I want to focus on speaking now

but I still feel that I have a long way to go before I can contemplate having conversations with anyone
Серезно. Я знаю что вы имеете в виду. Даже если я знаю хотя бы >3000 слов, еще мне трудно. Я бы скажу что иногда видео на YouTube легкие гонять. Например ‘Easy Russian’.

Кукня? Мне нравится комедия. Спасибо большое за контент!

I think when we mean ‘focus’ we sometimes mean to ‘give more attention to’ rather than dedicate 100% of our efforts to speaking, but I agree with you, still work on reading and listening.
It’s much like skipping leg day or cardio when you go to the gym to exercise, if you neglect those things.

I think you and iaing are taking my remark out of context.

From your initial post, you’ve been though a relatively silent period of acquisition and are thinking you might be in a position to benefit from conversation now.

All I am saying is that 200 hours of listening sounds like quite a bit for an initial silent period - in my opinion of course. At 200 hours worth of listening I hope to have already begun some kind of regular conversation practice.

I expect at that point my vocabulary should be at a point where I could make it through, provided they speak a little slower.

Jos, Are there any transcripts for the series: как я стал русским?

unfortunatly not :frowning: i have transcritps of kujnia . fizruk, and interni. i dowloaded from a page, the name is polydog

Check out an app called HelloTalk. It is a good way to force you to start having correspondence in a language. You find multiple partners easily in whatever your target language. For me it is still Chinese, and will be for a while. There are hundreds of learners. These people are people who are also learning English, so I send them messages in Chinese, and they will either respond in English or Chinese. The advantages of this, is when you are writing in the language, you can review whatever it is you wrote and try to correct your own material before you send it. Secondly, they can correct your sentences, whether it is grammar or vocabulary etc. Combining this with iTalki is a great way to get more exposure with native speakers for free. You also get to practice using key vocabulary that will be encountered multiple times like introductions, and what it is you do etc.
I know you are looking for listening and speaking practice, but frankly, it is a good tool to use to help one work with the language. When you are writing you are still thinking in that language and forcing yourself to use vocabulary, which by extension will help you pay attention to vocabulary that will be more likely to pop up in actual conversation. Like I said, combine this with iTalki, try to use material that you learned in your lesson with the tutor and you should be smooth sailing.
Just my two cents.
Hope it helps some.
-Cody C.

Fantastic Idea.

You already seem dedicated to listening and reading, and I think others have effectively emphasized their importance, so I’ll set that aside.

“Speaking” encapsulates a lot of language skills. You have to understand what is being said, formulate responses, and effectively communicate with people. I personally have found some methods to practice each unique requirement on my own or with tutors, so that I’m better prepared to have normal conversations with native speakers. (But keep in mind these are things I do when I really want to push myself… 85% of my language learning is just watching videos/reading casually/listening to podcasts)

Accuracy → You have to have accurate [enough] grammar and word choice. I find that reading increases my vocabulary ten-fold, and I’m able to see words in various contexts, which gives me a more holistic understanding of their meaning. However, I still don’t necessarily remember how to structure sentences or remember what words/phrases to use to use in what situations. Solutions: Translating texts (from target language to native language, then native language to target language), writing essays & having them corrected (and then re-writing the parts you get wrong), recording yourself speaking off the cuff (normally I answer a question about my opinion/experiences OR summarize information) with a tutor & then have your tutor make notes on grammar/word choice issues

Active vocabulary → You have to be able to shift a good chunk of passive vocabulary to active vocabulary. Furthermore, ideally you’ll develop an automatic response to both listening and speaking, so you don’t take long pauses to translate/formulate sentences in your head. Solutions: read a text about something you’re especially interested in talking about and then summarize it by writing or speaking out loud to yourself without looking at the text (go back and check yourself afterwards & make corrections or additions if you want), write a speech or narrative and have it corrected then memorize it like you have to give a presentation (This is really excessive… but it’s helped my memory & poise in Chinese a ton.), read + listen to a formal text on lingq or another resource then find an informal/natural video about it (for instance, read about travel in Moscow then go find a native Russian’s travel vlog to Moscow on youtube… see if you can automatically recognize the key vocabulary words), pick subjects to talk about with a tutor (role play, go over common conversation questions when you first meet someone, etc.), take notes when you find cool words/phrases that are meaningful or particularly useful & relevant

