Progress Update 2 - Russian

So it’s 3 days short of a month since my last progress update. This is the end of month 3 in my 6 month challenge to understand spoken russian.

I changed it up from june/july because I was getting overwhelmed with SRS repetitions.
I was initially trying to do 100 new words a day, cyrillic and mp3 with written translation to english, just purely passive.
I was also watching telenovelas with english subtitles as well as watching a netflix show. Roughly 1.5-3 hours a day on average. I know that the first two month you essentially understand nothing so I wasn’t suprised but getting overwhelmed by the number of reps (1,000 sometimes) I got discouraged so I rolled it back. It was literally killing me because unlike during my French challenge where I could easily handle 100 new words a day, none of them were sticking even after 10 repeats and every single day. Brutal.

So I was forced to change it up. I revised my goals for the month of August.

What I did different during august:
Instead of trying to hit 3,000 known words in anki I went for 1,500 instead.

I dropped listening to telenovelas and watching netflix.

POSITIVE: I’m having much better success with my new approach: I dropped my anki new words per day way down, from trying (and failing) to learn 100 words a day. I am now doing 20-30 new words a day from the frequency list. I’ve also started adding pictures as well as saying the word out loud. That has kind of broken the back of the beast so to say. I have 1,600 known words in anki. Even if I get them wrong (roughly 30-40%) I usually only need a couple reps to get the repeat right. So it’s slow and steady. I have 24 mini linq stories done and repeated a couple times.

NEGATIVE: I’m behind where I was with French at this stage. That was expected but still kind of disappointing. At this stage with French I could understand the innerfrench guy no problem (he is probably using B1 intermediate type language). On youtube I can’t understand anything other than A1 kids stories from “russian from afar” plus some of the “Russian with Max” easy conversations. On telenovelas I can recognize about half of the words but my brain is too slow to catch the meaning and I’m still at the try to translate to English stage which is definitely way too slow. I get essentially nothing from the netflix show I was watching earlier in june/july. Maybe a word or a phrase here and there but otherwise noise.

This upcoming month (sept) I plan to get to 2,500 known words from anki raw frequency plus whatever new lingQs I make in lingQ. I’d love to be able to understand A2 stories and maybe some direct phrases in telenovelas also so I do plan to listen to A2 stuff from “russian from afar” just to get used to the speed with no expectation of understanding anything and the same with the “russian with max” guy. Hopefully I’ll get to 40 mini stories in lingQ with all the vocab lingQ and structures memorized also.

Anyhow. Update.

20-30 anki words is still an insane amount imho. That’s 300 repetitions after only 10 days. I think, based on my own experience, at some point it will become too much and you’ll get burned out (and I get the feeling from your writing that it’s already becoming too much).

With a retention of 60-70%, that’s also not very high I think. You might wonder if you’re not better of dropping it to down to some extent (e.g. 5-10 words) and reading more instead.

At least that’s my two cents :slight_smile: . Thanks for sharing your progress, and good luck!

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Thanks. Appreciate the input. TBH I’m feeling great. You’re maybe focusing on my description of what was happening before I changed it down. (I edited the post to make it clear where the positives are vs negatives so it doesn’t come off as purely negative)…

On the burnout thing the way I manage that is it’s not unending. I know it will end in six months so there’s kind of a competition thing going on there that keeps the focus up.

Also I didn’t talk about the reading but I’m doing 1-2 new ministories a day and also dumping new vocab from the ministories back into anki. I’m finding that the vocab from lingQ I hold onto much much better.

So it’s my expectation I’ll actually see a pretty big jump this month. I’m reasonably confident that I’ll be able to understand the A2 videos on youtube on or about when the snow comes. If I’m wrong I know for sure I’ll get them somewhere in the following month.

Also why I’m not totally burned out? I know that it works and it takes effort. I’ve already done Spanish and French so I’m familiar with the massive volume of effort it takes.

Anyhow yeah thanks for the feedback. Appreciated.

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