A lot of people here are discouraging you, so I'm going to (partly) play devil's advocate and assume that at least for some people, it is possible to achieve native fluency in a language they learned as an adult.
True story: I don't usually watch TV, but recently I watched a Russian TV show with my dad. When I started watching it, I assumed that both of the main guys on the show were born and lived in Russia their whole lives, because both of them sounded perfect in Russian. I later found out that one of them* had been born in the US, and came to Russia when he was 16. (He was older. His parents moved to the USSR because they believed in communism.)
So here you have a guy who came to Russia at age 16, and he had reached native-level fluency in Russian! And his English was crap, to boot, which makes me think that he must have forgotten it.
(*I can find out his name, if you're interested.)
Antigravitas wrote:I'm willing to spend decades on this, but I have no way of going about it. I've been experimenting with various language-learning methods for about 4 years, and still have barely made progress in terms of fluency, the progress is mostly in the form of knowing 'about' the language but it hasn't converted into any form of fluency.
When you say that you only know "about" Russian, and not the actual language itself - do you mean that you just know the kind of factoids about Russian that someone could find on a Wikipedia article?
How is it possible to study a language for 4 years and still know nothing
? I'm confused.
Antigravitas wrote:I'm also having difficulty since certain words in Russian, despite having analogical counterparts in English, are used differently somewhat, and I can't figure out when to use those words in a way that would make me sound native (it seems it's not enough to know the English translation of most Russian words).
Any examples of Russian words you're struggling with?
Antigravitas wrote:My main difficulty is having to figure out when to use set phrases and words in a way that would not reveal me too much as a foreigner, and also the tone used and 'pitch' to make the sentences sound more authentic.
This is the wrong thing to be worried about right now.
Even if you were a 4 year old who had just been dumped in a Russian daycare, you would still sound stupid in Russian at first. Don't beat yourself up too much for not being 100% perfect right away; just keep focusing on things that you
Antigravitas wrote:Does it just come about naturally after years or decades of immersion in textbooks or movies, etc. or is it something you need to actively strive towards. Any tips or general advice that u guys cud offer that might help me quench this fire of doubt so that i can keep machete-ing forward thru the dense jungle, that is Russian?
1) Have you tried any immersion so far (in the 4 years you claim to have been learning Russian)? It certainly can't make things worse.
2) Yes, you need to keep machete-ing forward