Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

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

Postby Radioclare » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:29 pm

3 October
I thought I'd get loads of Russian done today but then this morning I spent an unexpected amount of time buying new bedding (this passes for excitement in 2020!) and most of this afternoon was taken up by Esperanto finance tasks.

Russian
Before I got over excited about new pillows, I spent 20 minutes or so on chapter 13 of Colloquial Russian 2. So glad that the end of this textbook is nearly in sight. It's not that it's not a good textbook, more that I'm not good enough for it at the moment. A sensible person would probably have given up on it partway through, but I hate not finishing something that I've started.

Anyway, the theme of chapter 13 is religious diversity in Russian which is interesting. I read some texts and did some comprehension exercises on that this morning. The grammar theme of the chapter is gerunds, which feels slightly less interesting. I'm saving the grammar section to tackle tomorrow morning with coffee. I only have a very hazy idea of what a gerund is to be honest so I'm sure it will be most enlightening.

I cleared my Memrise reviews this evening. I was planning to watch an episode of 'Татьянин день' after dinner instead, but my wireless headphones decided to have one of those days where they refuse to pair with each other, so that plan failed.

Croatian
Before the headphones broke I did use them to watch episode 77 of 'Drugo ime ljubavi'. Still very exciting. The main character thought she had tracked down her long lost son, but the DNA test just came back negative so it's all very dramatic.

I've been listening to the new Bajaga album quite a bit over the past few days and I don't think I like it as much as the previous album. My favourite song at the moment is 'Darja', which feels like the most upbeat one on the album, and I must have listened to it over 10 times within the past few days without realising until this afternoon that it's half in Serbian, half in Russian :oops: It turns out the song is from a joint Russian/Serbian comedy film called 'Hotel Beograd', so I will have to add that to my list of things to watch one day :)



Total - Russian: 33 mins, Croatian: 52 mins
3 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:34 pm

4 October
I got all my Esperanto work out of the way yesterday, so that meant I could spend a reasonable amount of time on languages today.

Russian
I tackled the grammar in chapter 13 of Colloquial Russian 2 first thing. The good news is that I've now finished the chapter :) And it turns out that I did know what gerunds are, I just didn't know that they were called gerunds. By the standards of Russian grammar, gerunds don't even seem particularly hard so (by my standards) I didn't do too badly on the exercises.

I also logged into Clozemaster today for the first time in ages. I like Clozemaster or, at least, I find it really addictive; once I start doing it I don't want to stop, which is not something I've ever experienced with Memrise or Anki :lol: But I'm not sure whether it's actually very useful, especially if you're taking the easy option of doing the questions as multiple choice rather than typing, which is what I'm doing with Russian. I had about 800 reviews when I logged in and I got them down below 400 before I managed to drag myself away from the app. Perhaps if I used it more regularly and started typing the answers it would be more educational. I don't know, I guess if I want to waste time on an app then multiple-choice Russian fill in the blank questions on Clozemaster are a better choice than reading rubbish on Twitter, but I don't think it is going to be the solution to all my problems with Russian grammar.

Croatian
My earphones are still malfunctioning so I didn't watch another episode of my series today. But I did start reading a new novel in Croatian - 'Tajne Tudorova dvora' (Secrets of the Tudor court) - which is a translation from English. Often I think translations are easier to read than original fiction, but that doesn't necessarily hold true for translations of historical fiction because you end up with some vocabulary which is very specific to the period/setting. New words for me today included "častohlepan" which wiktionary defines as "vainglorious" and "perstvo", which appears to be Croatian for "peerage".

Total - Russian: 91 mins, Croatian: 109 mins
4 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:57 pm

5 October
Today wasn't too bad for a Monday. Although I realised at lunchtime that this day last year I was travelling to Paphos for an amazing holiday in Cyprus, so it was a bit depressing one year on to be stuck in cold and rainy England with the main thing I've got to look forward to being the delivery of a new duvet on Friday :lol:

Russian
I cleared my Memrise reviews before dinner and spent 10 minutes on Clozemaster too, which was enough to get my reviews below 300. After dinner I started chapter 14 of Colloquial Russian 2. The theme of this chapter is Russian internal and international politics. I read the first text in the chapter, which was about the Russian economy after the disintegration of the USSR, and did the comprehension exercises. One thing I find really annoying about this book is that the texts and dialogues frequently include new words which aren't included in the vocab lists, either after the text or at the end of the book. It kinda interrupts the flow of studying when you come to a word you don't know and can't just flick to the back of the book to look up what it means, but have to reach for a device and google it instead. An example of such a word in this text was "тупик", which I would have had to google if I hadn't already learned it from reading Twilight. It was used in the textbook in the meaning of "dead end" rather than "puffin" :)

Croatian
My earphones decided to sync to each other again today so I was able to watch episode 78 of 'Drugo ime ljubavi'. I also read another 30 pages or so of 'Tajne Tudorova dvora'. Today's new word was "skut", which the Hrvatski jezični portal defines as "donji kraj ženske haljine ili suknje". In the context of this book I think it meant "train", as in the train of a dress, because one of the characters was carrying the "skut" of another character during a ceremony.

