Because why not? (Russian)

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Ice Blue
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:47 pm

We stand now at the beginning of a new decade so it should be a good time to write an entry about what my long term goals are. I'll turn 30 in march so it really feels like the beginning of something new :D

Up until now

I started learning Swedish when I was 21 or 22. This kickstarted my language learning passion and since then I've studied German, Hindi, Croatian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Russian, re-started Japanese (first time studied when I was 16) and sort-of-restarted Italian (learned at school). A few years ago the list of languages I wanted to learn was much longer than it is now. It included German, Swedish, Icelandic, Belarusian, Polish, Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian, Greek, Hindi and at some point Nepali and Latin. Icelandic, Belarusian, Polish, Greek, Latin and Nepali I all dropped pretty quickly because there was simply no real incentive for me to learn those other than the fact that I liked how they sounded.

When I was close to 24-25 years old I decided that I should concentrate on fewer languages so that I could make significant progress and actually be able to use them. There were three languages that I decided to keep studying: German (very useful in Switzerland and the whole of Europe, love listening to it), Croatian and Hungarian (both languages I really like to listen to and find interesting because they're so different from my own language). It was only a year ago I added Russian to the list.

Languages I speak

French (native) and English (C1 speaking maybe, C2 for oral comprehension - I was only tested for the latter). I also read and understand Italian and can speak it a bit (though I never use it so I don't really know how well... what I do know is that my accent is quite terrible!).

Current and long term goals

When it comes to languages I go for depth rather than breadth; the languages I choose to devote time to I want to be able to use quite intensively. Meaning: I want to be able to easily read books, articles/newspapers, as well as understand close to everything I hear (tv series, movies, documentaries...). I'm definitely not as focused on production/output; ideally I'd like to get to a B2 level at least but seeing as I never practice any language with anyone it remains a rather nebulous objective.

My learning style is accordingly entirely input-based. I pretty much never study grammar, I start watching series/movies from the get go. This is the way I like to study languages: by consuming media. I also study the translation of songs that I love in my target languages, a simple way to build up vocabulary.

A quick and not so detailed timeline of what I'm expecting for the coming years:


2020: Concentrating my efforts on Russian and Hungarian with a side of German.

  1. Russian: I can watch Disney movies and tv series for children. When I started in 2019 I understood only a few words here and there. Now when I'm watching The Lion Guard I usually understand close to 80% of what I'm hearing. I always practice active listening: when I hear words I don't recognize I immediately look them up. I dwelved on the russian internet for the first time last year; it was fun and exciting and I intend to do it more frequently from now on.

  2. Hungarian: I haven't yet started watching movies or tv series without subtitles but I remember some three years ago I used to understand very short sentences.

  3. German: Can read without too much trouble though my comprehension isn't 100%. Watching movies is usually not a problem.


2025: I want to be able to read and understand pretty much anything in Russian, Croatian and Hungarian, the latter being probably the most challenging of the three. I have five years to reach this goal, it's definitely doable if I don't let myself get too sidetracked or burnt out.

I should also try and keep my Italian from fading too much in the background. It's one of my heritage languages as well as a national language of Switzerland and it would be a shame if I were to forget it.

As for English: keep maintaining a high level in it, both in writing and speaking.


2030: If everything goes according to my current plans I should have a high level of written and spoken comprehension in English, German, Croatian, Hungarian and Russian (maybe Italian too). I'll be fully satisfied if I also manage to reach a B2 level in speaking in at least two of those (English and Italian don't count though!)


"Maybe one day" languages:

10 years is a long time and I doubt I'll be able to fight off the wanderlust for so long - and I'm fine with that as long as my primary goals are still met.

I will probably study:


  1. Japanese: I'm familiar with the language. I used to know hiragana and something like 40 kanji but forgot almost all of it. I can still remember quite a few words though and I feel like my knowledge of Hungarian might help me if I decide to learn it again. What is mostly keeping me from doing so right now is that I don't really have any use for Japanese currently... I don't really watch anime or play video games that much anymore. I hope to visit Japan next year maybe, so that might be an important source of motivation.

