The Five Stages: Another Adventure in the Russian language

When my wife was in the army she was told that a soldier needs to be given a command five times before being able to carry it out.

  1. The first time is to get his attention.
  2. The second time is so that he can repeat it.
  3. The third time is so that he can understand it.
  4. The fourth time is so that he can remember it.
  5. The fifth time is so that he can carry it out.

I have applied this to learning Russian.

  1. When I encounter an unfamiliar word, expression, prefix, suffix, etc. I fix my attention on it.
  2. Then I try to repeat it.
  3. Then I seek to understand its meaning.
  4. Then I try to remember it.
  5. Then as the need arises I will try to use it.

However, in the case of learning Russian there is the need to adopt a circular approach so I go through the process many times.

Hello there, please still updating your progress using this method.

Bye for now.

A good method that everyone can apply not only with Russian but also with other languages!

It’s a funny thing with that 5-repetition rule. When I read your message I instantly remembered when I was reading ‘The Art of War’. There was an interesting introduction, a story where a general was to prove himself capable of leading his master’s army.
Sun Tzu, as it’s believed that was the name of the general, was given a command over a group of 180 women and told to discipline them. His master was watching.
He divided this group into 2 smaller ones and promoted two of the master’s favorite concubines to be in charge of both.
He told them that they must obey his command and do exactly as he says. The women agreed.
Then he gave the order to perform some kind of movement and women burst into fits of laughter. The general said "If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. "
He gave one more order “Left turn” and the ladies once again started laughing. Then the general said “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.” He then ordered the leaders of the two companies to be beheaded. His master seeing that his favorite concubines were to be killed wanted to disregard this command but the general said that the master himself gave him the command of this army so the decision is for him to make and the concubines were killed.

I was once put in charge of a Chinese warlord’s concubines and told to give them instructions…I can’t remember the rest of the story.

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Grammar according to Zhuangzi. If I tell an army officer a joke, he will laugh three times. The first time when the joke is told, the second time when the joke is explained to him, and the third time, much much later when he understands the joke. I think grammar rules are like this.


Haha, that’s a good one :slight_smile: