January 2022


Big update, long overdue


I’ve been procrastinating writing a progress update, but I feel like typing it all out will help me make sense of all the jumbled thoughts I keep having about Russian. And it might be helpful to other learners out there.

I passed the 2 year mark of my Russian journey in December of last year. I don’t have many numbers though, since I only started tracking around November (screenshot in thread).

I’ll start with comprehension

I usually have level 5 or high level 4 comprehension for most of the content I immerse in. The bulk of that content is YouTube, followed by podcasts and Reddit. I’ve decided against forcing myself to read more books because it’s not exactly aligned with my goals as of now. So, pretty much all of my reading immersion comes from messages, Reddit, forums, blogs, etc. I do listen to audiobooks though, and I find them very enjoyable when I’m in the mood for them. Podcasts and audiobooks are my go to when driving.

Also, recently I’ve stopped doing passive immersion (except when I’m driving). I’ve found that I’m more ready and excited to do active immersion when I come to it fresh. And passive immersion was kind of messing with that, so I try to avoid it.

On to output

I’ve been having weekly chats (speaking) with my language partner. I look forward to them, and gradually getting to know someone is pretty motivating. Although there are weeks when we can’t talk and in such weeks I usually don’t output. I’ve also had three conversational sessions on iTalki and a few language exchange sessions with a different partner.

From my side, I’ve found that, while there are instances where I struggle, I can still have a conversation. I do make quite a few mistakes. Most of them are related to cases, verb aspect or verbs of motion. And most of them are performance mistakes, not competence mistakes. Honestly, I don’t really output frequently enough to notice patterns among these, but I try to add as many as I can to Anki just to prime my brain and be on the lookout when immersing.

As far as feedback from others goes, almost everyone has said that they’re able to understand me. I do still hear a lot of inconsistencies in my pronunciation and flow, but it’s good to know that people can understand me.

Side note, many a times when thinking, a random Russian word will pop up even though I’m not formulating my thoughts in Russian. I kind of wish it wouldn’t happen because it’s distracting when I’m trying to have a conversation in English.

Goals (kind of)

My goals have been in flux ever since I started. I’m still not 100% sure where to go with Russian.

So, for now, I’ll say that I want to become more confident outputting. This would include less pausing and searching for words, ironing out inconsistencies, and in general sounding natural enough, so my conversation partner feels comfortable.

In the process, it’d also be great to connect more with people online and IRL 🤞. This is easier said than done, since I’m naturally not a very talkative person, and it takes me a long time to actually be comfortable with somebody. I’m hoping to use output in Russian as a tool to get better at communication in general, which is always a good thing.

Going forward

I’m going to be changing my mindset when it comes to Russian. I’ve realized that I don’t have an end date with Russian. I can keep getting better as long as I keep practicing. For most of these 2 years, I was dedicating almost all of my free time to Russian. And while it was very rewarding, it certainly came at a cost, such as other hobbies. I’m no longer going to do that. Russian will still be a part of my daily life (honestly, it’s hard not to immerse), but it will be one thing among others.

И на этом всё. Погружайтесь, погружайтесь и погружайтесь)