I'm close to Beginner II in Russian. How is your progress?

Well, I started to pick up Russian in the end of February of last year (2014) and I signed up for LingQ in May and I’ve been here on average, 30 minutes a day while balancing college. I’m at 640 words, so Beginner II (800 words) is just at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been curious for everyone here, what has been your progress after a year from starting from zero?

I’m asking this as more of a progress check. I know you should work at your OWN pace rather than off of others, but I’m curious if after a year, there were good habits you developed and if you feel you were going too slow or fast.

My habits were relaxed. I would listen through the lessons a few times, then read through them once, and sometimes read them out loud. I would create my LingQs and look them up on forvo.com to get a second pronunciation. I would also look up the grammatical meeting on some of the words, hoping that doing this as I went along, the exposure would make grammar just absorbed over the days and an intuitive understanding rather than forced.

I reflect, and I feel like I have a good understanding of the language despite me learning on my own without ANY classes. I understand the logic of most of the grammar, though there are still instances where I’m still baffled (IE Я хочу купить is in the perfective case for some reason).


Hi ! =)))

I feel, with relaxed habits, this is quite a decent progress! =)))

I still do believe, with all the languages featuring an extended system of conjugations and declentions ituitive absorption is by far quite an effective way to acquire an intuitive feeling of what is implied by each specific grammar structure, i.e. trying to learn grammar rules is an apparent dead-end, but, on the other hand, you have to at least understand what is rendered by the use of this or that grammar! :wink: Therefore, an optimum ratio between the two is what one should seek after! :wink:

I guess, you do not have to worry that much about the pace; my preference is, to study thoroughly and, hence, slowly! :wink:

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I found getting started in Russian to be extremely difficult. The sounds and the script were so foreign to me that I don’t think I would have gained anything by trying to study the grammar of the language in any serious way. I think that after a period of listening and working through texts, I was able to start a little bit of learning the grammar in a more academic way. Unfortunately my motivation kinda died at that point, and I have been struggling to get it back to where it was.

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With russian, I´m still in the bad habit of avoiding scary looking words. It´s still a nightmare to try to read some words out loud. I´m only been using LingQ for Russian, and finally I can understand at least some news on the internet. Moving from 1500-2000, and from 3000-3500 words, went really slow…

Hi ! =)))

Oh, you do not have to be upset! =))) First, as for the sounds authenticity, please, do not pay any attention at all, at least for the time being, as a huge lot of English natives speak Russian and they are absolutely understandeable, so it’s no problem at all, at least at this stage! :wink:

Now I know the script, or, rather, the Greek-based alphabet is what really poses a huge problem for Latin-based speakers! A friend of mine managed to find an app, for iPhone, that teaches Russian alphabet in a very unique way; I happened to learn both hiragana and katakana in Japanese based on exactly the same principle! :wink:

It’s basically, that some letters in a text written in your native language, English in your case, Russian in my case, are replaced with the letters of the alphabet you study! :wink: As their occurence in the text is rather sparce, the text readability is not hindered in any way! =))

As for grammar, just as I wrote, it’s a total myth that any intuitive grammar acquisition ever works! =))) We are adults, so unless you’ve been explained what exactly is rendered by this or that grammar phenomenon you’ll never be able to figure this out just independently, as we are not children and there are no native speaking parents to correct us every time we make a linguistic mistake! :wink: That’s why you ARE right, an academic way of studying at least the grammar principles is an absolute MUST !

However, as for the acquision process itself, or, rather, mastering the use of grammar which has already been explained, I do agree, it’s rather a matter of nearly instinctive usage, very many times - and it just becomes your second nature, you pronounce a phrase without even thinking of its internal structure! :wink:

But you are also right, in a way, you do NOT have to FORCE yourself, as it does not yield much in most of the cases…

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Hi, I was never upset. I always enjoyed it. I think learning the alphabet was more difficult than I imagined. I kinda bought into all this ‘you can learn an alphabet in 2 hours’ stuff. After 2 hours, I had a good idea which sounds correspond to which letters, but I still could not read a word. When I woke up the next day, I had basically forgotten it all and needed to spend another 2 hours memorizing the words. I learned the alphabet in the end on LingQ, just slowly reading through texts and using the audio and Google TTS.

I don’t buy that it is a good idea just to learn grammar in the ‘natural’ way. I think some read study of it is a good idea, maybe even in a classical language class doing grammar drills and whatnot. I just don’t have the motivation to do this stuff.

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Yep, you’re right, it was not before a friend of mine who was very much eager to study Russian told me that learning Cyrillic was a real stumbling block for him, and he was the first to explain why. It’s only now that I know what I myself couldn’t have any idea of: many letters in Latin and Cyrillic look exactly the same! =))) So, there has to be a way to tell the Russian letter ‘B’ from its Latin counterpart ‘B’, or Russian ‘P’ from Latin ‘P’, or Russian ‘H’ from Latin ‘H’, etc.

