Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

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stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
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Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 am

I used to be Stelle. But then I didn't log in to LLORG for a few years, and no matter how many times I clicked on the "forgot my password" button this past week, no password reset emails have found their way into my inbox. So here I am again, minus an -e.

The past few years have been tough for me. (Who haven't they been tough for, right?) I let languages go completely for a very long time, until early January when I realized that I had some italki credits and I booked a Spanish conversational class. Now all of a sudden I find myself doing a bunch of language stuff every day. Hey, why not go with it, right?

French and English: I grew up speaking both French and English, although I would say that English is currently my dominant language. I've spent most of my adult life teaching French.

Tagalog: I speak some conversational Tagalog, some of which I picked up years ago when I self-studied Tagalog from a textbook, but most of which I've learned in bits and pieces over my 20-year marriage to a native speaker. I don't speak very well, but I don't really need to, because every Filipino I know speaks English beautifully. I mostly speak Tagalog to make my in-laws and their friends laugh.

Spanish: I self-studied Spanish to an advanced level, and then just...stopped. That said, my Spanish level is advanced enough that after two years of absolutely nothing, I can still carry a complex conversation for an hour, read a novel, or watch the news in Spanish. My productive Spanish is not quite as strong as it was before, but I haven't seen a decline in my receptive Spanish. I think that it's just a question of practice and exposure at this point.

Russian: I started learning Russian a few years ago and fell in love with the alphabet. I spent a few months studying regularly, but then dropped it. I'm starting over from zero now. I'm using a few online resources, and studying Russian in a very low-key manner. I love the sound of the language, and I enjoy learning it, but it really isn't something that I expect to use in my day-to-day life. When I first started learning Russian, I was living in a neighbourhood with a large Russian-speaking population, but I've since moved to a much smaller (and less diverse) city.

My goals for 2022:

Get my Spanish back up to a level where I feel confident that I could pass a C1 test. Maybe even write the test? I don't know, probably not. It would only be for my own vanity, since I don't need Spanish for any reason other than a sheer love of the language. Regardless, I want to know that I could pass the C1 test, even if I never actually try.

Slowly and happily dabble in Russian, doing a little bit every day. I'd like to be able to hold a half-hour conversation with an italki conversational tutor by the end of the year, but I'm not putting any stress or pressure on myself. Honestly, learning Russian is mostly about getting back in touch with my love for learning languages.
Last edited by stell on Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Iversen
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby Iversen » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:21 am

Welcome back. It does in fact seem that the 'forgot my password' mechanism is one of the weak points of this forum.

I can see that you last visited the forum 14. March 2021, and I can also see that you wrote your last message one year earlier back then in your log. In principle it should be possible to give you a new password for your old ID and tell it to you through a PM to the new ID, but I can't enter your profile so if you want to have it done you have to ask rdearman. You can also have the message above attached to the old log if you want that.

EDIT: oops! :oops:
3 x

User avatar
stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:53 am

Iversen wrote:Welcome back. It does in fact seem that the 'forgot my password' mechanism is one of the weak points of this forum.

I can see that you last visited the forum 1. March 2021, and I can also see that you wrote your last message back then in your log. In principle it should be possible to give you a new password for your old ID and tell it to you through PM to the new ID, but I can't enter your profile so if you want to have it done you have to ask rdearman. You can also have the message above attached to the old log if you want that.


Thank you! And I had to laugh when you said that I posted in March 2021. Less than a year ago...but it FEELS as though it's been years. :D
(Edited to add: I probably did visit the forum last year! But my last post was in march 2020. So I'm glad that I haven't completely lost all sense of time. Ha!)

As for my old ID...no, that's fine, I don't need to access it! My old log and old profile don't really matter. I just wanted to be able to log my learning somewhere, and this has always been my favourite place.
Last edited by stell on Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jeff_lindqvist
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2773
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:44 am

Maybe your two accounts can be merged as well. Less clunky.
4 x
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User avatar
stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:38 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Maybe your two accounts can be merged as well. Less clunky.

Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe I'll contact rdearman at some point and see what I should do. But I'm not really worried about it. I don't mind starting over with a new profile.
1 x

User avatar
stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:43 pm

Spanish resources

I've started listening to the daily 15-minute news reports on Democracy Now (https://www.democracynow.org/es/programas) over my morning coffee, and reading along as I listen. Iguanamon recommended Democracy Now to me years ago, possibly here but probably on HTLAL. Listening and reading daily for a few months back then gave my Spanish a huge boost, and I truly believe that it helped me cross the bridge from intermediate to advanced. When I first started listening years ago, the announcer seemed to speak almost impossibly quickly. I still remember that feeling of mild panic the first time I listened! It helped me to speed up my reading and listening comprehension.

