As of the first of October 2015, I've decided to start learning Russian.
I thought it would be interesting, and maybe motivating to document my progress on a regular basis.
The right hand side shows my progress and the resources I have used
(or come across). I also link to other resources that I haven't
So why Russian? Well, over the past couple of years, and in a lackadaisical way, I've learnt some Polish. Not much, but enough to have inspired an interest in the Slavic languages, and as a consequence, I would like to learn Russian.
My approach with Polish was unproductive, and I can barely string a (Polish) sentence together. One day, I hope to return to the language and attempt to reach some sort of decent level where I can communicative.
But for now I'm going to focus on Russian.
What I learnt from my attempts with Polish was that success with a difficult
language requires more thought and organization. Difficult
here means any language that causes you problems personally
Polish was difficult for me. That doesn't mean that it will be for you.
Polish and Russian are both slavic languages, and there are (I believe) many similarities between the two. I have learnt a lot through making mistakes attempting to learn Polish, and I'm trying not to replicate them with Russian.
Mistakes I made with Polish
I never set myself targets
When I began to learn Polish, I was overwhelmed by the differences between Polish and English, and this really hampered by progress. I couldn't see the wood
for the trees, and so didn't set myself clear goals.
Instead of taking a step back and progressing bit by bit, I floundered aimlessly without a clear path and essentially learnt nothing.
I'm going to set myself clear (and achievable) weekly targets.
I never spoke the language
This isn't strictly true as I went to a weekly class, but I never had to say much, and a class is very different from a one on one conversation.
As someone who likes talking, I don't know why I didn't start using
italki for weekly conversational classes. Probably because, as I wrote above, I let myself by overwhelmed by the language.
I'm going to have my first conversation using italki in the second week of November (after learning Russian for six weeks), and from then on I'm going to have two half hour lessons a week.
I didn't find interesting resources
There is (or was) a lack of resources for beginners who are learning Polish.
This definitely isn't the case for Russian, and I've already found a lot of interesting material to study/learn from.
Books and other resources
There are the resources I'm using (month by month).
I have bought Colloquial Russian
and I'm using LingQ. This costs $10 a month and has a lot of extremely good Russian beginner content.
And finally ...
I intend to document the hours I've spent and the steps I take to learn Russian.
I'm writing this on the first of October 2015, and by the first of October 2016, I want to be able to read Russian: Метро 2033 (a russian science fiction novel).
This may be optimistic, but gives me something to aim for.
We will see,