There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU)

Postby MamaPata » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:37 am

So yes, Samara! One of our teachers was away this Monday so it seemed like a good time to do a weekend trip. This was my second holiday in Russia (last time I was here, I was working a lot and only managed to go to Moscow) so it was very exciting. It was also my first time taking the train in Russia. :o It's an overnight train from Moscow to Samara and I spent the train out in a shared compartment (with one man from Arkhangelsk who spoke very fast Russian) and then went in Platskartny (54 people) for the return.

Samara's a gorgeous city and I loved it - there's a real range of architecture from crumbling houses with incredible wooden detailing to concrete new builds. I love that kind of mix so I had a great time. It's also on the banks of the river Volga which meant a 5km embankment along sandy beaches. Number six on the list of things to do in Samara is to see the Monument to the Inventor of the Radiator. I thought this was hilarious and it was one of the main reasons I chose to come. It was even sunny the first day so I did a lot of wandering about for the most part, ticking off the various monuments!

The second day was apparently the 150th anniversary of something. This meant someone playing a kind of bagpipe and bayonet demonstrations. When the (actual) soldiers by the bayonets started to look at me, I decided I didn't need to know what it was the anniversary of and moved on! I then ended up in the military history museum, which was incredibly weird! I've never been to anything quite as overtly patriotic (or military focused) so it was pretty interesting. There was an area set up to show life in WWII, complete with bodies and burning houses (including a portrait of Stalin inside). I'm sorry my Russian isn't up to reading the exhibits though because it had information about Afghanisatan and Georgia, which would have been fascinating.

While I did speak some Russian, for the most part I was on my own and wasn't really speaking. Given that I am a very nervous traveller, this suited me pretty well (trying to deal with Russian too might have made me cry! :cry: ). In the future, hopefully I will be more used to it and will speak more.
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU)

Postby MamaPata » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:53 pm

This week's goals:
- 7 hours of Russian
Done! This was really useful. I am managing to do a lot more French than Russian, because I can actually follow shows in French. Whereas for Russian, it's very hard work to watch 10 minutes of a show and I only ever get the gist. So focusing on a specific number of hours of Russian really helps. I will continue to aim for this weekly but won't list it as a separate goal.
- Finish Pollyanna (I am ready to be done with it!)
Done! This is the first actual book I've read in Russian so it feels very exciting.
- Chapters 2 and 3 of Colloquial Russian
I finished Chapter 2 but not 3. I think this was probably aiming too high, as Colloquial Russian does move fairly fast through new concepts, whereas I would like more time to work on things.
- Finish Chapter 3 of Colloquial French
This I didn't manage. I haven't managed much official French study, which I want to work on this week.
- Do some Spanish work
Done! I had my first Spanish lesson for 4 years! I found a nice teacher on italki and have a few others bookmarked. It was very challenging as I have forgotten a lot of Spanish and my immediate response is always to think in Russian. But I really enjoyed it.

Next Week
- Chapter 3 Colloquial Russian (and work on dative exercises in the Khavronina)
- Chapter 3 Colloquial French
- 15 minutes of Spanish a day
- Increase reading.
- Watch three films in Russian for my project
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:01 pm

Last Week
- Chapter 3 Colloquial Russian (and work on dative exercises in the Khavronina)
Started but not finished. I really need to get my act together with the Colloquial books, because it will be useful for me and I want to work through them. But I haven't managed with either. :oops:
- Chapter 3 Colloquial French
See above!
- 15 minutes of Spanish a day
Everyday except Sunday, and often over 15 minutes. I was really pleased with this - I've missed Spanish!
- Increase reading.
Yep! Still some work to do, but I have now downloaded a ton of French books! :D
- Watch three films in Russian for my project
One and a bit... It's progress at least?

Overall I was really happy with this week. I did a lot more Russian than normal, I had italki lessons, I've signed up for new classes at university... But I do also just need to keep pushing it forward as I'm not being as productive as I could be.

