neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency Продолжается!

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Ed1991
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Re: neofight78's log - Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency

Postby Ed1991 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:12 pm

neofight78 wrote:
On his log Ed1991 mentioned the film "О чём говорят мужчины" which reminded me about "Квартет И" and their series of videos "Мужской словарь". We used one of their videos in one of the lessons at the language school in Novosibirsk, I might try using some of their videos for listening practice, although perhaps the level is a little too easy for me, we'll see...

The four guys from О чём говорят мужчины are also in День выборов. I imagine you have probably already seen it, but I thought I might as well mention it. It's not bad light watching and also very easy to find on YouTube and elsewhere. For those who use Subs2srs it's also possible to find subs in both Russian and English.
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Re: neofight78's log - Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency

Postby neofight78 » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:09 am

Ed1991 wrote:The four guys from О чём говорят мужчины are also in День выборов. I imagine you have probably already seen it, but I thought I might as well mention it. It's not bad light watching and also very easy to find on YouTube and elsewhere. For those who use Subs2srs it's also possible to find subs in both Russian and English.


Cool, thanks. No, I've not seen it, perhaps it could be a possible candidate for my next subs2srs film...
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Re: neofight78's log - Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency

Postby neofight78 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:50 pm

I am well overdue an update! :oops:

I did get caught up with all my flashcards but now I got a little behind again, reading has been a little affected too as I'm tending to read only one article at lunchtime rather than two. Some of the discipline has gone out of my routine due to a few different factors. Partly this has been trying to get more sleep and exercise and partly because more recently I've become a bit more "social" in terms communicating in Russian via Skype and WhatsApp. Indeed in terms of production Russian is probably rivalling my English output (as a programmer I don't have to talk at work all that much :lol:). This is beginning to have the amusing consequence of accidentally saying things in Russian to colleagues, friends, and shop assistants etc. Usually it's something simple like да or что, although when browsing through netflicks with my friend on Saturday night I managed to "Это смешной фильм"! Anyhow, I'm sure my routine will settle down just in time for Christmas to spoil it.

I stayed over at my friends at Saturday, and he and his girlfriend went to bed early because they have a small child. It was far too early for me so I decided to use the opportunity to watch a Russian film. A few months ago I persuaded him to by an apple tv so it was a simple case of searching for something on YouTube with my phone and streaming it to the tv. Anyhow I picked "Жестокий романс", which is an excellent film but terribly depressing :lol:

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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby neofight78 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:09 pm

It's a long time since my last post. An indicator of the fact that I'm not quite getting as much time on studying Russian as I would like. Although I am actively using Russian everyday, my studying has become somewhat inconsistent thanks to New Year and the two Christmases. At the same time I'm trying to get a bit more sleep and exercise into my routine. Anyhow hopefully things will settle down now the holidays are over.

It's a new year, and it's been a few months since I passed the B2 exam. It's time for me to contemplate how to get to C1. So here's a rather jumbled selection of thoughts, and if anyone has any input to make it would be most appreciated. I expect these musing to continue for a little while.

  • Listening Comprehension
      As previously discussed this was a bit of a revelation in the exam. Comprehension in conversation is excellent, but somewhat poorer for films, news, and radio etc. So I want to tackle this head on. I've got two approaches in mind, but feel free to chip in with more. I would also say, I am still uncertain as to how effective these two approaches are.

    • I've already started using subs2srs a little, I'm going to try to ramp this up a bit.
    • I want to work with short clips intensively, listening, re-listening and then comparing with the transcript, re-listening to the bits I could decipher before. This is what we did in the classes in the language school.
  • Grammar
      I want to attack this on two fronts. I want to cover new areas and also tackle those things I regularly get wrong before they become too ingrained. A couple of issues I feel may need tackling are below, although I will consult with my teacher and just accordingly.

    • Aspect - I learned enough rules to get a good result in the exam. But it requires some work to get all this right when speaking and writing. Any good sources of instruction and practice material would be welcome.
    • Verb conjugation - I've never been very systematic with this, so there are some holes. Most of the time I am fine, but sometimes I know the infinitive but I'm not sure how to conjugate it.
    • Case endings - Another back to basic item. Most of the time I am fine, but I'm a bit weaker on some more of the less frequent endings. So it needs a bit of revision for these.
  • Speaking
      My speaking is reasonable, although I tend to be a little bit on the slow side. I guess there are a couple of factors, some of the grammar points above can slow me down sometimes. Often I have to work around gaps in vocabulary, or I am missing a construction necessary to express an idea. I'm getting plenty of conversation practice, so I think as my other studies progress and fill those holes in, my speaking will get better by itself.
  • Writing
      Really not a priority for me outside of exam prep. I write the occasional short article on italki, and I'm now regularly texting on whatsapp. In general I think that's enough at this stage.
  • Reading
      The past year or so I've been reading short texts intensively with LingQ. I feel this has worked quite well for me. However, many people, including my teacher, extol the virtues of extensive reading. On the other hand, I think Expugnator recently said that he'd done too much of it and felt that this was a mistake. I did start to try to read a book extensively using Readlang, but I found it tough going and there were to many unknowns and stops and starts to really follow the story. So I gave up. What are peoples's thoughts on this?
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby Expugnator » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:40 am

Yes I've done too much extensive reading and no intensives reading, and that was my mistake. As Iversen days, extensive reading is for consolidating what you already know, and in my case I went for it when I actually didn't have that which I would consolidate yet.
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby neofight78 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:52 am

Yesterday I spent around 6 hours speaking and about 2 hours on flashcards. I also finished watching an episode of Метод Фрейда. It was nice to get a full day of study in :) I've accumulated a bit of a Christmas/New Year backlog with the flashcards, and I managed to blitz my vocabulary, idioms, and subs2srs decks. This leaves me with the grammar and sentence decks to catch up on.

