Regaining My Motivation For Russian

I experienced something rather odd recently. I realized I wasn’t studying Russian much. I’ve studied Russian seriously for such a long time that it felt strange not to be studying it.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Usually, I desperately want to study Russian, even when I have stuff to do at work. My motivation was gone and I couldn’t figure out why. I searched on the internet for advice, but none of it helped.

Then I realized something: I didn’t like the Russian TV series I was watching. I watch a lot of Russian TV shows and documentaries to keep up my connection to the spoken language. (It’s the best I can do in my circumstances. There aren’t exactly many Russian speakers where I live, and coordinating Skype conversations with native Russians can be a nightmare due to time zone differences and my inability to get on Skype for large stretches of time during the workday.) The series I was watching at the time was Likvidatsia (Ликвидация), which means Liquidation. I expected to like it, but it just turned out to be bad (in my opinion). In fact, even though I wouldn’t admit it to myself, I disliked it so much that I actively avoided studying Russian because I didn’t want to keep watching it!

So, problem solved. I stopped watching that series and watched a few interesting historical documentaries. Suddenly, Russian was interesting again. Moral of the story: it’s important to have fun in language learning, or else you’ll just end up skipping it in favor of more fun activities.

And if you’re wondering, I’m still working on that Russian resources page, I promise! I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my life recently, so I haven’t been able to work as consistently as I’d like, but the file I have is slowly growing longer.


7 thoughts on “Regaining My Motivation For Russian

  1. Would love to know which documentaries you’re watching!

    Been having the same problem with Russian language studies lately. But I think it’s mostly because I’m too busy at work/study and picked up a new hobby: marine aquariums! (I just bought my second tank and spent all night tweaking it.)


    1. Anya, there’s a massive list of things I watch on my Russian Log. I’m pretty good at recording things regularly, so check it out. 🙂 There’s a mix of movies, TV shows, and documentaries. I’ve enjoyed Leonid Mlechin’s documentaries a lot. He has a ton of stuff on history if you search his name in Russian letters on YouTube. 🙂


      1. But be careful while watching Leonid Parfenov’s “Намедни”. While episodes till 1991 are objective enough, the later ones (especially 2000 and later) are very propagandistic.


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