Assimil Le Russe :
Duolingo Russian :
Дэвид Эддингс - Обретение чуда :
Russian Pronunciation Trainer
Russian World 1
Red Kalinka - Stories in Russian A1
Red Kalinka - Stories in Russian A2.1
Red Kalinka - Stories in Russian A2.2
Time for another weekly update! I've done about 40h of Studying Russian over the last week which is a huge jump from 15h the week before. The reason for this jump is that I've made some progress with my reading comprehension and it usually takes longer before I start to develop a headache. I've played a lot with my favourite Russian dictionary Lingvo Live
in combination with Cooljugator
whenever the dictionary won't work out the base word properly. I've read about 60 pages - roughly 20% of the book - and by now even longer sentences seem to come together in the end. I still refer to the French translation for sentences where I'm not quite sure, but usually I'm actually right about the meaning. Also, I'm starting to figure out how shorter words make up longer words. It seems a lot like German in that regard. Still getting about 30-40% new words on every new page and some pages are a real grind with most of the new words mashed together in descriptive paragraphs with excessively long sentences. Depending on how many of those long sentences are on a page it takes me between 25-40min to figure out a page now.
As for courses and other formal materials: I've passed the halfway mark with Duolingo and found one skill that was actually somewhat useless: Verbs of motion. It felt totally insufficient! I guess it doesn't matter much for now, but I will have to buy a book on that one eventually.
I'm almost a third of the way through Assimil too and with some sentences my tongue seems to be turning into a knot. Lessons now take 40min rather than the initial 20min. Same goes for my daily 100XP on Duolingo while doing at least 50XP worth of new stuff. With 10min listening to the audiobook of ночной дозор and 10min Clozemaster I'm at more than 1 1/2h daily minimum now. I have played Clozemaster a steady 10minutes a day for the last 3 weeks and have played about 1000 sentences already of the 44000 sentences Fluency fast track. I actually find it so useful that I got myself a Pro subscription. Stats are super motivating for me and I was just getting annoyed by not being able to ignore some of the sentences. French
Since I was spending most of my time on Russian this last week I actually neglected my French a little. I don't mind, since I'm still getting French in Assimil Le Russe and I watch the occasional episode of Angel French dubs. I am however making lists of things to watch and read once I'm through my Russian Super Challenge.Spanish
These days I'm not doing anything to maintain my Spanish - I find the accent and ways of speaking over here obnoxious and I don't want any of that to make its way into my speaking. Occasionally I can't help overhearing conversations on the bus or train though, because people are so damn loud here. And what kind of conversations too!
Two middle-aged señoras:
Lady 1: "I only drink lemonade now. I just got so sick of the taste of water." (Uhm, if your water tastes of anything you should probably buy bottled water
Lady 2: "That must have a lot of sugar though ..." (Oh really?!
Lady 1: "Ah, I don't care about that! Nowadays everything is bad for you. Fat is bad, wheat is bad, sugar is bad. There is nothing left to eat! So, I don't care and drink my lemonade." (Great that you have the choice, if I eat sugar or wheat I eventually end up in hospital!
Lady 2: "I actually prefer juice ..." (
It has the same amount of sugar as lemonade!!!!
And despite all the eye-rolling I still feel guilty about wanting to listen to music, because this torture is actually free listening practice! At least idiotic small talk is better than oversharing not very appetising details of medical histories loudly on the bus
I should probably walk more, but it's still winter and I already walk enough while taking pictures! Other Spanish used this week: "Yes, my camera is old, it's from the 1950s.", "Yes, they still make film for it." and "I develop it myself, even colour film." I think I've said these 3 sentences about 150 times over the last year and I try to say them differently each time for variation, but then catch myself making stupid grammar mistakes because nobody ever speaks to me about anything else. Well, except dogs. I sometimes ask people whether I can take a picture of their dog and then I get lots of "Oh, isn't he cute" and "He's such a good dog" and I will say things like "He has such lovely eyes" or "I don't think he'll hold still for me".
I get lots of speaking practice for about a month each year with my Argentinian in-laws and that keeps me at B2 production, but other than that I only get not very deep camera bla or dog bla. No wonder I can't improve if nobody wants to speak to me about anything else! So much for immersion in the country - wrong country, wrong Spanish, quite obviously. But OK, rant over for now. It's my Russian year, so I probably won't complain about this again. My in-laws might visit in autumn and we might travel around Spain and France for a while, fingers crossed! And for next year I actually have an Argentinian year lined up. Argentinian Super Challenge, lots of Argentinian PhD stuff and I'll probably even find myself an Argentinian tutor to talk about Argentinian literature and correct some essays. That should finally get me to C1. And if I'm really really lucky I might even find the money to finance my archive work in Buenos Aires. 3 months practically living in the Biblioteca Nacional during the day and shooting a documentary project on a 100+ year old tango place at night. I can't wait!