Language Learning: More on than off

I see I have about 15 minutes left for Thursday and I haven’t posted anything for today. It’s not that I want to post something every day for the sake of posting something daily, but I do like to say at least a “hey!”

And it’s not like I was goofing off either. Allergies and sinus troubles aside, I’ve tried to stay on top of my reading so I read for about thirty minutes on my lunch break. The other thirty minutes was me eating my food. And then I got caught in traffic due to an accident (praying that it was nothing serious for those involved) so I didn’t reach home until almost 20:00, ate dinner, discussed the finer points of politics, and spent the rest of my time until now reading and writing Russian.

So, not in vain. Not enough hours in the day, I tell ya (even though there’s a quiet voice in my head saying, “no, you’re just not prioritizing your time right” and my other quiet voice argues back “yeah, but really, there are not enough hours since work occupies nine hours of my day and add two hours for the drive to and from. Just saying.” Both are valid points, mind you.).

Speaking of reading and writing Russian. Focusing on that for the past hour and a half, I realized that I have now been trying to learn conversational Russian off and on for about a year. A little over a year. There were chunks of time during the year where I just couldn’t pin down study time with me focusing on school work and such. And getting sick. But this year, this year, I have every intention to make it stick. Or at least progress. This year I plan for it to be more on than off and I think I found a method that will help.

About a week or two ago, I stumbled upon this iTalki article. Since I’ve been keeping a journal since forever and I love letter writing, why I didn’t stumble upon this idea sooner is beyond me. I have written phrases and tried to write my headings of journal entries in Russian, but having a dedicated journal in which everything is in Russian hadn’t dawned on me until reading that article. And you want to know something? I’m finding that I can recognize letters and sounds much quicker. My recall has been faster and I’m able to sound out the word faster as well. I’m not completely comfortable with it, yet, but I feel I’ve made immense progress, just by keeping a journal. In Russian. I’m hoping as I keep this up, repetitive phrases will start to sink in and I’ll be able to work out grammar rules and such.

Now, I understand that writing and reading Russian is not exactly speaking Russian so pronunciation isn’t being learned or practiced, but I feel I will be able to do so in time. Tonight I transcribed the chorus to a Russian song I found and enjoyed. That’s what filled up my hour. When I translated it to English, using Google Translate, of course, I found the syntax (I think it’s syntax) off. Literal translations are usually like that though so I hope as I continue to progress I will be able to figure out what it really means in Russian.

I’m pretty excited. And I’ve been consistent, so far, understanding that it’s just been two weeks.

So, hopefully, by December I can tell you that I’m just about reaching conversational levels.

We’ll have to see about that. More on than off, that should be my cadence for the next eleven months :).

Спокойной ночи!

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In a 140 characters or less: I'm an easy going, movie geek, TV buff, book-loving, melancholy/phlegmatic, Scorpio kinda gal.