Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

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Radioclare
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Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:20 pm

New year, new log. It would be nice if there was a new me as well, but that's a bit harder to arrange :D

My goals for this year are:

1. Read 10 novels in German. This is coincidentally the number of German novels I have in my to-read pile after Christmas. And it should be enough to stop my German becoming too rusty.

2. Read 6,510 pages in Croatian. If I can achieve it, this would be enough for me to finish the current Super Challenge with a double challenge in reading. I'm not sure whether this quantity is actually achievable, as it would mean reading approximately 1.5 novels in Croatian every month, but we will see!

3. Watch 11,871 minutes of Croatian TV. This is the magic number that would bring me to a double challenge in the films part of the Super Challenge too. My first thought was that this number was definitely not achievable. But, when I did the calculations, I found it worked out as 3.8 hours per week which is roughly five 45-minute TV episodes. The series I'm currently watching broadcasts five episodes per week, so suddenly this doesn't feel too unrealistic.

4. Spend at least 30 minutes per day every day learning Russian as part of the 365-day challenge. This is the big one for me: either I make some significant progress with Russian this year, or I give up. I been half-heartedly claiming to learn this language for ages now and if I can't do better this year than I have for the previous two, I think it's time for me to accept that either a) It's just too hard for me or b) I don't have enough motivation to succeed. I don't know yet, but 2019 might just be the year I end up actually going to Russia and even if I don't, I am definitely going to Ukraine for a couple of days in May. If that isn't sufficient motivation, I don't know what is :)

Otherwise, I have a general goal of wanting to improve my Croatian, but that's not really quantifiable and, realistically, I am likely to spend more time on Russian at least over the next few months. The most useful things I could do in Croatian would be attempting an Output Challenge and/or working through some of the more advanced Croatian grammar books that I have. However, unfortunately there is only so much free time in the day, and so I don't think I can commit to doing either of these things seriously at the moment.

As I mentioned at the end of my 2018 log, 2019 may also involve a bit of Bulgarian if I plan a trip to Bulgaria over the summer. I did get some Bulgarian resources for Christmas :) I also got some novels in Slovene, which is my next big temptation. There will definitely be some serious learning of Slovene at some point, but probably not until 2020.

Good luck to everyone with your goals for 2019 :)
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:21 pm

1 January
I'm starting the year in Finland, which is beautiful and snowy. There are only 4 - 5 hours of daylight where I am at the moment, so I have packed plenty of books - including grammar books - to keep me busy.

Russian
Over the past few days I've been using Schaum's Russian Grammar. I've had this book for ages (maybe actually since 2011), but rarely opened it. I decided to take it on holiday because I thought it might be helpful for me to get a different perspective on the genitive from another textbook. Also because I feel like I'm limited in how much forward progress I can make with the Penguin Russian course while I'm in Finland, because I'm staying in an apartment with no Wi-Fi and I desperately need to input the vocabulary from Lesson 11 into Memrise so that I can learn it before I move on to Lesson 12.

Yesterday I therefore started working my way through the Schaum's chapter on nouns and did the exercises on accusative case endings. Today I tackled the genitive ones; I haven't finished all of them yet and I'm averaging something like 6 or 7 out of 10 when I check the answers, but I do feel like I'm making a bit of progress :)

Total time = 49 minutes. Streak = 1 day
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Serpent » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:26 pm

Удачи :D
I hope you still have the stuff I got for you :) I do think with your Croatian (and Russian textbook basics) you should be able to just jump into reading Russian, especially on familiar topics like Montenegro ;)
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:02 pm

Serpent wrote:I hope you still have the stuff I got for you :) I do think with your Croatian (and Russian textbook basics) you should be able to just jump into reading Russian, especially on familiar topics like Montenegro ;)


Of course, it's all on my Slavic shelf :-) So far all I've really been able to use are the handwriting books and everything else I'm saving. I probably could try reading something simple and understand a bit, but I'm not sure whether I'd learn anything from it at this stage. A few weeks ago I spent a while watching Thomas the Tank Engine in Russian and I could understand a fair bit but it was based on things sounding similar to Croatian as opposed to any great progress I've made with Russian, so I stopped.

Basically, I feel like I need to succeed in finishing at least one Russian textbook before I start reading/watching anything :-)
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Teango » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:11 pm

Good luck with all your goals this year, Radioclare, and ни пуха ни пера for making that breakthrough in Russian!
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Serpent » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:30 pm

Radioclare wrote:A few weeks ago I spent a while watching Thomas the Tank Engine in Russian and I could understand a fair bit but it was based on things sounding similar to Croatian as opposed to any great progress I've made with Russian
That's how you start out in any related language :) And reading may be more efficient for you, at least I hope so :)
And if you want to finally make progress this year I don't think you should worry about saving the books for later. You can get some in Kiev and even in Bulgaria I guess, not to mention ordering online or using free materials :oops: :) And you can reread them when your level is higher :)
I would definitely be sad if you abandoned Russian without giving these books a try :P

(And if you do start Slovenian, wouldn't you read from the beginning? I know it's more similar to Croatian, but still)
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:59 pm

Serpent wrote:That's how you start out in any related language :) And reading may be more efficient for you, at least I hope so :)
And if you want to finally make progress this year I don't think you should worry about saving the books for later. You can get some in Kiev and even in Bulgaria I guess, not to mention ordering online or using free materials :oops: :) And you can reread them when your level is higher :)
I would definitely be sad if you abandoned Russian without giving these books a try :P


I've never learned a related language before, so I'm finding it a strange experience!

