Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

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Radioclare
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Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:11 pm

2020 was a good year for language learning, but I always like to start a new year with a new log :)

I've been giving my language goals some thought over the past few days and I think my focus for 2021 is going to be the following:

1. Maintain consistency by continuing to study for at least 30 minutes a day.

Having completed two years of the 365-challenge, I did give some serious thought as to whether I really wanted to commit myself for a third year. I don't want this challenge to become an obsession! But in the end I decided that I didn't really have anything to lose by attempting another year. I've signed up for a "generic" challenge to give myself the flexibility for my daily 30 minutes not to have to be Russian every single day, but in reality I wouldn't be surprised if I got to the end of the year with my study on all/most days being Russian. I enjoy consuming content in Croatian and I don't need a challenge to make me do it regularly, but with Russian I do still need some additional motivation. I feel like I have made progress with Russian over the past two years, but that I probably do need another year of keeping pushing at it to have a breakthrough. Really, I think my goal is to make enough progress in 2021 that I don't feel the need to do a 365-challenge in 2022 :lol:

2. Complete my Russian Super Challenge.

As things currently stand, this will require reading another 3,053 pages (61 'books') and watching another 6,025 minutes of TV (67 'films'). I don't think the reading part of it will be a problem; although I am a bit behind where I should be at this point in the challenge, I do have a big pile of Russian books to start reading and I am at a stage where I can get some level of enjoyment from reading in Russian, despite it being difficult. Completing the films part of the challenge is going to be more of a struggle. I'm at that weird stage with listening where I can do pretty well at understanding a monologue from one individual speaker, whether that's on a podcast, a YouTube video or a news programme, but I struggle to understand dialogue between multiple speakers in a series or film. I went through exactly the same phase with Croatian in 2014/15 and I know the solution is to listen to hours and hours and hours of Russian TV and basically hammer myself over the head with it until one day it clicks and I magically understand :D But despite knowing that's the solution I still find it difficult on any given day to force myself to sit through a TV episode of which my comprehension is miserable. I've been quite slack with this in the latter part of 2020 and so I really want to do better in 2021. I do actually question whether a single Super Challenge is sufficient for me to make the progress I want in Russian; the progress I made with Croatian was as a result of a Double Challenge. But I also question whether I have time to do more than a single challenge, so for now let's assume that's all I'm doing and anything else will be a bonus!

3. Complete my Croatian Super Challenge.

This is more just for fun really. I need to read 3,012 pages (60 'books'), but I've had lots of Croatian novels for Christmas and my reading speed, while slower than German and English, is a lot faster than Russian. So I don't think this will be a problem. And I'm actually ahead on the films challenge, with 3,927 minutes (44 'films') remaining. I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't meet that target by the end of the year, although I am well into the second half of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' now so I will need to find a new series to get hooked on by the end of the year.

4. Continue to improve my grammar knowledge.

I have several textbooks I want to work through in Russian. First of all I want to get to the end of Schaum's Grammar (provisionally hoping to achieve this by the end of March) and then I have some B1-level textbooks which I received for Christmas in 2019 but haven't been able to work with yet. I'd like this to be the last year that I have to spend huge amounts of time studying Russian grammar, i.e. by next year I'd like to be in a position where the majority of my Russian time comes from reading/listening rather than textbooks.

I do also have several Croatian textbooks that I would like to re-visit. I was hoping to spend more time on this in 2020, but didn't.

5. Write short texts regularly in both Croatian and Russian.

I haven't signed up for the Output Challenge because I don't want to stretch myself too thinly on the challenge front (and also I have failed to complete the Output Challenge every time I've signed up previously!) but I do want to have more of a focus on writing output in 2021. I probably wrote close to zero words in both languages this year, so it won't be difficult to improve on that. I don't think 50,000 words per language is necessarily a realistic target to aim for, but I will keep track of how much I write and see what total I get to. I haven't done any significant writing in Russian up to this point, so even trying to string together 100 words is going to be horribly painful. I'm hoping that writing in Croatian will feel blissfully easy in comparison :)

6. Read 10 novels in German.

That's a fairly arbitrary number, just for the sake of being measurable. I read 8 novels in German in 2020 and I don't feel like 2020 was a great year for reading, so I'm hoping this is fairly achievable.
12 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:23 pm

