2007-04-18 02:15 am (UTC)
Now that I've had all sorts of language classes, I think the best sort are the ones with a small group and a teacher who'll respond to your speed. Then it goes as fast as you can, and you get lots of conversation practice to let the internalization process happen as well. (Having other students is helpful because they give you a target to do better than as well as let you practice listening in on conversations you're not involved in.)
I kinda know where you're at. Last semester I took a Russian class (it's through a program, not a real school - one day a week, no tests or grades). The teacher referred to it as the "alphabet class". Now I'm taking a German conversation class through the same program (I minored in German in college).
I know my Russian will never be good (though I did see a Russian thriller, Dead Daughters, and was happy I could at least hear some of the words I knew). It's still fun to learn, and I would like to improve.
how funny! I am a native Russian speaker and I haven't seen Dead Daughters movie:) Moreover I seriously doubt it's worth watching.. I would better recommend "Даун Хаус"
(if you feel interested in relatively modern russian movie). That's the bomb!
I think you can improve both your German and your Russian at the same time. I think you could probably even become fluent in both if you should so desire.
Don't degrade your potential - just work for what you desire and you'll get there. You're a smart guy.
2007-04-18 05:22 am (UTC)
It's not that I don't think I can... I have no doubt of that. It's just the cost(time)/benefit analysis.
But on the other hand, what else would I do? Hack more? In practice, no, because I'd get bored. So there's probably little cost.
I just wish I could devote something like 10x more time to learning Russian. I'm afraid that with only one 3 hour class per week, I'm not going to get anywhere too fast.
2007-04-18 05:59 am (UTC)
hang out in secret hacker russian chatrooms
spy on them
maybe they'll do a NASA break-in
maybe the australians will
Правильно, надо учить русский. Прямо здесь. С нами. Ты нам очень интересен.
2007-04-18 05:16 am (UTC)
Dan was telling me that his mother's German classes do the same thing each quarter, that it's common for people taking a language "for fun" in community/night/junior college to realize it's too much work or not interesting enough and quit early.
I've had that experience, too, learning Japanese. In two cases, the classes got smaller and smaller over the semesters until they were no longer offered (though in one case, they continued them informally at the teacher's house).
Ну а Вы принимайтесь-ка за английский!
Agree. Russian language is not fun. I don't think anyone can learn it without effort. You will have to spend a hell of a time to just be able to create simple sentences. If I were you I would better focus on some of European languages. German or French or maybe Spanish..
Be sure somebody does remember that Albanian is a European (and even Indo-European) language.
do you plan on living in SF for any amount of time?
if so- learn mexican
2007-04-18 02:42 pm (UTC)
I studied Spanish in college for a year. I'm nowhere near great, but I can read stuff and understand people pretty well, and communicate with people occasionally as the need arises. It'd be fun to learn more, but I'm not sure I have enough need for it.
2007-04-18 01:19 pm (UTC)
Awhile ago I was subbing at a middle school for a teacher who taught science and Spanish. Thankfully it was the beginning of a new quarter and the kids in the Spanish class knew as much Spanish as I know.
After school I was grading these "tests" the teacher had previously given. He asked the kids how long they thought it took it learn a language, how many languages are spoken in the world, etc. It wasn't really a test and there really wasn't any point in me "grading" it in my mind. He should have just given them points for completing it. Anyway, the responses these sixth graders gave goes to show a) how sheltered a life they really live b) that they aren't very smart or c) that they thought the assignment was stupid too.
The responses went something like this:
How many languages are spoken in the world? I think maybe three. English, Spanish, and (insert one of these languages here: French, Italian, German).
How long does it take to learn a new language? I think 3 months. Maybe longer, like a year, if you really want to learn it well.
There were a few that were more intelligent, but for the most part the entire stack from both classes was like that!
Sorry this post isn't totally related to what you were saying!
2007-04-18 02:14 pm (UTC)
Re: random thought
Aw, how cute. :P
russian, german, spanish...how many languages do you speak?
2007-04-18 10:23 pm (UTC)
German pretty well but not fluently, Spanish a little (year in college), Russian just starting.
Ты сможешь ответь на вопрос "Как дела?"
2007-04-19 06:16 am (UTC)
russian - is a great choice:)
Just don't give up, cause You never know:)
The point is by all means NOT TO GET BORED! Believe me, the grammar is not that important. But Russian litterature, and Russian life and mentality are. I would suggest learning some nice, simple, short Russian songs, if you like music, or short poems written by great Russian poets at the beginning of the 20-th century, but probably not the contemporary trash. It makes learning the language fun!
If I were you I would possibly take later a course on Russian Literature (in English) when you learn enough words to read texts. If you just want to be able to have simple conversations, then you need a personal tutor, a friend, a colleage for that, not so much the formal lessons. To give you an example of a nice poem:
"Winter Night" by Boris Pasternak, from his "Doctor Zhivago" famous novel. It has a very Russian mood.
The original in Russian:http://www.litera.ru/stixiya/authors/pasternak/melo-melo-po.html
2007-04-20 04:26 am (UTC)
My first link is not working for some reason
Viel Erfolg! Da ich Englisch nur eingeschränkt kann, schreibe ich in Deutsch: Suche Dir doch ein Paar interessante russische Blogs zusammen und lese diese regelmäßig, dann wird es viel schneller mit der Sprache gehen. Kommentieren könntest Du ja in Englisch oder Deutsch.
2007-04-21 09:40 am (UTC)
Ja. Ich lese schon viele Blogs, die auf Russisch sind. (oder... ich versuche es, sie zu lesen... :))
Frage mich, wenn Du etwas nicht verstehst, ich übersetzte es gerne:) ins Deutsche:) So lernst Du zwei Sprachen gleichzeitig:)