I would be sad if I abandoned Russian full stop, but at some point I'm going to have to stop failing to learn it and start failing to learn a different language instead :D I have some simple children's books, so my plan is that once I manage to get to the end of a textbook (any textbook!) I'll start trying to read those and see how I get on.

(And if you do start Slovenian, wouldn't you read from the beginning? I know it's more similar to Croatian, but still)


I think Slovene will be really different because it's so much more transparent. When I was in Ljubljana last summer, I could understand a fair bit of the football commentary for the world cup matches. I mean, sometimes I couldn't understand anything at all, but then I'd understand several sentences all at once. I understood more than I would have done if it was in French, as a comparison. So yes, if I could find a good online dictionary then I probably would just start reading straight away. Especially given I now have several novels and no textbooks :D But I honestly think I need another few months of learning vocabulary and grammar before I try reading in Russian.

***

2 January
It's easy to make 30 minutes a day to study when you're on holiday :) And especially when you don't have proper internet!

Russian
I continued with Schaum's Russian grammar today, finishing the exercises on the genitive and reading the sections on the prepositional and the dative too. These are nice cases, especially the prepositional. In fact, the prepositional is so easy that the book didn't even give any exercises on it :D I worked my way through all the exercises on the dative, so I just have the instrumental left for tomorrow. I am finding doing exercises very helpful. It's easy to read something and think you understand it, but I definitely learn a lot more by trying a question, getting it wrong, and then trying to figure out why. Russian grammar feels a lot like mathematics in that respect :)

I think the first day that this 30 minutes per day is going to be a real challenge for me is Friday, when I have a full day of travelling back from Lapland. I need to remember to pack my textbooks in my hand luggage so that I can do some studying either during or in between my flights!

Total time = 67 minutes. Streak = 2 days
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:07 pm

3 January
I said it was easy to find 30 minutes of study time when you're on holiday, but today it's actually been quite difficult. I went skiing in the morning, had a large lunch out and then was so sleepy in the afternoon that I ended up having a nap, which resulted in me then needing copious amounts of coffee plus a shower before I was anywhere near alert enough to study any Russian.

Russian
Today I read the pages in Schaum's grammar about the instrumental. This is the first proper encounter I've had with this case, so some of the points on usage have gone over my head at this point. I concentrated on trying to get a grasp on the endings, before making a start on the exercises. There are loads of exercises on the instrumental and my Russian handwriting is quite slow, so I only got through three of them. I'll have to try and finish the rest tomorrow. My scores are still hanging around the 7/10 mark.

Total time = 31 minutes. Streak = 3 days

Croatian
I've started reading a book called 'Dvadeset godina samostalne Hrvatske' by Ivo Goldstein (Twenty years of an independent Croatia). It's a non-fiction book, covering the recent history of Croatia from 1990 - 2010. I think this is the first time I've read a non-fiction book in Croatian. So far I'm really enjoying it, but it's pretty slow going. I read non-fiction slower than fiction in every language and this really feels like a book I need to concentrate on to get the most out of it, so I may end up cheating and starting a novel while I'm travelling tomorrow.
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Daniel N. » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:45 am

Radioclare wrote:I think this is the first time I've read a non-fiction book in Croatian. So far I'm really enjoying it, but it's pretty slow going.

If you ever decide to read non-fiction in Croatian again, I suggest you try 1941 by Slavko Goldstein (the father of Ivo). It's sometimes very depressing since it deals with the WW2, but it's absolutely essential for understanding recent history. (A review)
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Re: Radioclare's 2019 log (Croatian/Russian)

Postby Radioclare » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm

Daniel N. wrote:If you ever decide to read non-fiction in Croatian again, I suggest you try 1941 by Slavko Goldstein (the father of Ivo). It's sometimes very depressing since it deals with the WW2, but it's absolutely essential for understanding recent history. (A review)


Thank you Daniel N; this looks really interesting :) I just had a search online and I couldn't find the Croatian version for sale anywhere (it looked like it was out of stock/out of print), so maybe I will have to buy the English version.

***

4 January
Yesterday was the first day that I 100% wouldn't have studied 30 minutes of Russian if it wasn't for the challenge. I was travelling back from northern Finland to the UK and in total it was around 15 hours of travelling

Russian
I finished all the exercises in Schaum's on the instrumental :) By the end of them I was getting a bit better; there was one exercise where I got 10/10. I did them on a rather uncomfortable seat in a massively overheated Helsinki airport, balancing my textbook and my notebook on my knee. This situation didn't do anything to improve either the speed or the neatness of my Cyrillic handwriting :lol: The next chapter in Schaum's is on prepositions, which sounds a bit deadly. Now that I'm back home, I will probably go back to trying to progress with the Penguin course for a bit.

Total time = 39 minutes. Streak = 4 days

Croatian
I spent most of my flights reading 'Dvadeset godina samostalne Hrvatske' and I'm really enjoying it :) I was a bit worried non-fiction would be too difficult for me, but actually the vocabulary is simpler than some of the fiction I've read. There are only a few words which I've really struggled with:

huškački - This adjective has been used lots of times, but I don't know what it means, except that I think it's being applied to people who are in favour of and/or trying to promote war. Maybe something a bit like 'war-mongering'?

miting - Despite how it looks, I don't think this has the same meaning as English 'meeting'. At least in this book, it is not being used to describe something like a business meeting where a small group of people sit in a room. As far as I can tell, it seems to be describing some sort of large (outdoor?) event of a political nature, maybe something like a rally? The plural is mitinzi :D
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