Сколько зим сколько лет! (Long time no write)

It never ceases to amaze me that I am continuing to get followers and comments even when I haven’t had time to write much in the blog lately. But this just shows me that there are, in fact, lots of people obsessed with Russia all throughout the world. And the great thing about Russia is that it is a never-ending pit of intrigue, so there will always be something fascinating to write about.

So here’s an update of what I’ve been up to. I am working as adjunct faculty in two universities. I now have THREE children which means free time is especially scarce. Last fall I taught advanced Russian for the first time and it was just heavenly to get to discuss Russian history, politics and literature all in Russian. This semester I’m teaching a Russian Phonetics and Phonology class which is also right up my nerdy alley.

But my next endeavor is hopefully starting a Youtube channel(once my crazy 12 credit semester is over) that helps students learn Russian. I find that many of my students either 1) need extra help beyond what they’re getting in the classroom and/or 2) want to go above and beyond and learn more than what we have time to cover in the classroom and 3) need basic help on HOW to learn ANY language (such as using flashcards, listening to music, etc.)

So today I’m writing YOU to ask for your feedback. Please provide your feedback to the following questions:

1. What activities help you learn a language?

2. What do you find yourself wanting more of but not getting when it comes to language learning?

3. What aspects of Russian are particularly hard for you? What would you like more help/practice/explanation on?

This will help me to start coming up with what my videos on Youtube should cover first and foremost.

While you think on the above questions, here is a playlist I made of great Russian songs that are great for Russian learners. They all represent various grammatical concepts and they’re very popular songs in Russian culture as well.

I look forward to your feedback and can’t wait to have more time to start posting more. Keep learning Russian and keep loving Russia!


Categories Russian Culture

4 thoughts on “Сколько зим сколько лет! (Long time no write)

  1. Hello. A native speaker of Russian here. 🙂 My answers to your questions might be irrelevant, but maybe there is something about them that will be helpful? I can give my own perspective of what it feels like to learn English for a native speaker of Russian.

    1. What activities help you learn a language?
    Using English-English dictionaries (instead of English-Russian ones) since I learned basic vocabulary. This helps to bring down the influence of my first language and get a better feeling of syntax. Reading books for children. That’s what helps at a lower intermediate level.

    2. What do you find yourself wanting more of but not getting when it comes to language learning?
    Competence. It is important when wording sentences. Knowing what is grammatical and what is not. Awareness about cultural phenomena and references. You have to live in the country where the language is spoken to know and understand this very well. Language and culture are not separate.

    3. What aspects of Russian are particularly hard for you? What would you like more help/practice/explanation on?
    Well, being a native speaker of Russian I can talk about aspects of English. The syntax is hard to understand at times. It is very different. Sometimes word order is not strict, e.g. in poetry and I wonder, when is it ok to break the word order rules, and when is it not? Matching everyday phrases. You have to know what people say in English in this particular situation. It’s not literal translation, it’s usage.

  2. Privet Amerikanka! Like you I have this same love affair with Russia. And no most do not know how to pronounce roosss-see-ah.

    I would like to send you an excerpt from my recent book. I think you will find it interesting.

    Congrats to you and your husband on 3! Good number.

    Listening to Noskov and drinking wine, its a good evening. Return to Vladivostok in July. Cant wait!

    You are not alone

  3. I like your blog so much! I just found it and I’m looking forward to read all of it as soon as possible. I’m an English Teaching student, Spanish is my first language and I’m interested in Russian but learning it is not a huge objective for me at the moment, I have to learn how to speak English properly first. I have a Russian penfriend who is helping me, very slowly, to pronounce in Russian. I learnt how to read cyrillic very fast since I had phonetics class and I saw those new symbols as a variation in the phonemes.
    Activities thar help me to learn a language: Well, in the university we have to sign up for a 30 minutes long conversation session with native speakers of English every week. That helps us A LOT. I do other things outside the university to keep learning; I have a sort of addiction to YouTube and I use it as an excuse to learn English, watching youtubers from the UK, Canada, the States, etc. Also reading is the best way to acquire vocabulary and learn grammar. Russian poetry and literature in general is brilliant and you can take advantage of that in order make students get more and more interested in the stories.
    Russian pronunciation is very hard for me. I cannot pronounce “Й”. And the stress in each word has always been hard since in Spanish we have the tilde abobe the stressed vowels so it is easier to know the right way to say most of the words. Example: Mamá: Mum, Mama: breast.
    I’ll be waiting for new posts here 🙂
    Your idea of creating a youtube channel is great. You have to do it! 😀

  4. Dear J.:
    VERY nice blog, and fascinating. I’m a long-term Russophile (since 1967), and my enthusiasm has never waned. I’m pretty sure there are a few things that will interest you on my Facebook page, “The American Russophile.” I’ve neglected it for a while, but will soon be starting up again. Let me know with a like if anything there grabs you. If there’s anything you’d like to see there, let me know.
    There MUST be others like you on line, but I don’t know how to find them. Any ideas?
    Best wishes, FP

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