My language studies

This week I decided to start learning Russian and Breton again. I’ve learnt bits and pieces of them before but haven’t managed to get back into the habit of studying any language regularly for quite a while. I keep on making plans, and then due to inertia, laziness and procrastination don’t implement them.

So I will spend each morning listening to online Russian radio (Голос России) and then going though a lesson, or at least part of a lesson, in my Russian textbook just before lunch – I’m using Oxford Take Off in Russian. I might also use a number of online courses. Once I’ve learnt enough to have a basic conversation, I’ll seek out Russian speakers to practise with.

I plan to spend each afternoon or evening listening to online Breton radio (Radio Breizh) and then going through a lesson or two in Le Breton Sans Peine, and possibly also in Colloquial Breton. Using Le Breton Sans Peine gives me the chance to improve my French at the same time. I know a few Breton speakers I could practise with, and would like to visit Brittany once I have a basic conversational knowledge of Breton.

I might write bits and pieces in Russian and Breton on my multilingual blog – I’ve already started adding Breton to les mots de la semaine, some fo the words and phrases that crop up at the French conversation group I go to – and maybe I’ll make some videos as well.

This entry was posted in Breton, Language, Language learning, Russian.

6 Responses to My language studies

  1. Devrim says:

    My opinion: Russian is so difficult. Maybe you may give a chance to Turkish. The pronunciation is difficult but the grammar rules of Turkish like mathematics; never changes, no irregular, etc…

  2. Simon says:

    Dervim – thanks for the suggestion. I did learn a bit of Turkish before going on holiday to Turkey a while ago, but haven’t learnt any more since. I have chosen Russian because it’s interesting, and because I have Russian friends and will soon have a Russian sister-in-law.

  3. Laurits says:

    Хорошо! I’ve been meaning to learn Russian for a while but I keep putting it off. Occasionally I listen to Radio Sputnik, a Russian language radio station based in Helsinki.
    Because it’s based in Finland they frequently mention Finnish names and place names which helps me understand what the conversation is about, but for now I don’t really understand much more than that.
    I hear Russian spoken on the street here every day, so finding people to talk to isn’t hard.

  4. David Eger says:

    I spent two years in Riga, Latvia, 1997-99. In that time, I became more-or-less fluent in Latvian. Yet, despite the fact that the city, at that time, was over 50% Russian speaking, I only ever learned very basic Russian. I can identify a number of reasons for this, some of them specific to me and my situation and some, more general.

    1. For me, one new language at a time was enough
    2. I was sharing a flat with a Latvian and playing in a band with Latvians (I had Russian friends also, but most could speak either English or Latvian)
    3. Latvian is written using the Latin alphabet, not Cyrillic; although I can read Cyrillic (with effort), this made it much easier for me to pick up vocabulary, from reading signs etc.
    4. Latvian grammar, whilst there is a lot of it compared to English, follows very regular and predictable patterns.
    5. Latvian contains fewer unfamiliar (to me) sounds.

  5. Andrew says:

    Great to hear! You don’t post too much about language-learning stuff anymore, so this is good news. Russian is an excellent choice, I started to get into it a couple months ago but I just couldn’t justify the time commitment with everything else I had going on.

    Please keep us updated on what you’re doing and how you’re progressing. Using popular media, like your radio broadcasts, in conjunction with some sort of basic guide (like your textbook) is precisely the right way to go in my opinion.


  6. Mig says:

    Kudos! I have tried a few times to learn Russian and Indonesian in my spare time and to improve my basic/intermediate Spanish and Italian skills but life gets in the way too easily :(. I found that listening to free language-learning podcasts and taking notes on them was the best method for me.

    I live in London so I have no excuse for not going out there and finding speech communities of virtually any language but unless I have a real pressing need to learn this stuff and the opportunity to practice regularly I just don’t bother.

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