  2. Polish: there is a possibility that Polish will make it to the list of my main target languages. I always loved how it sounds and it shouldn't be too difficult to learn when I already have some knowledge of others slavic languages.

  3. Hindi: I love Devanagari and the way Hindi sounds (feeling like I'm starting to repeat myself here haha). Five years ago I learned close to a hundred words and I still remember some of them now. Nice movies, great food, very different culture and the language is Indo-European, so it seems familiar yet very strange at the same time. Fascinating!

  4. Swedish: come on, this one would be almost free with my knowledge of English and German! I haven't studied it in years yet I can still read and understand a bit. It's also the first language I started learning by myself and I feel some kind of nostalgic attachment to it.

  5. Faroese (and/or maybe Icelandic): this one feels so different yet not completely alien. I love to see the similarities with Swedish. My largely input based learning probably won't allow me to reach a high level in Faroese since there doesn't seem to be a wealth of dubbed movies or tv series to be found. Maybe I'll have more luck with books and songs.

Would love to learn but probably won't happen

  1. Kazakh: same problem than with Faroese, too little ressources. It looks like a fascinating language and country though.

  2. Lithuanian: I have the Teach Yourself Lithuanian book at home but haven't opened it in years. I simply haven't found the time or the motivation to do something susbtantial with it.

  3. Turkish: I toyed with the idea of learning it a few years ago but never really tried. Hungarian would help with this one too but right now I have no reason to dedicate time to it. It's simple daydreaming.


****

So that's it. This is what I'm planning to do for the coming years. I have no idea if I'll reach my goals, especially since I have other time consuming hobbies like writing; I'm not going to stress about it. Maybe I won't be fluent in the languages I listed above, maybe I won't be able to understand everything or read everything with ease. I'll still be learning a lot and enjoy myself along the way and that's what matters most :D
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Ice Blue
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:22 pm

Russian:

I finished watching The Lion Guard the 12th feburary. The ending was surprisingly satisfying :D I started watching this series around last summer and was at first a bit unsure but it grew on me. From what I remember I understood close to nothing when I started; 74 episodes each 22 minutes long later and I can usually get something like 60 to 80% of what is said. With such satisfying results, and feeling hopeful, I actually tried watching an episode of Desperate Housewives (something I haven't done in months) and was expecting to see tremenduous progress there too. Que nenni! Desperate Housewives is still too wordy for me. No problem, I just have to listen some more and read.

Since I'm now done with The Lion Guard I have to find it a replacement. I was thinking about Tangled: the series, which looks fun and I've heard has a nice plot. I've also found Once Upon a Time dubbed in Russian, and already started the third episode of the fourth season (that's where I left off the series when I was watching it in German).

I've also read a few pages of The Beach by Alex Garland. I skip a lot of the descriptive paragraphs because they tend to be a bit discouraging. Dialogues are way easier. I've read that book several times in the past and I remember there were parts that bored me even in French so I don't feel too bad about skipping pages now :mrgreen:

I'm surfing the russian version of reddit right now. I can't understand a lot but it's fun to feel like I'm diving into their web culture.
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Ice Blue
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:55 pm

It looks like I'll always be an inconsistent poster here, guess that can't be helped!

My country hasn't gone full quarantine (yet?), meaning I can still go out but can't meet with people outside. The first few days were a bit unnerving, especially since I have family members who are terrified by the prospect of catching the virus (something I understand). That being said, I usually stay home a lot of time even when there's no virus running amok so... Guess it helps a lot being (mostly) an introvert. I also still work like usual and have to go and meet people to do so, so I guess I'm lucky in that regard! I do miss my family and my pets though; I decided not to go see them for now to reduce the risk of contamination.

With that whole international debacle I slacked quite a bit on my languages studies at the beginning of the month but got back to it those last two days.


Russian

I've watched the entire first season of Tangled, The Series and am now on episode 10 of the second season. Each episode is 22 minutes long. I'm used to that format by now, seeing as The Lion Guard's episodes' length was the same. Speaking of comparing the two series, a nice thing about Tangled is that contrarily to The Lion Guard there isn't a song being sung in each episode and I appreciate it. Those might be nice when you're a child watching a show in his/her native language, but they were simply too difficult to understand for me and I would always skip them.

