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Thread: Not making Progress

  1. #1
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    Not making Progress

    Hello All,
    I have been teaching myself russian for almost 2 years . I am using Pimsluer and "Russian language for everyone" text book. I learned quite a bit of words and sentences. But when i confront a russian speaking preson,I go blank . Should I find myself a teacher to overcome this? I am kinda frustrated. Any suggestions...
    Thanks
    Vivek

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Re: Not making Progress

    How about you talk with Russians? viewforum.php?f=37

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: Not making Progress

    watch Russian serials to develop your ear. Two yrs of Pimslur and a text aren't going to get you very far, that's only a beginning. To develop you need an advanced grammar and you have to start reading Russian daily.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Re: Not making Progress

    I wouldn't recommend Pimsleur...
    I am only completing it because I like to take things through that I start. But it is quite bad for many reasons.

    Mainly; it is actually using gramatically questionable expressions according to the Russians here... Also -- some words are not used correctly either.

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    Re: Not making Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    watch Russian serials to develop your ear. Two yrs of Pimslur and a text aren't going to get you very far, that's only a beginning. To develop you need an advanced grammar and you have to start reading Russian daily.
    Sperk, you're the native English speaker... BUT, isn't it called "SERIES"? Or have I been wrong all this time?

    Agree about series being a good way of learning; if you get hooked on something, you'll watch regardless.

    Anyway, I downloaded a good series about a Russian village where at least one of the women is a witch!!! Interesting plot. I like it because of they funky style of the people in the village - 100% no Hollywood cheeziness there.. The nature looks very much like Scandinavia. So similar, yet so different! The plot seems good, but:

    UNFORTUNATELY there are no subs at all.... And I really cannot understand some of what they say; I just understand a sentence here, a sentence there....

  6. #6
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    Re: Not making Progress

    If you're able to understand the language, but not speak it, it might also be the active versus passive knowledge taking hold. The latter is always better than the former and it seems to be the source of frustration for many students ("if I can understand it, why can't I say it myself?"). Orrrr you may be facing the problem of overcoming the subconscious fear of speaking the language you have not yet mastered, in which case the only way to combat it, is to make yourself speak regardless - perhaps Crocodile's suggestion of speaking with complete strangers might come in handy here, as it is slightly easier to start with the people you have never met before, nor will you ever have to contact again if you have no desire to.

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: Not making Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    watch Russian serials to develop your ear. Two yrs of Pimslur and a text aren't going to get you very far, that's only a beginning. To develop you need an advanced grammar and you have to start reading Russian daily.
    Sperk, you're the native English speaker... BUT, isn't it called "SERIES"? Or have I been wrong all this time?
    I'm just using the Russian word сериал which is generally different from what a series is in the US. Series are usually a complete story in each episode, whereas serials usually continue a storyline from episode to episode (similar to soap operas or mini-series). BTW, what is that serial you're watching?
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  8. #8
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    Re: Not making Progress

    I remember the brick wall feeling really well. It goes away only with lots of practice. Take it from someone who hit his head on the brick wall for two years before a hole in the wall appeared.
    One thing to do is find a conversation partner. You can get one at sharedtalk.com, where you can find people who want to have a language exchange. Finding a Russian who wants to practice English is not hard at all.
    Personally, if you haven't broken the speaking barrier yet, I would suggest limiting yourself to very simple conversations: when did you go to work? Where do you work? What time did you go to work, what do you like, where do you live, what is your brother's name, and so on. Then move to other topics as you master old ones. Don't be afraid to repeat the same topic twice, and then come back to it again later. Expressly ask your partner to correct mistakes in accent, intonation, verb conjugation, and declensions. I've found that most Russians are pleased that someone can speak their language in an intelligible way, that they forget the fact you're making mistakes and just let you talk. If your conversation partner is bored with having such simple conversations with you, ditch him. There are tons of other Russians who'd love to practice English with you.
    As for resources, I would suggest Living Language Russian. It is just an excellent resource. Lots of hours of really clearly recorded voices of native speakers discussing common topics like business, flying, sports, etc. It's a little dry, but having plowed through all 15 chapters of the somewhat misnamed Ultimate Russian Advanced course, I can say that afterwards my Russian was significantly better. There is also a beginner version. Both the beginner and advanced versions have all the positive features of Pimselur- good recordings with native speakers and pauses to allow you to repeat after the native speakers, PLUS real written exercises that will de-mystify a lot of the grammar.
    At bbc.co.uk/russian, you can find daily news recordings. If in the beginning you don't understand much, don't worry. It will get your ear used to the language better, and after some time you'll start to hear the most frequent words repeating themselves.
    And never underestimate the importance of rote memorization, especially of verbs.

  9. #9
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: Not making Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by tim_in_kiev
    As for resources, I would suggest Living Language Russian.
    a gem of language learning.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  10. #10
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    Re: Not making Progress

    Hello All,
    Sorry for this late response. I was out of the town for the past two days. I would like to thank all who gave me valuable tips in breaking this barrier. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. I know that practice is the only solution for this problem. I am going to try the suggestions given here.
    Thanks a lot again
    Regards
    Vivek

  11. #11
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    Re: Not making Progress

    Find a native speaker (or someone quite advanced) and hold short conversations with them. This will teach your pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary, and prepare you for real-life situations. You will find, as in English also, Russians' conversations will differ from those of textbooks!

    Don't fret, I've been studying Russian for YEARS, even at the college level, and half my family is from Ukraine, and I still struggle with it. It's a tough language!

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