1 January
Last time I was in the UK for New Year's Day it was 1 January 2008. A lot has happened since then!

Russian
I decided to get my resolution to listen to more Russian off to a strong start by watching an episode of Татьянин день while on the treadmill this morning. Татьяна 1 is due to get married soon and so this episode was mainly about the respective hen and stag nights of the bride and groom. Both sides drank a lot of spirits and had a stripper. The main difference was that the men drank vodka and the girls seemed to prefer tequila. Also the men were eating something which looked like spring onions with their vodka. This was all mildly entertaining, but it was interspersed with a darker storyline about a female character who is being abused by her husband. They had an argument which I didn't fully follow in this episode and then she attacked him quite violently with what looked like a hatstand. The main drama of the episode though came at the end when the hero told Татьяна 1 "Я изменил тебе", which I think means something like "I've cheated on you". The episode ended at that point, so he hasn't told her yet that it was with Татьяна 2. If he does tell her that, I suspect there may not be a wedding after all!

I also did a small amount of grammar study, starting chapter 5 of Schaum's Grammar. This one is about adjectives and it looks like a hefty one, so expect to hear me talking about it for some time!

Total - Russian: 72 mins
5 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Caromarlyse » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:11 pm

I'd be interested in knowing which B1 textbooks you have for Russian?

I have finally started watching some of your YouTube recommendations! Russian listening is painful for me still, but I suppose the only way is through!
1 x

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:24 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:I'd be interested in knowing which B1 textbooks you have for Russian?

I have finally started watching some of your YouTube recommendations! Russian listening is painful for me still, but I suppose the only way is through!


It's this one (and there's a second one, B1.2). My boyfriend bought them for me for Christmas last year but I felt like I was too far off B1 to start using them. My impression is that they might be more aimed at classroom study than self study, but I haven't done more than flick through them so not 100% sure. I'm interested to give them a go later this year anyway and see what the level is like!

2 January
A nice relaxing day at home. The Christmas break is almost over but it's been great to have so much time away from work. I certainly feel a lot more rested than I did in mid-December!

Russian
I spent half an hour or so on Schaum's Grammar, practising the declension of hard adjectives. I also decided to get my resolutions off to a good start and try doing some writing in Russian. That was about as painful as I expected :lol: I managed 238 words, which I got corrected on Lang-8. The corrections weren't horrific, so that is a positive. The only problem is that those 238 words may have exhausted everything I have the ability to say in Russian at the moment. I think I need to find that list of prompts we used to have for the Output Challenge.

What else? I started reading a new book 'В 4:50 с вокзала Паддингтон' (4.50 from Paddington) by Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie is definitely right for my level of Russian at the moment. I remember loving this book when I read it in English, but that was nearly 25 years ago ( :o ) and I don't remember the plot in detail.

Croatian
I watched another episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' on the treadmill.

Total - Russian: 73 mins, Croatian: 49 mins
3 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Caromarlyse » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:37 pm

Thanks. I'm going to give it a go - I've almost finished working through New Souvenir 3, but I'm not overly impressed by it, don't feel I've got a good handle on anything Russian at the moment and think some consolidation is definitely in order!
1 x

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:34 pm

3 January
The Christmas decorations had to come down today, so now the house looks a bit empty. And tomorrow will be back to work!

Russian
I continued with Schaum's Grammar this morning, which involved practising soft adjectives. Later I went on the treadmill and watched an episode of Татьянин день. The hero told Татьяна 1 that he had cheated on her, but didn't tell her that it was with Татьяна 2, so she still thinks Татьяна 2 is her best friend. The episode was actually quite exciting. Татьяна 1 called off the wedding and then when the hero came round to her family's flat to try and explain himself, two of her relatives beat him up so that he ended up in hospital with concussion. I was enjoying the treadmill so I watched 25 minutes of the next episode as well. Tатьяна 1 decided to cut her losses and leave Moscow to start a new life. I suspect this is very unlikely to happen, because there's a subplot going on where she's become a director of a building company and signed a contract which she didn't understand. There was a short scene with what looked like police officers, so I'm guessing that whatever she's signed, she's on track to get arrested.

