Update On The Russian Book

I know it’s been a long time since since I updated about that Russian ebook I’m writing. Honestly, I haven’t been working on it as much as I should, as work and some other writing projects have been getting in my way.

This weekend, though, I made a ton of progress. I got tired of working on my current writing project, so I took a couple of breaks to work on the Russian book. I’ve nearly finished importing and formatting it in the program I use for ebooks. Originally, it began its life as an Evernote document that I planned to copy and paste into a blog post. That was before I realized how long it was going to be.

So yes, it is still in the works. I just have to fit it in between other projects and work commitments.

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Update On The Russian Resources Page, Part 2

Remember that Russian resources page I talked about a while ago, then forgot to update you about? Well, I finally remembered I haven’t posted an update about it since February.

In the past month, it has ballooned into a rather large document. In fact, it has become so large that I’ve made a decision not to publish it as a page on this blog. It’s just going to be too long! Instead, I’m going to make it a little ebook instead. Right now, it’s at an awkward length where it’s too long for the blog, but not necessarily a full-fledged ebook, hence my characterization of it as a little ebook.

I’ve wanted to publish an ebook for years now, so I’m really excited about this. I know how to format it for various online ebook stores. The only obstacle will be getting a cover for it because I’m laughably bad at visual design. (If you have graphic design talents or know someone who does… don’t hesitate to drop me a line.)

Anyway, I’m still working on actually finishing the post ebook. I didn’t realize how much I had to say about learning Russian until I began to write it down!

7 Reads on the Radar

My friend J.T. has a fabulous new blog concerning books on Russia, which is one of my favorite topics. This is the latest post on said blog, concerning upcoming books on Russia. They all sound so interesting that I couldn’t help but reblog it!

Russia Reviewed

One of the “benefits” of Russia’s resurgence as a global power is that there is no shortage of new Russia book releases. Here are seven books scheduled for publication this year that I can’t wait to peruse.

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[Bilingual Post] Thoughts On Finishing Another Russian Book

By popular request (okay, one person asked, but he’s part of the populace, right?), this post is bilingual! One paragraph in Russian, followed by that same paragraph in English. Corrections from Russian speakers are welcome!

Мысли о заканчивании по окончанию русской книги

Thoughts on finishing another Russian book

The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina
The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina

Вчера вечером я дочитала еще одну книгу на русском. Она называется «Аргентинец». Автор — Эльвира Барякина. Мне очень понравилась эта книга, потому что она очень историческая.

Yesterday evening I finished another book in Russian. It’s called The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina. I really liked this book because it is very historical.

Краткое описание сюжета: молодой человек Клим Рогов уехал из России десять лет назад и теперь живет и работает в Аргентине. Он говорит по-испански, работает в газете и очень любит свою новую страну. В начале романа, он получает новости о смерти отца. Ему нужно вернуть в Россию. Проблема в том, что он возвращается в 1917 г., когда происходит гражданская война в России когда в России идет гражданская война.

A brief description of the plot: young man Klim Rogov left Russia ten years ago and now lives and works in Argentina. He speaks Spanish, works at a newspaper, and loves his new country. In the beginning of the novel, he receives news of his father’s death. He has to return to Russia. The problem is that he returns in 1917, when there’s a civil war going on in Russia.

Эта книга очень длинная и я очень люблю. Я люблю читать об истории, особенно об истории России. Автор очень колоритно описывает Россию и Аргентину в этой эпохе той эпохи.

This book was very long and I love it. I love reading about history, especially Russian history. The author very vividly describes Russia and Argentina in the era.

Если вы занимаетесь иностранным языком изучаете иностранный язык, я вам советую: читать книги советую читать книги. Читая книги, вы можете узнавать новые слова.

If you are studying a foreign language, I advise you to read books. While reading books, you can learn new words.

Russian-speaking readers, please correct my mistakes! I’m really trying to get better at writing in Russian. I’ll keep the original post and cross out any mistakes I make and then insert corrections. Спасибо большое!

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.

Update On The Russian Resources Page

Remember that Russian resources page I talked about? Well, it is in progress. I’m making very slow progress on it—mainly because I’ve been working on other things, like violin and knitting and writing, not to mention some stuff for work.

