The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:23 am

blaurebell wrote:
Atinkoriko wrote:I still have a few questions please. First of all, how much paper and how low quality? Also, does the paper have to be A4? In my Amazon peek through the book, I saw manilla paper to be used for the first exercise. Can I use copier paper instead?


I find anything below A4 gets a little too small for quick drawing. You will throw away most of the drawings, so the cheaper the paper the better - they're just exercises. Copier paper is fine, it's what I use too. Don't skimp on the other materials though, there's nothing worse than a cheap pencil that breaks all the time when you're trying to do quick drawings!


Sorry for the onslaught of questions, but the book mentions manilla paper with the first exercise. Did you use manilla paper or A4 instead? I've tried to find manilla paper online and it's annoyingly hard to find
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:41 pm

Atinkoriko wrote:Sorry for the onslaught of questions, but the book mentions manilla paper with the first exercise. Did you use manilla paper or A4 instead? I've tried to find manilla paper online and it's annoyingly hard to find


You probably won't be able to find that kind of paper in Europe. Basically it really doesn't matter, it's just the cheapest paper in the US apparently. I always used A4 copier paper and it works just fine.
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:56 pm

As usual, it's always a bag of mixed feelings when starting a new language. On one hand, the sheer excitement and eagerness to explore the unknown. On the other hand, the frustration of trying to wrap one's head around said unknown in order to progress past A0 at least.

Luckily, I did some dabbling in Russian and used that time to learn the alphabet. It was a bit overwhelming then, but I think my brain's gotten somewhat used to seeing a 'B' and thinking 'Hey, that's actually a v'

Now, on to the resources.
- Michel Thomas Russian
- Assimil Russian without Toil 1951 and the 2011 Russian with Ease
- My copy of the New Russian Penguin Course should soon arrive, but I'm using the library version for now.
- Pimsleur Russian
-Decided to hold off on Modern Russian for now until I get to A2.
-Holding off on Glossika Russian till then.
-Uncle Davey's Russian playlist
- Russian World on Youtube


I may dip in and out of other resources that catch my eye, but these are the ones I will focus on for now.







MICHEL THOMAS RUSSIAN

So far, I've gone over the first two 2 CDs of Michel Thomas Russian Foundation. I somewhat have misgivings about this course, but its too early to form any conclusions.

What I like:
- As always, the calm approach to teaching a new language. As usual, it starts with an identification of the cognates between Russian and English and we're gradually eased into making simple sentences. This is a great confidence builder, in my opinion, as it seems to dispel the notion that the language is actually difficult. Keep Calm and Learn A New Language.

-The non grammar heavy approach to teaching grammar. I'd prefer to learn a grammar concept without knowing its official name, and then learn the official usage later. When starting German and language learning in general, I learnt 'mir' as 'to me' and was fully familiar with it before I learnt it was the 'Ist person dative personal pronoun'. Heavy grammar upfront = not helpful. However, I already have a knowledge of Grammarian or Grammalese now, so I automatically make associations even when not given the explicit term in the course ie Мне = mir, as far as I know etc

- The fact that the instructor, who is a successor of the late Michel Thomas, is a Russian native speaker. This is rather helpful, as Michel's pronounciation used to be a small gripe of mine when it came to the other courses. To be fair, he wasn't a native speaker of those languages, and I can't say that hearing his pronunciation at the A0 level negatively impacted my pronunciation now ie since shadowing a quarter of Assimil tends to set things right. However, it's nicer to have a native speaker conduct the course, even if she lack's Michel's flair for teaching and his warmth.


What I don't like

- I know this has been repeated ad nauseam, but the recorded students of a Michel Thomas course tend to be annoying sometimes. For this course, it's particularly in the realm of pronunciation. Their mistakes are even more pronounced when the instructor, who is a native speaker, repeats the correct sentence with the correct pronunciation. In all fairness, these were actually A0 beginners like me and usually selected because they were monolingual people with no experience of language learning, so we should probably be less hard on them. That still doesn't stop an involuntary wince when I hear a sentence being mangled. Wherever they may be now, I do hope their pronunciation is better.


Misgivings
- I read an Amazon review that stated that the course only teaches you two cases, out of Russian's 6. Now, I don't know how true this may be because I haven't progressed much further in the course but I do remember the German course as being inadequate in terms of teaching declension. Perhaps this may be the case. In any case, I like to do a variety of courses so I don't need to rely on this course to teach me that. However, it would be nice to get those explanations in a relatively painless manner, at least enough to get my bearings. I personally find it impossible to learn a new concept from formal explanations, and would rather see it used in context first and informally explained. Comprehension > formality, it seems.


In all, I'll hold my peace until I have finished the Foundation course (which should be in the next 6 days, since 1 CD a day feels natural to me)




ASSIMIL RUSSIAN
After doing a few lessons of Russian with Ease, I have decided to go with the 1951 Russian without Toil. I've read, on this board, that the Russian with Ease progresses too slowly and that the Russian without Toil progresses too sharply.
At this initial stage, I'd have to agree with both statements.

Just off the bat, Lesson 1 of Russian without Toil flings 11 sentences at you (including a conjugation of 'to like' on line 10), which are all spoken fairly quickly by two different voice actors. The sentences are not complicated, as it is Lesson 1 after all, but it's a lot to take in at first especially when compared to Lesson 1 of Russian With Ease - which gives about 6 sentences spoken quite slowly indeed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, blaurebell, but it seemed you mentioned that the lessons in RWE do not pick up speed until the 20th lesson. This seems true, from my comparison of the corresponding lessons in both courses.

Personally, I don't think I'll mind the steep progression so I will use Russian Without Toil as my primary course. However, I will also use Russian With Ease as an auxiliary course but with no shadowing (since it's rather tiring).


For the time being, I have decided to casually go through the course as quickly as I can since I can't really add a proper shadowing routine to my schedule because of approaching exams. I'll simple read/listen (and occasionally repeat) my way through it, keeping my eyes peeled for anything that can be gleaned really. I'll go through it properly during the summer but this is all I can do now.



Pimsleur Russian
Pretty standard. Pronunciation and grammar structures are the key concerns with Russian. Getting started on the first level, since a 30 minute morning slot is easy to fit into my non-summer schedule.




New Penguin Russian Course
My first impression is that the praise it gets is well deserved. The layout is beginner friendly, the explanations are short and sweet, and the exercises are sensible. I'll work through it slowly and in conjunction to Assimil, dipping in to get explanations where Assimil's are lacking. In all, feeling very positive about this course.



Uncle Davey's Playlist/Russian World
Both helped in dispelling some of my confusion, the former with regards to hard and soft consonants, and the latter with regards to Russian cursive.
The use of English grammar in order to explain the concept of hard and soft consonants is certainly helpful. The Latin row over the pronunciation of 'c' also comes to mind, and helps me get my head around it.

The Russian World presenter's combination of a soft Russian accent and an American southern drawl certainly makes me smile. What makes me happier are the videos in which she demonstrates the strokes needed to form the cursive letters. It's far easier, in my opinion, to learn cursive from a video because you can see the beginning and end points of the pen when each letter is formed.
Also, I find that Russian cursive isnt too different from English cursive with regards to the principles behind pen strokes. However, I've already had some experience with cursive prior to this and I wonder if it would be more difficult for a person with no experience with cursive in either language.



And that will be all. Whew, what a long post
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blaurebell
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:45 pm

Atinkoriko wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, blaurebell, but it seemed you mentioned that the lessons in RWE do not pick up speed until the 20th lesson.