Last night I picked up La casa de los espíritus for the first time in two years. I was at page 186, and I really didn't want to start over, so I just opened it and started back up where I was. I only read 10 pages, but it took me longer than usual - partly because I can't remember who anyone is, and partly because I read lots of sections out loud. It's a beautiful book, and I can't believe that I got so far into it and then just dropped it.

Yesterday I also had a one-hour session with a conversational tutor from italki. We talked about all sorts of topics, and I had no problem conversing, but a few times I found myself blanking out on really simple words that I learned as an absolute beginner: cola, abrigo, verano. I forgot the word verano. Verano. As soon as I looked up each word, it was obvious. But my active Spanish definitely needs a refresher! I've committed to five weekly conversation sessions on Saturday mornings.

We recently moved, and my Gramática del uso del español C1-C2 is lost in a box somewhere in the basement. I do have a copy of The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice by Gordan and Stillman, and I tried a few pages, but it was too easy. That said, I do need to review some verb conjugations. I might use it to get into the habit, and eventually try to motivate myself to dig through the boxes in the basement.
9 x

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iguanamon
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby iguanamon » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:19 pm

Welcome back Stell/Stelle! It's good to see you here once more, back at it again!
2 x

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MorkTheFiddle
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
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Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:30 pm

Welcome back from me, too, whichever nom-de-llorg you happen to be! :)
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

User avatar
stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
x 365

Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:39 pm

iguanamon wrote:Welcome back Stell/Stelle! It's good to see you here once more, back at it again!
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Welcome back from me, too, whichever nom-de-llorg you happen to be! :)

Thanks to both of you! It's nice to be back! I hadn't even realized how much I missed learning languages as a hobby.
1 x

User avatar
stell
Yellow Belt
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:25 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: English (N1), French (N2), Spanish (advanced), Tagalog (perpetual toddler), Russian (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=17696
x 365

Re: Stell's log: Russian and Spanish

Postby stell » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:43 pm

Russian resources

As I mentioned earlier in my log, I’m taking a very low-stress approach to learning Russian. While I’ve been dedicating about an hour per day to Russian over the past week, I’m not at all concerned with finding the fastest or the most efficient way to learn. So disclaimer: I’m fully aware that my current methods and resources may not be the best ones! They’re just the ones that I’m currently having the most fun with.

I had already started the Duolingo tree a few years ago, but of course I couldn’t remember much at all, so I wiped my progress and started over from the beginning. I usually do level one of a skill on the mobile app, and then I go and read the grammar tips on desktop before advancing to level 2. I know that many people hate ambiguity, but I kind of enjoy puzzling things through the first time without any explanations. But for Duolingo to have any value as a resource, I think that those explanations on desktop are absolutely necessary at some point. It really bothers me that they’ve omitted them from the mobile app.

I’m also using Russian 1 on Memrise. Again, I reset my progress so that I could start over from the beginning. The Memrise course has more features than it used to. I enjoy the silly little skits and videos that they’ve added to the course. While I think Duolingo is best done on desktop rather than on the mobile app, I actually much prefer using Memrise on the mobile app. This is solely due to how frustrated I get having to hunt and peck out each letter on desktop.

I have access to the first 20 lessons of Pimsleur, and I just finished unit 5 today. I realize that I’m probably an anomaly, but I don’t find Pimsleur boring at all! I really enjoy going for a half hour walk while listening and answering out loud. I’d probably fall asleep if I tried to do it sitting at a desk, but I love the combination of walking and learning.

I’m going to alternate Pimsleur units with the Russian Made Easy podcast. The first lesson had a lot more English than I would usually like, but it was fun to listen to, and I really enjoyed the videos after the lesson. The creator has obviously put a lot of time and effort into these lessons! There are 30 lessons in all, and I’ve only finished the first one. I’ll probably do the first five or so, and then reevaluate at that point.

For now, that’s it! 15 minutes on Memrise, 15 minutes on Duolingo, and a half hour of audio come up to an hour per day. While I’m keeping an ongoing list of resources to check out later on in my learning journey, I'm keeping things fun, simple and stress-free for now.
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