As for me, by the way, nobody ever taught me to read in Russian, although for me it’s natural to such an extent, that I only remember me reading in Russian at an age of 3 at a rate of an average Russian adult. By the time I went to school I’d already read a lot of books, so there was quite a problem at my reading lessons in Russian for my teachers; they just didn’t know what to do with me, as there was really nothing they could teach me at the reading lessons that I didn’t know! =))) Of course, at first they didn’t believe, but reading skills is something you can’t fake, i.e. either you can or you can not! =))) Sure, if I said they were a bit surprised, I’d say just a part of truth! :wink:

My knowledge of English is also probably influenced by this unusually early reading skills of mine…

So, as for learning the letters of a new alphabet I can only refer to Japanese and Korean; in Japanese I just didn’t try to learn all the kana characters immediately and at once! =))) Rather, the opposite is right, I learned them extremely slowly and even with breaks between the periods, but not deliberate ones! :wink:

With Korean, they use a method which is not used in other alphabets, i.e. very often a new letter consists of a couple of characters each of them being a letter by itself ! =))) Hence, much less constituents are used in the Korean alphabet! =))

Yeah, true that, this so-called ‘natural’ way just won’t work, especially as far as the more exotic languages are concerned, as they are based on a totally different grammar principles, so unless somebody explains how it works, no way to figure it out, these are just nicie fairy tales…

Sure, classical language class is no doubt always of very much use, and grammar drills and everything that goes with it, definitely, it will never be just a waste of time! :wink:

As for the lack of motivation, belive me, I do understand this, as a friend of mine has exactly the same feeling now, and, I guess, in both cases it has much to do with what’s going on here in Russia, but, as always, there’s no need to elaborate on that, the situation being way too apparent…

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I was a bit of the opposite. I started out with the alphabet without much trouble and learned basic phrases through Memrise, but I was enthusiastic starting out, so that made it easier. I would say my progress has been pretty linear because I started out from memrise.com, went to Russianforfree.com, then eventually here. It seemed to me, I was glad I started out on a simple online course because in my opinion, starting out with LingQ is a bit of a learning curve because you see everything at once.

I see you’re at ~1800 words, good job on that! How do you feel about your level of understanding and speaking at that number? I’m just curious.

I started in September 2014… And have spent about 3 hrs a day on average studying, reading, and listening… I still have a long way to go, but can already understand a good amount!!


"Of course, at first they didn’t believe, but reading skills is something you can’t fake, i.e. either you can or you can not! "

I was not an early learner of anything, but my mum tells me that once when I was really young, I learned how to fake reading a few simple kids books. Basically she had read them to me so many times at night that I could recite the entire stories - bearing in mind of course that these stories were probably made of maybe ten simple sentences - and run my fingers across the lines as if I was reading them. Apparently I did it once with my teacher at pre-school or something.

When it comes to the false friends in the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, I didn’t find them such a big problem. It is confusing of course, but worse, I thought, were the letters that I am simply not used to, like д, ю, ц, and ж. The main difficulty is just getting used to these letters since they all initially just look like strange shapes.

Sounds like great progress. Three hours a day is really good.

I don’t understand much but I can pick out a lot of words from Russian. I have worked through quiet a few newpaper articles and stuff, so a lot of my ‘known words’ are words that are recognisable from English or German. I have not tried speaking Russian yet.

The study of the Russian language is not a sprint, it’s a race for a long distance.
That’s why you don’t have to hurry up, otherwise you’ll get ‘heavy breathing’ and lose your motivation to the study.
But gradually, step by step, enjoying the process, without waiting for a speed result you will feel the beauty and the power of this language of the great literature.

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I second that. That is so true. I try to do something everyday in the language(s) I want to learn, even if it´s just 5min. I also try to do a lot of “real” stuff, read russian news of the day etc. Evguenys lessons is also a big reason why I study Russian, really good help there!

I´ve started 2 years ago, an average of 1 or 2 hours per day. Right now i´ve got around 15,000 know words and i can tell you im still not completly fluent on the language. For example watching comedies on tv i can understand around 70% but if i try to watch anything more serious like a typical film with more complex words i would understand 40 to 50%.

According to LINGQ im intermediate 2. I dont want to descourage anybody, but in order to be in a good level (B2 or C1) i calculate you should have around 40.000 known words (just my opinion). You can do the math, how many words you get per year and see how many years it would take.

I know 40.000 is a scary number but you must realize that all the words are declinated, so one word count for 8 or more. also verbs are conjugated.

I would say if you want to have a good progress you need to learn around 15.000 per year, which it makes around 50 per day, having some days off.

Hope this helps to anybody, . Good luck.

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3 hours a day? That’s great! You’d think with that dedication, people think you’re getting a degree with that much time.

Thanks! I am getting a degree in computer science… But I am also taking a class at the university that is 50 mins a day… And spend every spare moment reading and listening and speaking

Is the teacher very good and inspiring?

She is OKAY… But I have found a lot of inspiration in speaking via Skype to friends In Russian…