I've also started doing a little reading before sleep with my kindle. We'll see if this beds in as a habit or not, but currently I'm trying to read The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. I found it in the Russian teen section of the amazon store (although it doesn't seem to be available anymore). I still need to look up quite a few words, but currently I'm hopeful the level of language is simple enough that I can persevere without too much struggle, we will see...

I also spoke with my teacher and she agreed that aspect was something I needed to work on. Other common problems include word order, the use of the word так (although I think this probably also falls under word order), and the case government of short form adjectives.

So if anyone has any recommendations for good textbooks/exercises on aspect, that would be much appreciated. I don't think looking up or knowing the rules is too much of a problem, it's more a question of finding and doing enough exercises to ingrain the rules in such a way that I can use the correct aspect when speaking.
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby Arnaud » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:35 am

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Last edited by Arnaud on Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby neofight78 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:06 am

Well, I've finished watching the series Метод Фрейда. I was a bit sceptical to begin with, but it turned out to be a fairly decent series. Not sure what to go with next. I've started watching Остров Ненужных Людей, although I'm only part way through the first episode, so I don't know if it's any good yet.



I'm also chipping away at the post Christmases/New Years flashcard backlog. I should be through it all sometime next week I guess.

To carry on with my musings...

I'm thinking of trying to be a bit more systematic with my speaking practice. I have a pretty decent conversational core and can talk about most things, but I still from time to time stray into topics about which I struggle to talk. Does anyone know of a good list of topics? There are plenty of stereotypical lists aimed a tourists or students, but I don't really want to talk anymore about Russian traditions or immigration. Perhaps there's a better system than just having a list, I don't know. Anyhow, one to ponder.

Another problem I have with my study routine is that I always want to add something new, and never take anything away. What with the constraints of work and sleep, the net result seems to be that my routine doesn't change that much. As people probably have already noticed, I'm pretty flashcard heavy and I think that's worked pretty well for me up to this point. But on the other hand I want to try a few other things out, especially working more on the listening skills. I guess I'm not sure how to prioritise things. Probably the only solution is to sack work off and become some kind of language hermit! :lol:
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby neofight78 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:59 am

Well, I could'nt make it through the first episode of Остров Ненужных Людей, I got too bored. So viewing suggestions would be appreciated :D

I've spent pretty much most of Saturday and Sunday studying so that was great :D I've not completely caught up on all the flashcards but I've made a nice dent in the backlog. I also got a load of new cards prepared.

Saturday morning I spoke to a someone new. He's a teacher of computer science, so I'm hoping this language exchange may turn into something that will help me develop my ability to talk about programming. Not that it's a subject I'm keen to talk about in and of itself but rather I have an eye on working in Russia for a while at some point in the future.

I've also started taking lessons with a teacher that likes to work with video clips and add subtitles and annotations. The great thing is that I can get all the context and explanations in the lesson, and then I can use subs2srs to really nail it all down. Given the clips are only a few minutes long, it means I can get through all the cards quickly and get a sense of completion, whereas a whole film is a big more of a slog. Learning wise it probably makes little difference, but psychologically those smaller milestones help a lot.

This Saturday was a clip form Интерны, and it made it obvious to me why the series is hard to follow. There really is a high number of expressions and cultural references. Of course these little constructions and phrases that are so common in everyday speech (although no doubt there appear even more frequently in интерны) get little coverage in textbooks and dictionaries. So I am hoping getting a grip on these will give my listening comprehension a big boost, although of course it's not the only factor.

I need to get back in to the reading habit after Christmas, and I'm going to have a go at moving this to before work and use my lunchtimes for speaking practice. I am moving things around a bit because as I mentioned previously I'm trying to change my sleeping and exercising habits somewhat. Anyhow, we'll see how this goes.

Overall, I'm feeling back in the swing and really motivated to study. Onwards and upwards!
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Re: neofight78's Wayward Ramble to Russian Fluency [TAC 2016]

Postby geoffw » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:22 pm

Expugnator wrote:Yes I've done too much extensive reading and no intensives reading, and that was my mistake. As Iversen days, extensive reading is for consolidating what you already know, and in my case I went for it when I actually didn't have that which I would consolidate yet.


I might add that intensive reading is for crystallizing what you almost know. When I see/hear a word over and over, I am much more likely to remember it when I finally look it up. Than when I look a word up the first time I see it. It's all a cycle.
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