Russian Roundup – June 2017

with 19 Comments

How did you do with your language goals in June? Did you finish everything you wanted to? Are you where you hoped you’d be halfway through the year?

I’m changing up some of my study habits this summer. My husband and I went to a Russian language meetup yesterday, and I realized it was the first time I’d really spoken Russian in weeks. In the spring, a friend would call weekly on Skype and we’d chat in Russian, but she left to visit her parents in the village about a month ago. Plus, since we don’t have any travel plans to Ukraine or Russia this summer… well, summertime sadness.

So I’m going to set different goals over the next few months: less consuming, more creating + doing. And I’ve found a ton of goal-setting inspiration from the #ClearTheList community. I’ve been reading through posts from people learning all kinds of different languages in all different kinds of ways. #ClearTheList is hosted every month by 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, click on the image below.


Set your language learning goals as a part of the Clear the List Link Up hosted by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste, Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages, Angel Pretot of French Lover, and Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency


On to the roundup!


Что нового

Here are some cool recent finds for improving your Russian:


Review of June Goals



Leonid Andreyev’s At Roadside Station wasn’t a particularly enthralling read, so I continued on and read the next story, Snapper. That was much better! (But a warning: sad dog story.)

As you could probably guess from the title, the movie «Замуж за американца» was bad. Terribly bad. Ughhhh. The plot involved a Hollywood movie star coming to a Russian village to find an old woman who could make gooseberry jam. I could only get through half of it.

Russian Army Slang for Airsoft Games was an interesting way to go over military vocabulary. I learned к бою, prepare for battle and бросаю гранату, I’m throwing a grenade. One question, though- is there a difference between враг and противник? They both refer to enemy, but is there some special nuance between them?

My husband and I have watched several Как я стал русским episodes lately. I think we’re now on episode 13. It’s still an awesomely entertaining show, though it’s becoming more of a soap opera than a comedy.

I wrote two letters in Russian this month- one to a penpal in Ukraine, the other to a penpal in Siberia. My Ukrainian penpal just had a baby, so we’ve been talking a lot about different pregnancy superstitions and habits. For example, she wrote that in Ukraine, people superstitiously wait until after the baby is born to go on shopping sprees and that there’s less of an obsession with finding out the baby’s gender before birth. In my letter, I wrote to her about babymoons and push presents. There are probably some mistakes here, but…


Also, June seemed like a really slow month for translation projects. I had an empty inbox for almost 2 weeks, which is unusual. In the end, I completed 7 paid assignments plus one test translation for a future project. The most interesting task was translating the background description for a game (think something like Disney’s Aladdin). The most boring task involved release notes for a security app. Starting now, I’m going to track translation stats more closely.



I’m almost afraid to open ANKI now. I’ve been adding to it for months and months and it now reads ‘1257 cards due.’ Uh oh. Ideas?

News in Slow Russian still looks like a really cool resource. Definitely saving this for later.

Китайский язык за 16 часов- урок 2 lingers in the YouTube queue. I want to finish watching it, but then we’ll probably stop watching Dmitry Petrov after this lesson is over.

Including this in “didn’t happen” – tried to get Кит to have a фотосессия with the calendar this month. He wasn’t having any of it.


July Study Plan

This study plan is different because it has other languages on there. I might not always include them in the future… just experimenting a little this month, inspired by some of the #ClearTheList polyglots like Tiia!





What are your language goals for July 2017?

Leave me a comment below! ?

19 Responses

  1. UkrainianAl
    | Reply

    Glad you are moving along with your goals. I haven’t started last years yet 🙂

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Haha :p Except look at you, using some Russian in emails now. That’s a good step, Al!

  2. Elena
    | Reply

    I know how it feels when you neglect Anki and it gets kind of scary… If I open my Japanese decks now they might attack me! Best thing is to tackle the cards little by little, just do 5 minutes whenever you have time without worrying too much about the amount of due cards.

    That is a lot of good resources you’re using, if I ever decide to tackle Russian I know where to go for inspiration 🙂 Oh and I love the graphics you made for your goals!
    Good luck with your studies in July!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Thank you very much, Elena! 🙂

      5 minutes of ANKI totally sounds doable… I’m going to take a deep breath and get started!

