January 2020


This month was filled with a lot of experimentation. I tried a lot of language learning methods and cherry-picked ideas I liked from all of those methods. This journal entry details my experiences with some of those methods.


Looking for language learning methods online, I found Gabriel Wyner’s [Fluent Forever method]It was around this time that they’d released their app, so I decided to try it out. While it was definitely better than Duolingo, the cost-to-benefit ratio wasn’t good. If I recall correctly, it was around $10/month, and it definitely was not worth that much.

There was a silver lining though. Turns out, they had a few tutorials on Anki. So I made some picture vocab cards and some cloze deletion cards over the next few weeks.

Later in the month, I found the act of actually making the cards very tiring. So I looked around for some pre-made decks and tried a few. I would do my reviews intermittently, but Anki never really became a habit.

Midway through the month, I discovered “learning through immersion” courtesy of ariinbeijing. I really liked this idea, because it didn’t feel like work/study. Just watch and listen to Russian content and profit!

It also introduced me to sentence mining. Even though I liked the idea, I would not start seriously mining for sentences until much later in my journey.

Also tried out LingQ after watching a few Steve Kaufmann videos. It seemed like a great concept, but the site just didn’t jive with me. It was a combination of bad UX, bad design and the high cost. Plus, I didn’t want to read.

Moving away from Anki and the whole card creation process, I was enticed by Lýdia Machová’s gold list method. For those unfamiliar, it’s a glorified physical flashcard system with a few quirks of it’s own. I made a few entries in a notebook. Reviewed them a couple times. Alas, I couldn’t stick with it either.

Finally, I concluded that immersion learning was the way to go. It fit my habits and I enjoyed doing it.

Also, I occasionally listened to Russian with Max and Tatiana Klimova’s Русский Подкаст.