Pronunciation/Flow → You have to pronounce individual words correctly but also learn the “music” of the language - intonation, pauses, common filler words, phrasing, etc. Solutions: record yourself speaking then critique yourself or have your tutor critique you, read a text out loud while listening to a recording of the text, when you’re watching a TV show/movie/native content repeat out loud random phrases you think would be interesting or are used often

Familiarity → I think this is just purely a factor of exposure, repetition, and meaningful experiences. I found that the tipping point to being conversationally fluent was knowledge of synonyms + automatic, subconscious recognition of words + automatic, subconscious knowledge of grammar. The same question can be asked in a multitude of ways, in a multitude of accents. I personally can’t have a /meaningful/ conversation with a small amount of vocabulary and if I can’t understand what’s being said back to me, I find conversation practice frustrating. But build up your passive vocabulary as much as possible (lots of authentic content with dialogue!!!) and then just struggle through it. If you have the desire to practice speaking and it will increase your motivation & inspiration, then go for it. :slight_smile:

(also wow this was really long sorry for the word vomit)

I don’t agree with writing to be corrected.

There are far too many ‘teachers’ who correct perfectly normal word usage to suit their own writing style, thereby confusing the student. They will change stylistic elements of an essay in order to make it flow more like an elegant piece of prose or an academic text when all the writer wants to do is communicate properly and get a message through.

I complained many times on iTalki about this and it didn’t change so i had to leave.

I complained on several occasions at iTalki about this issue and nothing was done about it, so I stopped using it. - This is what you will see on there, with the first sentence being struck out in several places and replaced by essentially the same correct thing said a different way. Terrible.

I’ve only ever worked with professional tutors (mostly graduate students or retired language teachers) + close friends who are bilingual, so I haven’t encountered this problem. If I asked for my writing to be corrected, it was mostly for major grammar issues. (e.g. 我长大的在夏威夷 VS。*corrected我在夏威夷长大的… subject + place + verb agreement)and rarely for “sounding authentic”, because by listening and reading I gradually learn how natives phrase things/develop advance diction.

I totally agree, that’s a major issue! And would be very confusing and frustrating. Maybe that’s the case for many online tutor forums?

Conversation is the most important skill for me, so I’ve designed my language learning program around it. I don’t exclude other skills, but I make conversation with native speakers, usually tutors, my main source of vocabulary. To fully explain this would take many pages, so I’ll just give some bare bones general suggestions, about the conversation component only, meant for someone in the OP’s predicament.

  1. Complete at least one good pure audio course that has conversation as a goal. I recommend both Pimsleur and Michel Thomas for Russian.
  2. Converse with a tutor for 30 min/day. 100% Russian. Use google translate when needed. Write down all words/sentences you want to say but don’t know/can’t remember. Write down all the words/sentences the tutor uses but you don’t know. Memorize these words/sentences after the session. Increase to 60 min/day after a few weeks.

After 100 hours or so you’ll see a huge improvement. You won’t be finished of course, but you’ll feel you are speaking the language comfortably at the B1 level.

Thanks, I’ll try this. I think I’ll try to make some dialogues myself about certain topics. Do you think it’s wise to memorize (not forcefully) basic to intermediate phrases just for the sake of having some dialogue to fall back on?

I am certainly no expert in second language acquisition, but I would be willing to put my bottom dollar on it. One is much more likely to learn sentences versus words. You learn grammar subconsciously and at the same time you learn how the words work in a sentence, plus since you are doing Russian, you get the added bonus (if learning phrases/sentences) of using correct conjugations and declensions. Like I said knocking out a lo lt of birds with one stone. My guess, is that is one of the many reasons why listening and learning songs in your target language really helps. Certainly memorise more phrases versus words. And keep the phrases surrounded around material you already want to talk about. The final bonus is simply you feel more accomplished because you are using the language as well.

There is a video I came across recently, it is about learning English. Even though I am a native speaker of English, the principles are the same with any language. Its not a bad idea to see what the guy says, you can go on my profile and copy the youtube link.

Just my two cents.

Best of luck Capt.
-Cody C.

I believe I did say in my previous post to memorize and learn phrases, but thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

Yes. That’s one thing Pimsleur is really good for.