But never fear, the progress is slow but steady. I’m going to keep working on it and I promise to let you know when it’s finished…

Coming Soon: Russian Learning Resources

Dear friends, I am creating an exciting new resource that will be posted to this blog soon. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I figure I need to just go ahead and do it. I want to create a page with resources for people who want to learn Russian.

Let’s say someone decides to learn Russian and realizes she needs a lot of practice listening, so she wants to download some podcasts. That’s an excellent idea, but the average person probably doesn’t know where to get Russian podcasts. And even if our hypothetical learner finds a bunch of podcasts, how will she know which ones are decent?

It’s a problem you can face with any aspect of language learning. Even if you are taking a class, you’re still going to have to do a lot of work on your own if you want to be fluent. That’s what I would like to help people with. I’ve been learning Russian for a long time and I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks along the way. 😉 I know a ton of good resources and I’m working on preparing a nice document to share with you aspiring Russian speakers out there.

Even if you aren’t learning Russian, some parts of this project will apply to language learning in general. I’ll be working on putting this together and I’ll let you know once it’s actually posted live on the blog. In the meantime, you can check out my Russian Log page, which has a list of Russian things I’ve watched and read.

My Latest Obsession: Russian Craft Blogs

As you probably saw last year, I stopped following the news. It’s been an excellent decision and one that I cannot recommend highly enough. However, since I used news websites to help with my Russian learning, I realized I needed some way to fill this void because I need my daily dose of Russian content. It’s not easy keeping up with my Russian in a monolingual city, but it can be done.

The first thing I’ve done is resolved to read more books in Russian. I read novels really slowly and Russian novels are often really long, so I’ve been working on the same book for ages. That isn’t enough, though. To get exposure to some more easily read material, I’ve turned to blogs. I used to read some political blogs in Russian, but you know how that ended up.

Luckily, there are a ton of Russian people using the internet to blog, just as there are in the English-speaking world. (I read that internet penetration in Russia isn’t as high as it is in the US or Canada, but since Russia is so big, that’s still a lot of people online. Just saying.) And I’ve found a new niche of Russian blogs that I am completely obsessed with. I call them the craft blogs.

Right now, I’m following four Russian craft blogs: Дневник рукодельницы, Creative Living (despite the name, it is written in Russian), Матрёшкин блог, and Родом из мечты. The four lovely Russian women post about their lives and the craft projects they do, like sewing, knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint. I am totally addicted to these blogs because they’re fascinating. It’s so neat to see what everyday life is like in Russia. You see, not all of these bloggers live in big glittering Moscow. The first one lives in Penza, I think, and another lives in Samara. And yes, maybe their lives aren’t as conventionally exciting as some well-known journalist or politician living in Moscow, but that isn’t a bad thing. My life isn’t exactly that exciting either, sometimes. I’m certainly not meeting famous people or jetting off to exotic locations every weekend!

Plus I like reading about other people’s crafts. It’s a bonus that I get to learn some Russian words while I’m at it. 🙂

Check Out My Guest Post On Language Surfer!

Yesterday I had a guest post run on Ron’s excellent blog Language Surfer. I didn’t get a chance to tell you about it earlier because it went up earlier than I expected—which isn’t a bad thing!

Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve been involved with the language learning community for over four years now (even longer if you count the time I lurked in forums and on other people’s blogs before blogging about language on my own) and as diverse as language bloggers and their blogs may be, there does seem to be a commonality amongst them: many, many language learners who blog and post on forums learn more than one foreign language.

Read the rest here!
Continue reading “Check Out My Guest Post On Language Surfer!”

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone is having a safe and prosperous year so far. I’m on vacation and still in a bit of denial that I have to return to work and my regular (i.e. non-vacation) life tomorrow. But no matter, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my day off as I do some knitting, reading, and hopefully writing before I have to go back to the old grind.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t teach you how to say Happy New Year in Russian. It’s С Новым годом [S Novym godom] and is a very commonly heard phrase in Russia at this time of year. The new year is the big winter holiday in Russia now, thanks to the Soviet Union, so many people in Russia have New Year’s trees, which are just like our Christmas trees in the West.

С Новым годом!