Tangled, The Series is a bit fair bit wordier than The Lion's Guard. It caught me off guard at first but I got used to it very quickly and can now enjoy most episodes. I'd say I usually understand something like 60 to 80% of the dialogues (maybe even underestimating here). Quite happy with that, and I actually really like the series. The art style is very pleasing to the eye, the dubbing is very good and the story and characters are entertaining :)

I've read a fair bit too, keeping up with Alex Garland's novel The Beach. I've probably read a bit more than a quarter of the book. I skip lots of passages which bored me in French and that I have no patience trying to read in Russian. I love the story though and enjoy reading it again, especially since I can notice how helpful it is to my Russian; my vocabulary increases with each page that I read and it really fuels my motivation to keep going :D
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Ice Blue
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:55 am

Ice Blue wrote: a nice thing about Tangled is that contrarily to The Lion Guard there isn't a song being sung in each episode and I appreciate it.

Can you believe that right after posting that I got two episodes with four songs in it? :P Okay, those were 44 minutes long episodes each but still! I'll forgive them, one of the episode was quite intense and very interesting in terms of character development. I do believe not only children can enjoy those, it's actually of better quality than some movies I've seen lately.

I'll be done with season 2 of Tangled in a few minutes, and I haven't yet found season 3 dubbed in Russian. Guess I'll have to be patient, the last episode of season 3 was first aired originally on 1st march, so it's very recent. I guess I'll wait to watch the rest in Russian but if it takes too much time maybe I'll just let myself be weak and watch it in English.

On another note (quite literally) I stumbled upon that song yesterday and I really love it:



It reminded me how much I love the sound of Croatian. I was shortly tempted to work on a translation but reminded myself that I was focusing on Russian and didn't need the extra confusion that would come with working on a similar-but-not-exactly-the-same-voyabulary. Mostly I abandoned the idea because I'm lazy and wasn't sure I could manage a lot of reading time in Russian if I was first working hard on a translation.

It's been a really long time since I last did anything in Croatian. Almost exactly a year, I think. My Russian is probably better than my Croatian now. Let's not even talk about my Hungarian. It's miles behind.

Well, off to work/study now!
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:48 am

Russian:

I'm on episode 10 of season 3 of Tangled, the series. I also watched оно 2 (IT 2) and прочь (Get Out).
I've binged watched this series too:

Image

I've read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials many times and remember what the story is about, which definitely helps not getting lost. It's a very enjoyable series and way to pass the time while learning. The dubbing is very good. It's only 8 episodes long though and I only have one more to watch. Second season isn't out yet but I'll probably watch it in Russian too.

I stopped reading The Beach for now. I was getting fed up with all the long descriptive paragraphs. I simply have no patience for those lately :mrgreen: Instead, I've started reading wikipedia pages about subjects that interest me. They are usually not too difficult to understand and with useful vocabulary.

Back to work now, I have a few episodes I want to watch today :)
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Wed May 20, 2020 11:49 am

Russian: I finished Tangled: The Series. I'm in love with this series, and actually waited a few days before watching the last episodes because I didn't want it to be over :P I'm already planning on watching it again, this time in Hungarian.

Also finished His Dark Materials, which I really appreciated even though some parts were definitely too complex to understand and I felt lucky to have read the book before. I was a bit surprised to see many people didn't like the series. I was expecting some to be disappointed but not that many. I thought it was entertaining and enjoyable but to each their own I guess! I'm now waiting for season 2 which I'm also planning to watch in Russian.

Watched six episodes of Desperate Housewives. Three more and I'll be done with season 2. This time I noticed my level of comprehension had increased compared to last time. The characters still talk as fast as usual but I definitely get more and more of what they're saying. I wonder where I'll be at the end of season 3 :)

I read a few pages of Into thin air, by Jon Krakauer. For those who don't know, it's an account by Krakauer of the disastrous 1996 Everest expedition during which eight climbers died. It's gripping and sad and all those efforts and the pain the climbers choose to go through to make it to the top of the world...it makes me tired just reading about it!