This Week
- Chapter 3 Colloquial Russian
- Chapter 3 Colloquial French
- Two films for the project (three was aiming high, but I also want to get on with it!)
- Read Zamiatin's 'We' in Spanish. I've found a Spanish bookgroup in Moscow that's reading this so I want to see how it goes, because that would be a fun thing to join. I've read it in English for uni, so that should help.
- Learn a poem in Russian. My teachers have been pointing out that my accent in Russian is a bit dodgy, and I think this is something that does hold me back. But I hate pronunciation drilling, so this seems like a good way to get used to the sounds and learn something a bit more interesting!
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Elenia
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby Elenia » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:58 pm

MamaPata wrote:- Learn a poem in Russian. My teachers have been pointing out that my accent in Russian is a bit dodgy, and I think this is something that does hold me back. But I hate pronunciation drilling, so this seems like a good way to get used to the sounds and learn something a bit more interesting!


I imagine it will also be easier for you to find examples of people reading poems online (for free), so it's a double win!
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:28 am

Elenia - exactly! It seemed like a good way of balancing several skills. I haven't been super successful with it, but I hope to improve!

Last Week:

I was reasonably happy with last week's work - I did a lot of writing and practise beyond my goals. And I went to Nizhny Novgorod for the weekend, which was fun! It meant some train time so I used that to increase my French reading.

- Chapter 3 Colloquial Russian
Done! I am really hoping to push through this.
- Chapter 3 Colloquial French
Done!
- Two films for the project (three was aiming high, but I also want to get on with it!)
Sadly only one. But I am making progress.
- Read Zamiatin's 'We' in Spanish.
Started and will hopefully finish this week.
- Learn a poem in Russian.
Again, started but not yet learnt it by heart.

This week I am not going to set any goals. My girlfriend is coming at the weekend so I want to get as much done as possible before she arrives. (Aside from using Russian when we go out) I don't really plan on studying when she's here, for obvious reasons! She will be here for ten days so I'm just going to treat it like a holiday.
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:03 pm

Since May I have been keeping a spreadsheet to track the hours I spend on various activities, although it's predominantly for languages in my case. This has been really useful for me as it's very easy to think you're spending a lot of time on stuff, when actually it's far less significant than you think.

I have now reached 100 hours of Russian study. This is a slight understatement as I classify my university classes as university, not Russian, but it's a useful marker. It amounts to about 4 hours a week, which isn't really ideal (especially given that this is my degree). But it's nice to have the milestone. And this is a lot more than I would have managed without tracking, or if I hadn't found this forum.

I also set myself the goal of 250 language hours by the end of the year, and I should achieve this by the end of the week! This actually does feel quite exciting and I am definitely going to set a much higher goal for 2017.
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:44 am

My girlfriend has left and I am settling back into everyday life. I'm getting back into the swing of language learning but I do need to push it a bit further.

I have been compiling a memrise course of the vocabulary from the Colloquial Russian 2 course, which I am working through for the Course Completion Challenge. I have finally finished making this and it is available here if that's something anyone's interested in using. I am also planning to go through and add audio to it. One of my big issues in Russian is stress and I know I do better when I learn the word with the sound. I'm quite sad that there's much less Russian audio on memrise than there is for other languages. But that would be quite time consuming and I don't know if it's worth it, for the benefits.

But if anyone else has time on their hands and wants to help add sound, message me. :lol:

In other news, I have reached an 80 day memrise streak! I am terrible with regular habits, so this is exciting.
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:35 am

I am slowly working my way through Colloquial Russian: 5 / 14
I am going away in early December so I would really like to have finished it by then. This is a few weeks earlier than my current goal, but I think it might be good motivation for me.

Does anyone know of any quiz shows or websites in French or Russian? (Or Spanish!) I have a minor quiz addiction. :oops: I use the website Sporcle but this seems to be primarily in English (though I will try searching for quizzes in other languages). In English I watch a lot of shows like Only Connect and University Challenge. I never know the answers, but it's a hobby I guess! I'd probably need something easier in French and Russian, just because I don't have the same cultural background.

Any thoughts?
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Anya
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby Anya » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:03 pm

You can try to watch some episodes of "Один против всех" available on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CBJxWY_tOA
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Ogrim
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby Ogrim » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:17 am

The most popular, and longest-running quizz show in France is Questions pour un champion. It may not be the easiest show to follow though, as they tend to speak rather fast.
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