https://www.duolingo.com/quantmeyer

A Duolingo success story!

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Last night I attended a holiday party and much to my delight there were maybe 10 Russian speakers that were originally from Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine. Needless to say I spent a good chunk of time trying to subtly eavesdrop... At one point I was having a one-on-one with one of the Russian speaking guests and another Russian speaker ran up and started speaking Russian. Of course, I was very actively listening and shifting my eyes back and forth between speakers as they exchanged.

They caught on and one of them joked: "Oh don't worry. We were just talking trash about you." To which I replied while lying through my teeth: "Я всё понимаю. Я тоже говорю по русски!"

Another deluge of Russian came my way accompanied by big smiles. The jig was up and I had to admit that I didn't understand more than a handful of words here. And that I've been studying Russian on-and-off for a couple years and a while back even took two semesters in college. Despite all of this, I'm only at the point where I could confidently distinguish one word from another in their speech and find meaning in a couple words per sentence. I sure knew when they were talking about the dog running around the party though! I went on to explain that Russian is really difficult for me.

One of them was an English teacher back in Russia and and whole-heartedly identified with my pain even though he learned Russian as a kid. He was very excited that I'm interested in speaking Russian. So I made some new friends!

And as it turns out this isn't actually a Duolingo success story, but just another "Russian is so hard" post. Sorry! ;D

2 months ago

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/YPSILONZ
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I was seriously considering quitting duolingo when I saw your post and thought it would be a motivation to keep me going... Until I reached the end... XD XD
I have finished the tree and leveled up most of it to crown 3. It took me more than two years. But lately I've been incredibly bored and barely keep my streak while I feel like I'm learning nothing at all. I'm also increasingly irritated by the increasingly frequent mistakes of the robot voice and I constantly feel unsure about the pronunciation of common words... I'm looking for a way to continue my learning because my motivation is still running strong.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenCostell3

I really recommend trying to read some Russian literature and listening to Russian songs and watching films, even children's cartoons. I've recently begun reading some Chekhov, Pushkin, and Tolstoy, and that's helped me immensely. And yes, the new Duo voice makes a bunch of mistakes. I'd ignore it.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YPSILONZ
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Thanks for your suggestions! I already listen to russian songs because I'm a fan of a russian singer. That's why I'm learning Russian in the first place :-). Songs have helped me immensely memorize vocabulary and grammatical structures! I don't read literature yet but I read some interviews, news articles and comments on instagram/youtube. I've recently started watching the historical series Екатерина but with subtitles in my native language.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenCostell3

It sounds like you're well on your way to mastering the language then! I too find sometimes that once you reach a certain point where you've got the basics but you don't have the kind of mastery you ultimately want, it can feel like you aren't making much progress. For me, the way I've been dealing with that is to really challenge myself with reading literature, reading things that are maybe a bit beyond me sometimes. Gradually, what was a bit over my head becomes infinitely more natural. I still find the spoken part of the language the hardest by far, and the part where I make the least progress.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YPSILONZ
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For speaking I tried the Pimsleur course (I've done about 12-13 lessons so far) and found it helps A LOT. I need to continue with it but alas, I'm often so lazy... Duolingo has been the only thing I've managed to be consistent with for so long actually.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ccf-Uk_2018
Plus
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I agree with Ben. Have a look at some Russian YouTube videos and see how much you can understand. Try listening to a Disney song in Russian for example, or some big events lately like Luke Modric in football. But watch the Russian videos. I learnt Russian as a child and I’ve been finding it interesting seeing how much I can understand while watching videos. Not very much to be honest, but I’m going to keep practicing. I hope one day Vietnamese can be as a good as my Russian. :-) Keep going with the Russian learning, I have faith in you that you can do it!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YPSILONZ
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Thank you! As I wrote above I already listen to songs and I even study them, word for word, and translate them, it's one of my favourite things. I get chills everytime I listen to a song after a long time and realise that this time I can understand whole lines of lyrics even without trying! And this is what keeps me going actually. Videos with tv shows or interviews are still too hard for me, but I watch some nonetheless - not as much as I'd like though. I think I'll start watching youtube lessons at this point.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daltojr
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One thing that's been of great help to me is to turn on automaticaly generated subtitles for videos in youtube. You'll be amazed by how good their AI is and how much more you'll understand!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YPSILONZ
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Yeah, I do that sometimes, but auto-translated in English. Do you read subs in Russian? That seems to me too hard.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daltojr
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Get used to it) You don't need to understand everything from the beginning. After a few weeks, you'll start to see the progress.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P-Code
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Russian is hard, but that makes success stories feel even better :)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hubinou
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Nice story. Thanks for sharing it.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Enriquee24
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Haha! Still a good story. Meh,they all have their difficulties and their easy "sides" so to speak. Hope you wont drop out of it and keep on studying. Best of luck!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quantmeyer
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Now that I know there's a circle of native Russian speakers adjacent to my friend circle, I'm certainly more motivated to keep it up!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007
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Es ist schwer, aber du kannst es schaffen.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruslan_I
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Круто тебе! Найти бы где носителя английского языка и задружиться :)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KrisiunThor
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Haha nice !

Keep going bro !

1 month ago
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