Exactly right! That was the only thing that I found annoying with the Assimil Le Russe. The audio was just painfully slow at the beginning :roll:
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:55 am

Small update:

Done about 14 lessons of Assimil and compiling my grammar sheets on a strictly need to know basis ie if I find a new declension of 'my', I'll write it down on my blue A4 sheets along with the context and some other notes etc. This way, I hope to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed by the grammar. For the Assimil speedrun, the process is like this:

1. Listen once to the recording
2. Stop and compare the Russian and English sides of the page
3. Eventually try to read the Russian without the English
4. Repeat each sentence at least once as I wriggle through it the left side of the page
5. After that is done, I read the grammar notes and note down anything that catches my eye. So far, I've learnt some spelling rules, rules about stress, some personal pronouns in the different cases, the prepositional case etc. This is far more fun, to notice unfamiliar grammar first and then try to puzzle it out, rather than being presented with it and being ordered to do exercises. The 'Aha' feeling I get when I add a note to my grammar sheet is the only thing that is making grammar study tolerable.
6.Listen to the recording again, shrug and move to the next lesson.


So far, 7 lessons a day seems to be a somewhat natural pace as I seem to get bored once I'm through with the review lessons. I don't expect to retain much from this speedrun, but I hope to make the course more understandable when I start from the beginning and do 1 lesson a day as recommended. Also, my reading of the alphabet seems to have improved somewhat and I have no doubt that it'd be less difficult to read by the time I finish the speedrun.

Did a lesson of Duolingo and switched to computer so that I could have access to the grammar notes and the discussion board.


Verdict: всё хорошо :D
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:52 am

Just 15 more hours remaining till I finish the film/video part of my French SC (or Half SC). I'd say that it's certainly helped a lot with regards to parsing very rapid speech, but I'm not just 'there' yet. Phonology concerns have certainly been laid to rest, as I can finally correctly subvocalise when I read a text in French. I may simply focus on the reading side of the SC (in conjunction with the audiobooks) and see where I stand after 1,500 pages and a few hours of audiobook listening.
That's back to Le Rouge et Le Noir then, with the corresponding audiobook on my Audible app.

The Assimil Spanish without Toil active wave starts tomorrow.
Who knows, I may actually finish an Assimil course this time.
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Arnaud » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:10 am

Atinkoriko wrote:- I read an Amazon review that stated that the course only teaches you two cases, out of Russian's 6.
The 6 cases are taught, but relatively late in the course: as far as I remember, it starts with the second disc of the "vocabulary" level (foundation (8), advanced (4), vocabulary (4))
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:16 am

Arnaud wrote:
Atinkoriko wrote:- I read an Amazon review that stated that the course only teaches you two cases, out of Russian's 6.
The 6 cases are taught, but relatively late in the course: as far as I remember, it starts with the second disc of the "vocabulary" level (foundation (8), advanced (4), vocabulary (4))


Thank you, Arnaud. That's good news to hear
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:36 pm

The more I think about it, the more I realise that my decision to start with German must have had some sort of divine inspiration :lol:
Somehow, I'd stumbled on a language not too unapproachable as to discourage me from the start entirely but also not as accessible as a Romance language, thus forcing me to learn how to learn and also build good study habits. As I trudge through Russian grammar, I'm rather pleased at the fact that I'd been introduced to case systems in German. Sure, Russian adds 2 more cases but I'm glad that I don't have to learn the other ones from scratch.
This wouldn't be going so well if I'd decided to learn Russian first, as a beginner to language learning. I'd probably have given up and I'd not be writing in this log today.
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:57 am

Forgot to add that I also have the old Colloquial Russian course. Three days ago, the first lessons were totally unintelligible but now I'd been able to work through the first two chapters. Did about 70 percent of CD3 of Michel Thomas Foundation but lost interest and switched to Assimil - of which I only managed to do 4 lessons today. Reading is becoming less painful and I've managed to get my head round a fair bit of grammar today with my grammar sheets. I think the 'shrug and come back to it' approach is right for me- if I try a new lesson with one of my resources and I don't understand it, I shrug and go do something else with the intention of coming back to it when I can understand it.

A little Duolingo before I call it a day. Toyed with the idea of doing some front loading of vocab with Anki or Memrise but I've decided against it. I'm feeling quite positive and relaxed now, and SRS tends to stress me out.
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