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Milestones in learning


Someone explain this phenomenon to me, I pushed hard for three years, first  learning the  Russian alphabet, and using it to read, learning Russian grammar from 10 different books the  listening, to media that made sense( living language, pimsleur, podcasts, etc) and media  that didn't make sense, constantly reading, and when I had a chance to talk with a native speaker I tried, and it was miserable... fast forward, then I found myself being able to answer, albeit very sloppy, the questions in my grammar book exercise materials in Russian. so like my dancing there is a sweet spot in which to enlist, professional help, with that; I found a tutor and I found italki, in that sequence. Not I can speak better and better and the words I learn from these encounters and from my reading "stick better", "harder" and permanent; seem more easy to pronounce although these are more complicated than before. and the last thing it my brain is firing off Russian constantly in all form, words popping up, spelling of the words, talking to myself in Russian while dreaming, is this normal?



Well, I can tell you that the most difficult point of a foreign language is the ability to express your own thoughts using it. The dialogs that you imagine may have some scheme (you can do such schemes subcounciously, without actually knowing it). In a real life you never know how the talk is going to alter next moment. May be it's kind of panic. It will pass, just keep practising.


i don't feel panic, i feel an obsession, if I can label it...

You feel an obsession.. But why didn't you write it in Russian? :P


I can't spell very well in Russian, I am focusing on the other aspects, like listening, grammar and talking (baby or boy talk) my thoughts in English is lightyears ahead of my attained vocaulary in Russian and could not at this juncture, express myself completely. It will come though...

Maybe you should to try speak russian more often using the game translate the word/sentence. For example: 1) you in the kitchen and you take something from the shelf. 2) try to say in Russian "I took (thing) from the shelf = Я взяла с полки ( .... ). It is very usefull! 


This is normal firing words at your level and everything else too. To move forward, you should practice, practice and more practice. As well, if you have the opportunity to, try to listen to Russian speech constantly: put it on a player or listen to the Russian news - to get used to the "melody of language". It doesn't matter that you will not understand at first. The point is not to stop at easy texts. Gradually, you will begin to imitate the tone of the speaker. So you will get rid of the accent. Also, you can watch your favorite movies with subtitles (English-Russian-English). They can be found on the Internet. I can send you the link. Be patient. It's a long labor. Удачи тебе!


yes i believe in stephen krashen, to listening, but russian is vey hard and i don't believe i am a "slow" person, it's for sure a marathon.

It took me several years after I had already attained a conversational level of Spanish to be able to develop a relaxed fluency and be able to express myself with the same precision as in English, over the course of which I looked up thousands of words, reading novels and articles at snail-speed. Even after learning so many words, I still needed months of conversation to actually be able to quickly retrieve and appropiately use those words. I think what you're finding out now is what happens to a lot of us language-freaks: through conversation, we consolidate and breathe life into all that stored knowledge that before was just lounging about like a camp of off-duty soldiers.


So for a (comparatively) weird language like Russian, learning to speak well in only three years is quite an achievement! Thanks for your post, it gave me some food for thought.


The conversation level you are refering to may have differnet meaning to differing learners.

This is my first language I attemped, I don't count Cantonese or English, since I did nothing to earn them.


I can say than now since I earn every last crumb of what I know with Russian, I am really glad I pushed through and am pushing, all the impasses.


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