of essays about life in Yugoslavia during the 1950s/60s when the author was growing up. There were lots of interesting cultural insights and the book was 372 pages in total, so it takes me to almost 22 books for my Croatian Super Challenge.

At the moment I'm reading a translation of a Frederich Forsyth novel in German. I forgot to log any German time while I was on holiday though, so that isn't included in my stats above.

There is still a lot of depressing news about Covid-19 at the moment but one thing which did make me smile is the below video by Luka Bulić, who regularly records parodies of popular songs; he takes the music from a song and adds lyrics about a topical theme. This week's song is one which I used to love about 20 years ago :lol:

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Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby cjareck » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:50 am

Radioclare wrote: At best, the male characters are very old fashioned in their attitudes; for example, there's a lot of kissing of hands.

It may be seen as old fashioned but also as a cultured behavior. I try to kiss hands since I was raised so. The changes in eastern Europe came much quicker than in the West. We had to catch up with that in just a few years... But I will always consider kissing hands, letting women first indoors as a polite and correct way how a man should behave.
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Daniel N. » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:56 pm

Radioclare wrote:At best, the male characters are very old fashioned in their attitudes; for example, there's a lot of kissing of hands. At worst, there's blatant sexual harassment in the workplace. Tatiana 1's boss, who seems to have only given her a job because he thinks she's pretty, can't keep his hands off her. Tatiana 1 has also fallen out with her love interest, who is now dating Tatiana 2 to make her jealous. I assume we're supposed to find the love interest attractive and think he's a nice guy, otherwise I don't know why we would care whether he's with Tatiana 1 or 2. But in the very first argument which he and Tatiana 1 have, he loses his temper and while he may not actually have hit her, he at least grabs her or shoves her in quite an aggressive way. Meanwhile a different character has been told by her husband that her place is in the kitchen.

I've never seen kissing hands in Croatia, even in my childhood - this is what my grandfather would maybe do circa 1930; boss grabbing women by their parts is getting less and less common; now it's more in the line "you know what you can do if you want to get promoted".
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:40 pm

22 Sept - Russian: 37 mins, Croatian: 47 mins
23 Sept - Russian: 30 mins, Croatian: 44 mins
24 Sept - Russian: 30 mins, Croatian: 45 mins
25 Sept - Russian: 41 mins
26 Sept - Russian: 33 mins, Croatian: 3 mins
27 Sept - Russian: 66 mins, Croatian: 76 mins

I've been back at work after two weeks of holiday this week, which has been about as much fun as you'd expect. While I was on holiday my office had actually re-opened for the first time since March and people were starting to make suggestions about everybody getting back to working from the office for 1 - 2 days per week. But this week the government guidance changed to "anyone who can work from home should work from home", so it's starting to look unlikely that I'll go back to the office any time this year. Many of my colleagues are devastated about this, but I'm secretly quite happy. There's nothing I miss about being in the office or commuting and my boyfriend has even bought me a new desk to work from :)

Now that I'm back from holiday I've tried to get into a better routine with studying. Over the course of the week I've finished chapter 12 of Colloquial Russian 2, which was about the economy, and I think that means I only have two chapters of the book left. I feel like the end of this textbook can't come soon enough now, although the grammar in this chapter wasn't actually too difficult (it was mainly about impersonal constructions). I want to get back to practising some "easier" grammar again and then I think one of my goals for 2021 needs to be to start writing short texts in Russian, like the summer when I tried to write 100 (or 150? I can't remember!) words in Croatian every day.

I haven't watched any more episodes of 'Татьянин ден' this week, although I did google it and found that the series dates from 2007/2008. So it is possible that the amount of sexism in Russian workplaces has reduced significantly since then; I know things have definitely changed where I work since 2007. The Wikipedia article I was reading also said that the series is an adaptation of a Colombian drama called "La Guerra de las Rosas", which I didn't realise.

