Russian Roundup – August 2017

with 14 Comments


August fried my brain, you guys. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I looked too long at the eclipse? My thinking is as hazy as the skies here (lots of local wildfires).

Most of the language stuff I did this month just happened by chance. The best thing: LinguaLink finally set me up with Elena Nikolaevna, an energetic 70-something pensioner who lives in Kyrgyzstan. We’ve been speaking twice a week on Skype. Elena Nikolaevna is a really interesting woman, and I’ll tell you more about her in the future. In the meantime, if the idea of a Russian-speaking pensioner correcting your grammar and worrying about your health sounds intriguing, sign up here.

As usual, this month I’m joining up with the cool language learners in the #ClearTheList community, like Lindsay (Lindsay Does Languages), Shannon (Eurolinguiste), Kris (Actual Fluency), and Angel (French Lover). If you have a language blog and you could also use some public accountability when it comes to your goals, join the group by clicking on the image below.

 

Что нового

A few interesting links I came across this month:

 

Also, a friend sent these pictures from the streets of Washington, DC:

 

And Facebook now shows me local ads in Russian, which is pretty neat:

 

 

Review of August Goals

COMPLETED

This month I had only 4 translations. Maybe everyone in the agency is on vacation? I feel like since work was so slow, I should have gotten so many other things done this month… but nope. My brain was also on vacation. And is still on vacation.

All those little half circles aren’t about Pokemon GO. They’re all things that I started but didn’t finish. For example, I did write my penpals in Russian, but Tanya and I never talked on Skype. I wrote down a bunch of things to say when someone comments on my Russian, but I never used them. (And then I lost the paper I wrote them on.) I finished reading Айболит but haven’t started anything new.

By the way, when I bought this book at a little kiosk in Ukraine, the vendor asked me how old my child was. Haha! I should have said “almost 30”.  At that time, though, the book was still too hard for me, so it’s nice to finally be at a point where it’s possible- and even enjoyable- to read it.

 

September Study Plan

I’m not setting any language goals for September, but I’d love to hear what yours are!

 

What are your language goals for September 2017?

Leave me a comment below! 🙂

 

14 Responses

  1. Anne-Marie O'Neill
    | Reply

    No language goals for September?! I guess sometimes you need to take a step back, and having no goals doesn’t mean no progress 🙂

    I’ve also changed my settings on Facebook too. I’ve taken English off as a language I understand and it’s started automatically translating my friends English posts into French!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Yes, I totally agree with you, Anne-Marie. 🙂 Hopefully there will still be progress, even if it’s not as measured. I’ll still be doing things- using Russian with my husband, for example- but I’ve planned out language goals every month for the past 10 months and now I’m curious… what will happen? (If it ends up being a month of slacking off, haha, that’s fine, lesson learned!)

      That’s good you’ve changed your FB settings… more immersion, more new words. I need to do that- mine is still set in English, oops.

  2. Marie
    | Reply

    Oh! But it still seems like you accomplished a lot! I think the August brain fry might be an international thing, since I also suffered from it. That book looks beautiful! I wish you many more interesting readings in September!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Thank you, Marie! I wish your brain a very speedy recovery so you can hit the books hard this September! 😉

  3. Sam
    | Reply

    I think a lot of the best language learning can happen by accident. It’s always nice to find someone that is really interesting to learn from like Elena. When we travelled in Bavaria (Germany) earlier this year we met an amazing German couple that had been together for almost 60 years. He was a teacher and she used to be a switchboard controller (something I have only seen in films). We talked for ages in German and English (as only me and the husband could speak both languages). It was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot of German from it.
    Hope you have another lucky month of learning!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Wow, what a perfect situation for a language learner!!! 🙂 I hope you have many more encounters like that in the future, Sam!

  4. Trisha
    | Reply

    I see a lot of people are taking it easier in September. I think this is a good idea. I often find that taking a bit of a break does help to recalibrate my old brain. You did manage to still achieve a lot in August so well done you!

  5. Dorothée
    | Reply

    Good luck with your learning even if you don’t set goals. I’ll try to focus on one language (Japanese) instead of multiple as usual, in order to see if I progress more.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      That’s a good strategy, Dorothée 🙂 I hope you have a great month with Japanese!

  6. Tiia
    | Reply

    “The idea of a Russian-speaking pensioner correcting your grammar and worrying about your health” sounds just absolutely brilliant. 😀 I think any month when you Skyped with a person like that twice a week cannot have been one without loads of learning, no matter what your goals were and whether you achieved them or not. I hope you’ll have a lot more by-accident learning like that in September!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Yes, Elena has been a MASSIVE help! An hour of focused conversation in Russian twice a week… I can’t even achieve that with my own husband and we live together. Plus, there’s something intimidating about Russian-speaking pensioners, like you absolutely can’t say “no” to them.

      Want to carry this bag for me?
      Of course.
      Want to put on an extra scarf because it’s cold outside?
      Of course.
      Want another shot of самогон?
      Of course.
      Want to study this grammar chart for our next Skype conversation?
      Of course.

      I have no doubt that if I ever wasn’t prepared for one of our conversations, she’d magically show up at the door and make me regret it, haha. Anyway, I hope you have a great September as well, Tiia! And lots of fun in Iceland!

  7. Elena
    | Reply

    The idea behind LinguaLink is pure genius. Meeting someone interesting to talk with in your target language is one of the best ways to pick up some real-life words and expressions, so I’m sure September will be a good learning month no matter what.

    And yay to not setting goals, I hope it works well for you! Have a great month!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Hopefully the idea of matching older people with lots of free time + language learners will soon become common in other languages, too. It could help lots of people around the world win at both education and emotional health.

      Let’s rock our no-plan Septembers together, Elena! 🙂 Can’t wait to read about yours at the end of the month!

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