German:

I watched a few Galileo videos in German, including one about how different hot-dogs are around the world (America, Brazil, India). It left me quite hungry but happy to see that I can still understand almost everything that is said. Very satisfied!
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:24 pm

Once again a very long pause between two posts. That's alright I guess.

Russian

I...actually can't remember which movies I watched in Russian since my last post. I know there has been some but I simply don't remember which ones. I might watch a few episodes of Once Upon A Time in the coming days since I'm not really inspired by anything else right now.

I've been doing more reading than watching lately. Not too much, but a few pages here and there. I've read the first chapters of Charlie and the Chocolate factory by Roald Dahl (Чарли и шоколадная фабрика). I also read:

-The wikipedia article about the Joker movie of 2019
-The wikipedia article about Svetlana Alexievich. Learned there is a book she wrote that I haven't yet read in French and I might try to read it in Russian.
-The wikipedia article about Anna Politkovskaya.
-I tried reading the wikipedia article about the Dyatlov Pass incident but it was too complex and I stopped.

All in all, my Russian reading comprehension is slowly improving and I feel motivated to keep reading small bits here and there which is always better than nothing.

Hindi

I wrote in the beginning of the year that I loved the devanagari alphabet. Those last few days I started learning the first symbols and am using some bollywood songs to help me decipher them. My beautiful Hindi/English dictionnary will finally be of some use! I'm not going to start studying Hindi now, I have too much to do with Russian and I want to go back to Hungarian too. For now I feel content learning the devanagari alphabet and how to write a few words :)
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Nogon » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:59 am

Ice Blue wrote:-The wikipedia article about Svetlana Alexievich. Learned there is a book she wrote that I haven't yet read in French and I might try to read it in Russian.

Is that "Ensorcelés par la mort"? While having read all her other books, I didn't know about that book until 5 minutes ago. There is a Swedish translation which luckily is available at the library, so I'll borrow it this afternoon.
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2020
: 1525 / 2000 Pages read in Afrikaans
: 1400 / 2000 Pages read in Dutch
: 617 / 1000 Pages read in Esperanto
: 4896 / 5000 Pages read in French

SC 2020/2021
: 61 / 100 Books
: 26 / 100 Films

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Ice Blue
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Ice Blue » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:28 pm

Nogon wrote:Is that "Ensorcelés par la mort"? While having read all her other books, I didn't know about that book until 5 minutes ago. There is a Swedish translation which luckily is available at the library, so I'll borrow it this afternoon.


That's the one! It seems like we've all been unaware of the existence of this book for whatever reason :)
I'm curious: I see that German is your native language but you're planning on reading that book in Swedish. Have you already read Svetlana Alexievitch in one of your target languages? I wonder how difficult it would be. I've only ever read her books in French so I wouldn't know. From what I remember the texts aren't overly complex so maybe it'd be doable.
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Re: Because why not? (Russian)

Postby Nogon » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:05 pm

Ice Blue wrote:I'm curious: I see that German is your native language but you're planning on reading that book in Swedish. Have you already read Svetlana Alexievitch in one of your target languages? I wonder how difficult it would be. I've only ever read her books in French so I wouldn't know. From what I remember the texts aren't overly complex so maybe it'd be doable.


I am indeed German, but I'm living in Sweden so the library I talked about obviously has it in Swedish. I've been living here for more than 20 years and frequently read books in Swedish of course, as they are available everywhere around here. I've read some of Aleksijevitj's/Alexijewitschs ( ;) ) books in Swedish and some in German and read them with ease in both languages.
I wouldn't be able to read them in any other languages except English, for lack of vocabulary. Although - Dutch might be doable with a lot of effort, as many, many words are very close to their German counterparts and guessable even without ever having met them. Should try it one day...
Last edited by Nogon on Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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2020
: 1525 / 2000 Pages read in Afrikaans
: 1400 / 2000 Pages read in Dutch
: 617 / 1000 Pages read in Esperanto
: 4896 / 5000 Pages read in French

SC 2020/2021
: 61 / 100 Books
: 26 / 100 Films


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