Total - Russian: 40 mins, Croatian: 75 mins
4 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:18 pm

6 October
Today was okay for a Tuesday (I hate Tuesdays more than Mondays). I had a first meeting with a new client which felt a bit weird to do as a video call, but they seem friendly. Going to their offices would have necessitated a 100-mile round trip for a one-hour meeting, which seems wildly inefficient in comparison. I do wonder whether we'll ever all go back to travelling up and down the country for short meetings.

Russian
I did some more Clozemaster this evening once I'd cleared Memrise and I've now got my outstanding reviews down below 150. Clozemaster is fast becoming my favourite way to procrastinate :lol:

After dinner I continued with Chapter 14 of Colloquial Russian 2. I attempted an exercise where the book gives a list of definitions and you have to find the words they relate to in the text. In theory these are good but sometimes it feels a bit like a word search where you're just staring and staring at the same thing over and over again and failing to pick out the answer. I had to give up and check a few of the answers in the back of the book. The good news is that it seems like the author of the textbook used up all the hard grammar in earlier chapters and now there isn't anything really difficult left to cover in this final chapter. I read the first part of the grammar section which was talking about word building and summarised various suffixes, e.g. those used for professions, inhabitants of countries etc. So far it feels like a fairly straightforward recap.

Croatian
I watched another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' while I was cycling. I should really try to split my watching 50:50 between Russian and Croatian series so that my Croatian Super Challenge doesn't get too far ahead of my Russian one, but I'm quite hooked on the storyline of this one at the moment :)

Total - Russian: 40 mins, Croatian: 48 mins
4 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:59 pm

7 October
One of those frustrating days where I didn't get half as many things done as I expected to and I don't even know why.

Russian
I didn't have many reviews on Memrise today so I concentrated on Clozemaster for a while and got down to zero :)

I'm still progressing through chapter 14 of my textbook and did a couple of exercises on word building this evening. The next part of the grammar section is about verb prefixes, so I read through that too. At this stage there's nothing startling new, but it was a nice summary. I'm hopeful that I can finish both the chapter and textbook by the end of the week.

Croatian
I couldn't resist another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' while I was on my exercise bike. If anything is exciting enough to make me forget that I'm cycling for 45 minutes, you know that it's got to be good :lol: I also spent 45 minutes or so reading the novel about the Tudors. I feel like this would be a book I'd fly through in English, but in Croatian I'm stumbling over some of the more unusual vocabulary. Still, I'm 166 pages in now and this takes me to 25 'books' for my Croatian Super Challenge. My spreadsheet shows that I'm now over 25 in both Croatian films/books and Russian films/books, so if we still had the bot I think I'd have a star in each :)

Total - Russian: 36 mins, Croatian: 100 mins
4 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:34 pm

8 October
I had technical training this morning for a few hours and it kinda derailed my day. For various reasons I then ended up working until about 8pm, so I haven't had as much of a productive evening as I hoped.

Russian
It was one of those days where I had an unexpected number of reviews on Memrise. I got through them, but I didn't do any Clozemaster and I haven't got around to studying any of Colloquial Russian 2 either.

Instead I watched a new Russian Progress video called "5 причин не жить в России" (5 reasons not to live in Russia). There was already an interesting video a week or so ago with 5 reasons why living in Russia was good. I can't remember them all now, except that lots of things (like fast Internet) are cheaper than in the West and that it's possible to not only be almost cashless, but not even to need to use a debit/credit card because you can pay for everything with your phone. Apparently you can even take cash out of an ATM without having your card with you, which sounds pretty cool :o

