Intermediate 1 and a 548 day streak

I’ll have been studying Russian for 3 years in January, I reached Intermediate 1 a few days ago and have a 548-day streak. While the 3 years of study have been on and off, I’ve completed the 548-day streak without missing a single day, i.e. no repairs were used. While there are a lot of usual suspects for language learning, I’ve tried to limit this list to some of my more unique recommendations:

  1. Spend the time to learn to touch type in Cyrillic early. Since you’ll be slow in the beginning, typing slowly won’t slow you down that much more. I started learning to type almost immediately, and it is a skill that’s paid off massively.

  2. Learn cursive. Some of the letters are faster and easier to write in cursive, for example, д and ш. At this point, I use a mix of cursive and print letters which allows me to write a lot faster than if I hadn’t learned the cursive versions of the letters.

  3. Set LingQ to the lowest goal setting and use that as your “minimum” for the day. I may not have done a lot every single day for 548 days, but I was consistent. Even if I “didn’t have time,” I could still manage 50 coins in a few minutes. Sometimes, that minimum would turn into much more.

  4. Don’t wait to learn grammar. I’m not saying that it needs to be the focus of your study, but it’s something that can help you recognize the different forms of the same word. And, more importantly, it will help you understand more complicated material faster because you’ll have a better understanding of how the words in the sentence interact to create something meaningful. In some cases, understanding grammar may be the difference between understanding every word in the sentence and understanding the sentence.

  5. Read things on paper every once and a while. This will help remind your brain how much easier it is to use a tool like LingQ. I find myself saying things like “Thank God I have LingQ, it’s so much more convenient than a regular book.” In this way, I’ve tricked my brain into liking even “hard” content on LingQ because it’s so much faster than reading a traditional book, newspaper, etc. Combine the convenience with the TTS… the cognitive load of figuring out new words (the definition and pronunciation) must be a fragment of what it is using a traditional book.


Very well done on reaching intermediate level and your 548 day streak. I like your emphasis on doing always a little each day and then seeing if the whim takes you to do more.

How much grammar learning did you do I wonder? Did you use the lingq grammar guide mostly?

I am learning Polish. I feel like it is time to finally get to grips with cases which I believe you also have in Russian? I figure at my A1 or 2 level just being able to recognise gender, plurals and cases is great. Then do lots of input to become familiar with the cases.

I am building a tool to help lingq users with this. My idea is feed lingq text, that we are individually familiar with into spacy for natural language processing and it can identify grammatical features of words. Automatically make a spreadsheet of words in contexts we are familiar with. Then that spreadsheet can be used as content for an Spaced Repetition System and / or be used independently.

I figure it is going to be helpful to be able to extract for example examples of sentences with male nouns from content I am familiar with then female nouns, etc. Taking the grammatical features step by step and being exposed to a lot of examples of these features in order to aid pattern recognition.

Screenshot of Google sheets sheet.

Here you can see the full sheet:

The scripts to do this are a work in progress and I hope will be usable by everyone in any language.


In the beginning, I took 2 classes A1 and the first half of A2. This gave me a couple of books (made by the university) to refer back to. I should note that I only use private tutors now since private lessons are a much more efficient use of my time.

I’m currently in the process of going through the basics of grammar again as well as learning some more B1/B2 level concepts. The process of introduction and review helps the ideas stick better, and each time I remember something that I didn’t before. For example, in the most recent pass of the locative/prepositional case, I was able to learn some of the exceptions. On the first pass, it’s hard to remember them because you’re learning so many other things like what question it answers and what ending(s) it uses.

I’ve also found that when repeating topics, using different teachers is also helpful. Each one has a different way of explaining things and different points they consider important/helpful.

I think your spreadsheet idea has great potential, especially if it could be used to generate exercises. E.g. 10 phrases where I need to put the word in the accusative case. I find these types of exercises to be a bit dull, but they require relatively little time and a small amount of mental effort. However, they’re a great way to practice recalling the words in the correct case and highlighting which situations require that case.

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