The main reason I didn't watch 'Татьянин ден was that I had a backlog of Russian Progress videos to catch up on. And then over the course of two evenings I watched a travel documentary on YouTube by Антон Птушкин about travelling around France this summer on a private plane. I really love his travel videos but I was a bit sceptical about this one because initially when I saw the title, I assumed it would be about flying on some sort of luxury jet and the segments about extravagant travel are part of what turns me off the travel show 'Орёл и Решка'. But it actually wasn't anything like that, it was travelling in a tiny private aircraft flown by one of his friends, who happens to have a pilot licence, and camping next to airstrips. They flew from the south of France to Corsica, which looks absolutely beautiful, and overall it was really interesting video which showed that, if you have a friend who can fly one, travelling in a private plane isn't as expensive as you'd expect :lol: My only criticism was that at times it didn't feel like there was enough social distancing going on (although I have no idea what the rules in France are so perhaps it was fine). In general I'm not watching travel videos at the moment because I find them too depressing, but I did really enjoy this one and it gave me 54 minutes towards my Russian Super Challenge.

Today I cleared my backlog of Croatian reviews in Memrise again. Otherwise my only Croatian activity has been watching more episodes of 'Drugo ime ljubavi'. I feel like I would have been a lot more motivated to make progress with Croatian this summer if I had been able to go to Dubrovnik in September as planned. I realised this week that 2020 is the first summer since 1998 that I haven't been abroad or, to express the same thing a different way, in summer 1999 I went abroad for the first time and I've been abroad for at least one week every summer since then until 2020 :o This feels a sad streak to lose :lol:

My favourite new song this week is "Ovaj svet se menja" (This world is changing) by Bajaga, which feels like it does a good job of capturing the essence of 2020.

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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Serpent » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:38 pm

Radioclare wrote:I haven't watched any more episodes of 'Татьянин ден' this week, although I did google it and found that the series dates from 2007/2008. So it is possible that the amount of sexism in Russian workplaces has reduced significantly since then; I know things have definitely changed where I work since 2007. The Wikipedia article I was reading also said that the series is an adaptation of a Colombian drama called "La Guerra de las Rosas", which I didn't realise.
I realised this week that 2020 is the first summer since 1998 that I haven't been abroad or, to express the same thing a different way, in summer 1999 I went abroad for the first time and I've been abroad for at least one week every summer since then until 2020 :o This feels a sad streak to lose :lol:
Awww. This year is extremely likely to be my first one since 2005 in which I didn't go to Finland. If Belarus counts, this is probably the first summer I didn't go abroad since 1997 or maybe even earlier. As you know I did go to Latvia this year.. It's way too early to think of that but 2021 has the potential to be the first year I don't go abroad since 2003 (if Belarus doesn't count) or even 1991 (if Belarus counts).

Ohhh I didn't know about Ptushkin's new videos, interesting.

It's Татьянин день, btw :) Your typo makes me imagine Tatiana's opium den :lol: Never seen the series, but yeah we've made progress since 2008 :) Those "other" kinds of harassment/violence have definitely been discussed in the recent years.
Don't wanna start a debate but holding a door for anyone is perfectly fine. Maybe unless they're still a bit far away and by holding the door open you end up pressuring them to get to the door faster :lol:
(Edit: oh and in 2020 social distancing overrides this, imo. if you're willing to touch the door handle unnecessarily, I don't want to be in the same elevator with you :lol:)

As for the family living together in the same apartment, we've discussed this wrt Budva :lol: Don't know whether I've mentioned this back then but when I was born there was like 7 of us in a two-room apartment :shock: :lol: Is anyone having to sleep on a раскладушка?
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:11 pm

Serpent wrote:As for the family living together in the same apartment, we've discussed this wrt Budva :lol: Don't know whether I've mentioned this back then but when I was born there was like 7 of us in a two-room apartment :shock: :lol: Is anyone having to sleep on a раскладушка?