Anyway, the video about disadvantages of living in Russia was interesting too. Again I can't remember all 5 things, but one of them was that there are lots of "заборы" everywhere. When I look up "забор" the main definition I get is "fence", but a lot of the pictures in the video were more what I'd call "railings", i.e. they were metal barriers that you would find between a road and a pavement, for example, to stop pedestrians crossing except at a designated point, as opposed to the sort of wooden fence that you'd find in a garden. Another thing (which surprised me so much I actually listened to the video twice to check whether I was understanding correctly!) is that the threshold for getting fined for speeding in Russia is really high and if you do get fined, the fines aren't very significant. The example given was that if the speed limit in a town was 60 km/h, you could drive at 80 km/h without getting a ticket and if you were caught doing 100 km/h you'd get a fine which, if paid on time, equated to a few dollars. The level of death from road traffic accidents is really high, but rather than punish people for speeding the government spends more money putting up "заборы" between the pavement and the road, (I think) in the hope that these protect pedestrians from cars which are out of control :shock: Even after two listens I'm not sure I can have understood this correctly, so don't quote me on it :lol: I may have to listen again for a third time once the video is posted with subtitles!

Croatian
Just another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' :)

Total - Russian: 36 mins, Croatian: 45 mins
4 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:44 pm

9 October
Someone put an interview in my diary between 1 and 2pm, so I couldn't go out for a walk at lunchtime. That annoyed me, because for once it wasn't actually raining at lunchtime :lol: Otherwise today was okay.

Russian
I meant to get through more of Colloquial Russian 2 this evening, but I didn't get around to it in the end. After I'd done some Memrise and Clozemaster reviews, I started watching a new episode of the Russian Progress podcast and that turned out to be over 30 minutes long. Unfortunately it was one that falls into the category of podcasts which I have listened to but not fully understood. It was the sequel to the podcast which I struggled to understand last week, because it was one native speaker interviewing another native speaker at what felt like a very fast speed. Sometimes when I feel like I've not understood things very well I try to listen to them a few more times, but I didn't really enjoy this one so I think I'll give it up as a lost cause!

Croatian
I watched another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' and then I've been reading about the Tudors again. New words today include "veleizdaja" (high treason), "lešinar" (vulture, but I'm sure I've learned another word for vulture previously... grabljivica? I'm not sure, I feel like I have it in a Memrise deck somewhere) and "patvoren" (fake).

Total - Russian: 47 mins, Croatian: 68 mins
2 x
Croatian SC books: 29 / 100 Croatian SC films: 41 / 100
Russian SC books: 31 / 100 Russian SC films: 27 / 100

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

Postby Radioclare » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:31 pm

10 October
The highlight of today was undoubtedly unpacking my new duvet and pillows :lol: Although between making the bed, doing laundry and rearranging my airing cupboard, housework seems to have taken up half my day.

Croatian
I spent the other half of my day reading, with the result that I've now finished 'Tajne Tudorova dvora'. I wouldn't say it was an amazing book but it was one of those which was quite compulsive once you started reading it. Words which I looked up today included "trnje" (thorns) and "geslo" (motto). I kicked myself for looking up "trnje" as soon as I saw the definition; a word I've definitely met before and just couldn't remember. The book was 392 pages in total, which takes me to 28 books for my Croatian reading challenge.

Russian
The other news is that today I (finally!!) got to the end of the final chapter in Colloquial Russian 2. I have mixed feelings about this textbook, because I do feel like it has some really good material in it and, in particular, some really useful vocabulary, but on the other hand there were definitely some things which could have been better. There are some errors in the answer key, which is perhaps inevitable with any textbook, but more annoying than that was the fact that so many exercises didn't have answers given. I can understand not putting the answers for comprehension tasks, but the chapters tended to end with translation exercises which required learners to translate what were often quite complicated sentences from English into Russian and I felt like it really would have been useful to have model answers for those. Sometimes I just didn't bother to do them, because without an answer to compare my attempt to and see where I'd gone wrong, it all felt a bit pointless. At times it also felt like the book was very orientated to classroom learning (e.g. there were exercises to do in pairs). Ultimately, parts of the book were just too difficult for my level, but I can't blame the book for that :)

Total - Russian: 60 mins, Croatian: 200 mins
6 x
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 cjareck » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:47 pm

I high school, I was in the class with extended Englis. I was really mediocre there, but my colleagues were already very good. After three years, we have received a new teacher. She was young and inexperienced, but she had her weapon - the answer key. So when she checked our papers - if you had it according to answer key - it was good, if not - it was wrong. Those of us who were really good in English (I suppose that better than she) were trying to explain to her that other answers are also possible in various circumstances, but it never work since the answer key was the only truth. So having answer key can also be a bad solution sometimes ;)
5 x
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Teango
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Re: Radioclare's 2020 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Teango » Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:58 am

Congrats on finishing Colloquial Russian 2! 8-)
3 x


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