I want to be an intermediate in Russian!

I want to be intermediate 1 for Russian and I want to be it now!

I have: Known Words 6225
LingQ’s Created 7392
LingQ’s Learned 2404
Hours of Listening 122.0
Words of Reading 186825
Words of Writing 1194
Hours of Speaking 1.8

OK, I need to do lots more speaking, but I have a 30 minute lesson each week. I’m well over all the other targets, I just need to double my known words. The trouble is, I wan’t work out how! Every time I study a new article my known words count hardly goes up at all! Do I have to learn 4000 lingQs or is there a quicker way to reach this target?

Speaking as a tutor I guess I should attempt to answer my onw question :wink:

I guess I’ve been studying texts which are too hard, so I’ve been trying to learn too many new words and not seeing learned words repeatedly in new contexts…but I’d like some other people’s opinions!

Hi Helen,
I think, you’re right. I think I improve very much in a short time but most of the time I listen to content that is easy or adequate for my level. I hear 1 hour every day. And I think it works.
I know that you often want to encourage me to deal with content that is more difficult but I feel very comfortable with the way I do.
Yesterday I made an interesting experience. I tried to learn the word “overwhelming” some time ago, but the word didn’t stay with me. Yesterday I met this word again, and I could remember the meaning! That was an enjoyable moment. Maybe you should not try so hard and be more relaxed. Progress come by itself, it you listen and read enough.

если хочеш, можем общатся :slight_smile:

I am sorry to interrupt your discussion, but I have to say, I start feeling that I want to learn Russian now. The characters look so cool, especially “ж.” It looks like “*,” but bigger. Maybe, Russian is the next language after Spanish for me :slight_smile:

I’ve been listening to all 7 Harry Potter’s audiobooks narrated by Jim Dale recently,
I love his voise, I love characters he created with his voice,
my favourites are Kreacher and Peeves,
now I am reading these books with LingQ, and I am learning 30-50 words a day, by heart,
because I love them, picture them, they are in my mind,
so my advise find content that is really interesting, meaningful to you.
Try reading somethng written by non-english authers, something that you haven’t read in English.

Try these, for a change :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for all those suggestions, Don!

It’s not that I’m worried about my progress, I think I’m making fair progress. What puzzles me is why I haven’t got anywhere near the LingQ target of 10 000 known words, although I’ve learned more LIngQs than my target. There must be a strategy that I haven’t worked out yet.

It is easy to find materials at intermediate 2 , in fact I think that much of TV and radio is pitched there. That’s why I suggest that intermediate 2 and higher students check that they aren’t listening to articles that are too easy. But at beginner 2 it’s a lot harder to find materials that aren’t too complex.

Sometimes ago I read a very useful thing.
Each person tends to use both in writing and in speaking a group of repetitive words and expressions.
Therefore if you want to see often the same words, a good advice I got is to read and listen in the same period texts by the same author.
Often I escape this approach only because I’m curious about other subjects, but as far as I’m concerned, I thought this method works.

I can believe it! I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings as soon as I can understand them in a language, because it’s over 1 000 pages in the same style by the same man and at the end of them I figure I’m intermediate 2. I’m just not there yet in Russian!

Hi Helen, I would like to chime in with a question. As you were learning I assume you saved many phrases and words, but you haven’t gotten round to flipping your flashcards six times for each saved word. Now, new texts will show a high number of ‘new’ words, but even if you don’t save any of the new words, only a small number of new words is added to your known words. If this is a correct assumption, this is what you do: you delete the saved phrases you did not manage to learn by using the flash cards. Then, you read a text with a high amount of new vocabulary. You save the phrases and words you don’t understand yet (it is unlikely you will save as many as would have been highlighted before you deleted the words that had a status 1, 2 or 3) and you update the text. You will now have a higher percentage of words added to your known words per text. The words that you are adding in addition to what you were used to adding are the words which you had previously saved and which you have started to comprehend by hearing and reading words with similar meaning and function instead of by using flashcards.
Now, if only I would remember to write difficult texts like this when I hand in writing for correction :slight_smile:

I can’t understand from this thread which problem you have studying Russian. Look at the advices you received – some of them are pedagogical, others technical or content related. If I assume your problem is technical – how to reach a certain number of known words - I wonder why it’s important? Do you think that 10000 target really determines if you’re Beginner 2 or Intermediate 1?? I think this is not as important as you assume. Just enjoy the learning process, relax about your status and feel free to change it when you feel you improved enough. You can also ask your Russian tutor opinion about your status. If you ask for my opinion, when you sometimes write me in Russian reminders before conversations they look like you have an intermediate level for sure.