Croatian
I decided to try writing in Croatian today to balance out yesterday's attempt at writing in Russian. I managed 331 words before I ran out of anything to say. I really do need to look up those prompts :lol:

I also started reading a novel called 'Čuvaj me' (Watch over me) by Daniela Sacerdoti. It's a translation from English, but I haven't read it (or heard of it) before. I'm about 30 pages in and so far so good. The story is told from multiple points of view and one of the narrators appears to be dead, so that's interesting.

Total - Russian: 91 mins, Croatian: 116 mins
6 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:51 pm

4 January
First day back at work after Christmas. It's surprising how many people send emails between Christmas and New Year, despite the fact that the office was closed.

Russian
Continuing with adjectives in Schaum's Grammar, today I practised the declension of those whose stem ends in г, к, or х.

I also read the second chapter of '4:50 from Paddington'. One of the good things about Agatha Christie is that the chapters are normally pretty short, so this one was only 10 pages. I'm going to try and read little and often in Russian for the time being until it starts feeling less like hard work :lol:

Croatian
I watched an episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' while on the treadmill. One of the characters found out today that he might never walk again. This is TV, so I'm sure he will walk again fairly soon. I also read another chapter of 'Čuvaj me'. The story is set in Scotland and today the main character ate a Tunnock's teacake. The translator diligently translated this as "Tunnockov čajni kolačić", but I do wonder whether this description would mean anything to Croatian readers; I've got no idea whether they sell them internationally but I always think of Tunnock's teacakes as being very Scottish.

Total - Russian: 33 mins, Croatian: 72 mins
5 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:10 pm

5 January
We're officially now in another lockdown in England, although I don't think it's going to make a huge difference to my daily life.

Russian
Today's exciting grammar topic was the declension of adjectives whose stems end in ш, ч, щ or ж. I seem to be slightly worse at these and only got about 75% on the exercises. Bizarrely most of my mistakes were to do with gender, for example I'd declined the adjective correctly for the case if it had been a masculine noun, but it was actually a feminine noun. It seems silly to make mistakes with gender in Russian because it isn't normally that hard. I think perhaps because feminine adjectives are significantly easier, I've been focusing on memorising the masculine endings and now I'm automatically applying them to everything :oops:

I also finished watching the episode of Татьянин день that I started watching on the treadmill the other day. Татьяна 1 still has no idea that it's Татьяна 2 that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with. Hope she finds out soon!

Total - Russian: 54 mins
8 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Radioclare
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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby Radioclare » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:26 pm

6 January
A little bit of snow today. I went into my bedroom in the middle of the day and according to the thermometer I have in there, the temperature was 12°c. I guess that's what Russian vloggers mean when they say houses in the UK are cold :lol:

Russian
This evening I started the section in Schaum's Grammar about short adjectives. I only spent about 15 minutes on it, so I was just covering how to form short adjectives.

I also read another chapter of '4:50 from Paddington'. This one was about 15 pages and felt less painful than I'd expected :)

Croatian
I watched an episode of 'Drugo ime ljubavi' on the treadmill. I'm trying to alternate between watching Russian one day and Croatian the next day. I also made some more progress with reading 'Čuvaj me' last night after updating my log, so I'm 78 pages into the story now. It's a pretty easy read, I haven't really come across any difficult words which I've needed to look up yet :)

Total - Russian: 39 mins, Croatian: 46 mins (today) plus 51 mins (yesterday)
3 x
Croatian SC books: 48 / 100 Croatian SC films: 61 / 100
Russian SC books: 48 / 100 Russian SC films: 39 / 100

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Re: Radioclare's 2021 log (Russian, Croatian)

Postby cjareck » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:39 pm

Radioclare wrote:6 January
A little bit of snow today. I went into my bedroom in the middle of the day and according to the thermometer I have in there, the temperature was 12°c. I guess that's what Russian vloggers mean when they say houses in the UK are cold :lol:

Well, we have in Poland a joke about it:
A grandson calls his grandpa that lives somewhere in Siberia:
- grandpa, I've heard that it is -60 degrees Celsius at your place!
- no, not that much. I think something like -20
- no, they are showing your village on TV, and they say it is -60!
- Aaaa, so you mean the temperature outside?
8 x
Please feel free to correct me in any language


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