Content that helps us with grammar points

Petropavel (Vladimir) and I have been discussing the aspect of Russian verbs, one of the many problems for learners of Russian. I will post here our exchange.

The gist is that I feel that native speakers of a language can create content that deals with the major problems learners have in learning that language, entirely in that language. It should be based on requests from the learners. The texts may be a little artificial, but they should feature the patterns that learners find difficult and provide a little explanation in the target language to go with it.

Here is the exchange with Vladimir.

Vladimir said:
Yesterday I have asked my friend for a consultation on this feature. She is a linguist and I hoped her experience will help us. Her answer was as foolows:
The aspect of russian aspects (kinda nice wordplay :-)) is really difficult to foreign people to explain and to understand. And generaly it is the matter of intuitive feeling based on a substantial amount of reading (I must admit - this coinsides with your “no desire to read more explanation”, doesn’t it?)

As for me I would suggest to try learning this as a simple game: you choose some verb from your LingQs list, I say what aspect it has and then I try switching it to a perfect or imperfect form in different ways back and forth, maybe providing appropriate usage example. I think that should not be too boring.

For example:
Я учил стихотворение (imperfect). Но я его не выучил (perfect). Потом я заучил его наизусть (by heart) - perf.
Я изучал математику (imperfect), И я её изучил! (perfect).
Я играл на гитаре (imperf.) Я поиграл и закончил (perf). Я наиграл мелодию (perf). Я наигрывал разные мелодии (switched back to imperf. - suffix -ыва- or -ива- makes almost always imperfect).
Я умывался (-ыва- - imperf), я умылся (perf)

Steve, would you please send me some amount of verbs from your active word list? Then we could play such a game.

I replied:


Because I am lazy I will reply in English.

We are working very hard to make LingQ the most effective way to learn languages. Therefore I am not that interested in putting effort into learning activities that take place outside the framework of LingQ. Other learners may do so and that is fine, but that is not where I am going to spend my time.

The Russian examples you have provided here are very useful. What would be very effective for me, and for our learners of Russian, would be these same kinds of texts, with a recording. They could be put into our Library for all to enjoy.

They should be in Russian only.

Я изучал математику (несовеpшенный вид), И я её изучил! (совеpшенный). etc.etc.

If I had that to listen to, over and over, I would get used to it.

There are three major problems in Russian, at least for me.

  1. Verb aspects
  2. Noun and adjective cases
  3. Verbs of motion

If you could create content that features these, and either mention the case in Russian) after each case usage, or the aspect after each verb, or if the context or possibly a Russian explanation clearly illustrates why a particular verb of motion is used, or which case , that would really help. We can study these, read them, save phrases and listen over and over.

If I get a handle on these 3 problems I, or other learners, will come up with another list of three problems to be handled in the same way.

I believe that would really help. I think this kind of item would be popular and you would earn points for them as we increase the number of our learners.