Focus on your activity. If you have crated the target number of LingQs that is the main thing. The lower number of known words may not be important. Later on if you read and update more content, the number of new known words will increase. In any case these are just indicators to spur you on to action. Do not take them too seriously.

I would not recommend the complicated process suggested by Nicole. The most important activity, the one that should occupy most of your time, is listening and reading. Massive meaningful input as Krashen calls it.

Don’t get too obsessed with Flash Cards, changing their status or deleting etc. Flash Cards and vocabulary review are important, help with retention, but should remain minor. Furthermore deleted LingQs will not be highlighted in yellow in your texts.

I find reviewing that quickly reviewing my previously saved LingQs before I start reading and then finding them already highlighted in the text helps me to finally learn them at least as much as spending time on the vocabulary page. Keep everything in proportion. And as Ina says, keep enjoying the language.

I have taken the plunge and declared myself an Intermediate 1. Funnily enough my targets don’t seem to have changed. I’m a bit vague on the difference between beginner 2 and intermediate 1, perhaps it isn’t as big a jump as I thought.

I’m still going to try and hit those targets though :wink:

Helen, I am correcting your writing work right now, and can say that your writing skills are Intermediate :slight_smile:

Hi Helen,

There isn’t that much difference in your targets between each level. There are slight differences but the biggest change is the Known Words target. Of course, you should just change your level whenever you feel the level description matches your current ability. The numbers are just guidelines.

I’m not sure about Nicole’s suggestion of deleting your LingQs and recreating them?! Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work plus if you delete your LingQs then your New Words numbers are meaningless. Am I missing something there?

Right, I think I have it figured out now. The thing that gets your number of known words up, quickly and painlessly, is to use lots of materials which present you with the words you have already learned, in different formats (accusative case, past tense etc). Tackling one new piece a day gets your stats up nicely.

This is tricky at beginner 2 level in that it’s hard to find lots of articles at beginner 2, but this problems goes away as you get better and by the time you reach intermediate 2 you should have loads of materials.

Thanks to Rasana for providing lots of new materials in the Russian library which are not too hard for me!

Troubles with Beginner 2 Materials: I can relate! I was having this problem with European Portuguese recently, as I tried to prepare for a trip to Portugal, from which I have just returned.

I read in the Jim Trelease Read Aloud Handbook that one nice strategy for learners of English is to dive in to a series of children’s books. For example, if you are trying to learn English and you use the Nancy Drew series, you are going to find in the series, a very large number of which are similar in many ways…the writing style will be similar from book to book and so are the characters. Therefore, once you struggle through the first book, the subsequent volumes become much easier to work with and more enjoyable You don’t have to put herculean effort into the rest of the series, so you can just relax and read along and enjoy the story, solidifying a certain set of words, but picking up new vocab along the way.

It is supposed to be a pretty enjoyable way to learn English, so I wanted to try it in French. I therefore hunted for such a series written in French, but never found one other than the classic Petit Nicolas. I am not sure they have the same phenomenon in France, regarding children’s series books (unless you are interested in Asterix BDs or Tintin s or something). (And yes, I know I could have read a translation, but I figured I would rather learn about a French speaking culture while going to all this trouble, instead of just learning more about my own!)

Another problem is that even in languages which do have the tradition of children’s series books, the fact is that children’s books are a pretty new phenomenon, so you are not likely to find a great variety of these which already lie outside of copyright. Too bad, because I think that children’s series books just might, for some learners, address that need for Beginner 2 materials.

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