  3. J.T.
    | Reply

    I haven’t spoken to ANYONE in Russian for the past two months…except my Border collie. I ask him for directions and talk with him about random subjects, and he tilts his head terrier-style upon hearing an unfamiliar language. It’s sad, but it’s the only outlet for me to practice speaking Russian until the Fall semester…

    *reads Russian slang glossary*
    President Botox and PM iPhone. Hm. -_-

    • Mikhail
      | Reply

      You can practice with me. If you’d like I can speak with you via Skype.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Oooh, Mikhail, that’s a really nice offer! 🙂

      J.T., have you also thought about using a language exchange platform like italki? You could do a voice only chat if you don’t want to do video. Or is a good one, too- it’s more for penpals, but I found several learning partners on there. (That said, I wholeheartedly advocate talking to pets 😉 Am always talking to my cat in Russian, haha.)

  4. Lyttenburgh
    | Reply

    “a couple of new (old-fashioned) names: Тихан”

    Actually, he is Tikhon (ТихОн).

    Note: Watch only first 4 movies of the “Three Bogatyrs” franchise. The further the series went the more… Well – just look at what became of the “Transformers” and “Pirates”.

    “One question, though- is there a difference between враг and противник? They both refer to enemy, but is there some special nuance between them?”

    Противник is more often translated as “opponent” or “adversary”. Besides – not every “противник” is your “враг”.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Thanks for catching that + for the explanation, Lyttenburgh. 🙂

      I didn’t realize the series had taken off like that. Will keep in mind what you said about the later cartoons.

  5. Akita
    | Reply

    Good luck with your goals this month! Nice illustration cards with your goals, how did you make these? I always like listening to music covers in other languages ^^ It’s my first time on your blog, and you seem to have so many free resources for Russian. I’ll know where to go when I start learning Russian!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Kiitos, Akita! By the way, I think it’s so cool that you’re learning Finnish! My family is originally from Finland, so I’m super curious about the language and culture. Off to read your blog now- looking forward to reading about how you’re learning the language!

      PS: I made the graphic on It’s really easy to create nice graphics there + it’s free 🙂

  6. Angel
    | Reply

    Hi again Katherine 🙂

    I absolutely looove your language learning plan on a picture and the immediate visualisation of the success (or lack thereof) with smileys. It looks really good and it’s very practical too. We can see at once that you did almost everything in June. Congrats!

    I also love your cat – but who doesn’t love them?

    Good luck for the July study plan.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Thank you, Angel! Haha, yes, my cat is always glad to be the center of attention. 😉 Hope your July is going well!

  7. Tiia
    | Reply

    Hi Katherine!
    Omg, I just had to go and check the Russian covers and they are… just wow. my brain is so confused 😀 Thank you, I guess. Speaking of music, you recommended me Russian bands/songs a while ago and for that I really need to thank you! I fell in love especially with Мельница. I always loved celtic folk music and they have a similar vibe to their music!

    Thanks for the mention, too, happy to know what I do inspires others 🙂 It’s so awesome that you have actual penpals, by the way. Best of luck with your goals!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      That’s funny you mentioned Мельница, Tiia! I’m writing a new post about cool Russian songs that are sung by women… of course Мельница is going to make the cut. 🙂 So glad you enjoy them!

      Speaking of songs, try this song:
      It’s been playing in my head for days! Someone recently shared it… wish I could remember who it was…

  8. Sam
    | Reply

    Really nice goals. I have been learning Spanish this month and found Coffee Break Spanish really handy. It focuses on the basis grammar and phrases you will use when travelling. I always find their podcasts really helpful in building a basic foundation of the language.
    Also the news in slow series (for Spanish too) is really great. If you download the iOS app they even have transcriptions for all the free material so you can read along if that helps you.
    I would love to learn Russian too. It is on the list for the future but going to stick to German, Spanish and Italian for now 🙂
    Good luck this month! 🙂

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      A friend once gave me all the materials for Season 1 of Showtime Spanish from the same company… it was really helpful. (And you reminded me that I bought some of the News Spanish ones and then never did anything with them, oops.)

      Hope you’re having a great July, Sam. Can’t wait to see what your next language tracker will look like!

  9. Shannon
    | Reply

    Glad to see I’m not the only one enjoying Schaum’s! All the best to you with your goals this month.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Thank you, Shannon 🙂 The Schaum’s series is awesome, agreed!

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