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Thread: I need advice!!

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер
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    I need advice!!

    I have been studying Russian for years. I do not feel I know it well enough for the time I've invested.

    For instance, I cannot speak well. I cannot understand native-speed speech. I try to speak but I just do not seem to know enough words to communicate or I cannot say them correctly. I do not understand speech but I can understand written "chats" on the internet.

    I can read and understand newspaper articles and short stories with the aid of a dictionary.

    I work very hard. I read almost everyday and I have a tutor that I meet with once a week. However I am not noticing a big improvement. My tutor swears I am intermediate to advance level but I feel I am missing the basics.

    I feel frustrated. Any advice to structure my program of study?
    Thanks!!
    美丽

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    For how many years have you been studying? It took me VERY long time before I was able to communicate relatively well in English. I only learned to write when I was actually forced to do so by necessity and I only started to speak when I got into an environment where I couldn't use my Russian anymore... Before that I was at a level similar to yours and I was also very frustrated... In fact, I am still frustrated with the fact that I can't express myself equally well in both languages and that I never know where to use "the" and where "a" My passive English vocabulary is much bigger than my active one, but is is still very small compared to the one that James Joyce used when he wrote Ulysses. I tried approaching that book several times, but I just don't know half of the words he is using

    To summarize I think the only way to learn how to speak is through speaking. The best way is to immerse yourself into Russian-speaking environment... If you can't go to Russia, the next best thing is probably to get Russian TV and to watch it until you get sick of it

  3. #3
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    I agree. I think that you need to be around Russian speakers. My Russian friends said that when they first arrived in USA that, though they had already leaned English, they were overwhelmed at first and could not understand anything for the first few weeks. I think that watching Russian TV will help. After a while you will notice the words that you already know popping out at you as they speak. Here is a link to some web TV.
    http://www.webtelek.com/
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Hmm. Thanks for the advice. My friend Innesa suggested the Russian TV. I got it a couple of months ago. "NTV". She said that I would learn the language "like a child by just hearing it.” So far I am like an infant It is all so fast.

    I am embarrassed to say but I first studied almost 20 years ago - just enough to learn the alphabet and a few words. Then I never really touched it again until 5 years ago. Since then I have been off and on. I have seriously studied for about 2 years.
    美丽

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    Quote Originally Posted by leslie_
    Hmm. Thanks for the advice. My friend Innesa suggested the Russian TV. I got it a couple of months ago. "NTV". She said that I would learn the language "like a child by just hearing it.” So far I am like an infant It is all so fast.
    You are probably past that age where you could learn like a child. It happens to some adults AFAIK, but rarely... Try watching news programs first. It is usually easier to understand a conversation when you know what the topic is. Also, professional announcers speak very clearly, grammatically correct, and usually somewhat slower...

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    No way, man. News reporters are the worst people on the banana-shaped Earth! They speak very fast and use journalistic jargon which includes 50 syllabels and produces an enormous amount of flem.

    In our Russian media classes, watching the news was the hardest of all.

    Watch something like soap-operas or somehing with an easy vocabulary.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  7. #7
    DDT
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    Yeah...... anything but the news
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    No way, man. News reporters are the worst people on the banana-shaped Earth! They speak very fast and use journalistic jargon which includes 50 syllabels and produces an enormous amount of flem.
    Some of them are, but those that work in studios for major news programs are mostly pretty good. In the Soviet Union they were selected and trained to speak properly. I think the major channels still follow that tradition. The person who reported most of the news during the WWII (Levitan) became national hero and everybody knew his voice. He never rushed the words. That's the sort of reporters I was thinking of when I suggested watching news... The like of Larry King if you wish, although he is not really a news reporter...

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    Ilya Frank describes any language as a table with several drawers, and the abilities to speak a foreign language and to understand it lie in different drawers. We don't notice it in our native language, and yet, if you want to speak the language fluently, then speak more, and if you want to understand it, then listen more

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    Watch Смешарики! It's a Russian kiddy cartoon which seems to be good. They don't use incredibly large vocabulary.

    The only problem I see is that being a cartoon, all the characters have incredibly high pitched squeaky voices, and sometimes speak really fast but that doesn't really matter.



    Wow... Looking back, this doesn't seem like the best thing to be watching. Ah well. Any other shows to download where maybe they don't have annoying high and quick voices.
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    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by leslie_
    Hmm. Thanks for the advice. My friend Innesa suggested the Russian TV. I got it a couple of months ago. "NTV". She said that I would learn the language "like a child by just hearing it.” So far I am like an infant It is all so fast.
    Have you tried finding a Russian company wherever you live? It may not be that difficult, go to the closest university campus and look for flyers. I remember when I had just come to the US we used to have a "Russian club", where people would get together and speak only Russian. Half of the participants were Americans, and some were not doing that well, though they improved remarkably with time. Many Russians would be very happy seeing someone learning their language.

    I must add that listening to the news will help with comprehension if you are patient enough (which I am not, for example), however it is not likely to make you speak. Being able to speak is a totally different skill, you need a specific toolbox of phrases for the everyday functions, and that you can only get among Russians.

    And finally, give it some time and most importantly, significant effort. Learning another language is difficult, whatever those commercial ads would say. I am into the third year of french, and I am freaking out
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

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