Yes, two of the characters are sleeping on these in the kitchen and it looks really uncomfortable! The latest development in the plot was that the oldest son's wife convinced him that they needed to move out of his mother's apartment and get their own place. Given that he looks like he's in his 40s, this didn't seem like a bad idea and I figured it would give the rest of the characters more space. Nope :lol: Now that there's going to be a room free, the mother is planning to rent it out to her granddaughter's schoolteacher to make some extra cash, rather than offer it to the two relatives who are sleeping on folding beds in the kitchen :shock: It all seems very bizarre to me but I guess that's half the fun of watching TV in a new language!
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:29 pm

28 Sept - Russian: 35 mins, Croatian: 49 mins
29 Sept - Russian: 32 mins, Croatian: 46 mins
30 Sept - Russian: 35 mins, Croatian: 51 mins

1 October
I decided to go back to (trying to) update my log every day for the final quarter of 2020. I don't feel like I've really achieved a whole lot over the summer, so I'm hoping this might help to keep me more accountable and make some tangible progress before the end of the year. I think I sometimes fall into a trap of thinking that the year is almost over by the time I get to October and that I may as well wait until January to start working on my goals. But actually there's still a quarter of 2020 left and hey, didn't someone once say you could get fluent in three months?! :lol:

Russian
I did a few Memrise reviews earlier between finishing work and eating dinner, but by a few I really do only mean a few. I go in phases with Memrise and I don't seem to be in the right frame of mind for it at the moment, so I haven't bothered adding the remaining vocabulary from Colloquial Russian 2 and I'm just clearing reviews on existing vocabulary rather than learning anything new.

I really wanted to watch another episode of my Croatian series this evening, because it ended at a really exciting point yesterday, but I forced myself to watch an episode of 'Татьянин день' instead because I feel like my Russian films Super Challenge is probably behind schedule. It's not so easy to know whether it's on schedule or not without the bot, but after today's episode I've just hit 25 films. I watched this episode while I was cycling but I think I probably have greater comprehension on the episodes I watch when I'm not cycling.

Afterwards, I did something which I haven't done for a while and logged in to Duolingo. I have been thinking about it for a few days, wondering whether it might be a good way to practise grammar. But as soon as I'd logged in and attempted to do a lesson, I realised why I gave it up last time :lol: I managed to turn off the annoying tapping of words, which is probably okay if you have a tablet but not very efficient on a laptop, and was able to type my responses instead. But I don't really understand how it's supposed to work now; I did five lessons on one subject which took me to a new level, then I had to do another five lessons on that same subject to take me to the next level and the next and the next... Each time you move up a level it tells you you're going to get harder content, but I just kept on getting the same few sentences over and over again until I wanted to scream... So yeah, I think I'll just have to accept that Duolingo is not my thing!

Total - Russian: 72 mins
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Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:33 pm

2 October
I was just starting to get that Friday afternoon feeling when I got a call from my manager asking me to take on two new projects in 2021, the thought of which absolutely fill me with dread. So that kinda killed both my Friday mood and any motivation to spend the evening studying.

Russian
Luckily I had an easy activity I could do to get to my 30 minutes of Russian, because there was a new episode of the Russian Progress podcast out yesterday. Normally I really enjoy these and I listen to all the Russian Progress podcasts and videos without using the subtitles/transcriptions, unless there's something I'm majorly struggling to follow. Today's podcast was a lot tougher because it was an interview format with two native speakers talking really quickly. I had to turn on subtitles (it's a video podcast) but then sometimes they were speaking so quickly that I didn't even have time to read the subtitles before they flashed off the screen so that didn't necessarily help :lol:

Croatian
I forced myself to get on my exercise bike and cycle for 45 minutes while watching another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi'. I'm up to episode 76 now, so I only have another 99 episodes to go :D I'm actually really enjoying it; the storyline is exciting enough to hold my interest and distract me from cycling.

Total - Russian: 33 mins, Croatian: 46 mins
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Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100


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