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unixknight

How to get humbled

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So I've been studying Russian off and on since high school.  I'm already fluent in Spanish and wanted to branch out.  I mean, I've heard of people who know a dozen languages, so getting into a third can't be so bad, right?

So I have been feeling pretty confident and decided to look online for a pen pal in Russia.  I did find one, and she is also studying English.  She suggested a live chat on the phone.

And this afternoon, I discovered just how awful my Russian still is.  *sigh*  Ah well.  Could have been worse, I suppose.  I guess I need to spend more time with Duolingo than I have been..

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Duolingo.

How is that working out?  Do you like it?  My son learned Portuguese from it but it's mainly because he hangs out with a bunch of Brazilians so I'm not sure if duolingo really helped him out with that.

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7 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Duolingo.

How is that working out?  Do you like it?  My son learned Portuguese from it but it's mainly because he hangs out with a bunch of Brazilians so I'm not sure if duolingo really helped him out with that.

Duolingo is great, but you really need someone to practice with.

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32 minutes ago, unixknight said:

Duolingo is great, but you really need someone to practice with.

I know of a guy (not personally) who met his wife through Duolingo. Is that the one where you can learn a foreign language through video chatting? 

 

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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

I know of a guy (not personally) who met his wife through Duolingo. Is that the one where you can learn a foreign language through video chatting? 

 

No Duolingo doesn't have video chatting, or any chatting at all, really.  Just a comment section for the individual language exercises.  

When I connect with people to practice Russian with, I do it through a separate website.

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Just now, MormonGator said:

Separate website? 

Dude, I'm telling Mrs. @unixknight to watch you carefully. 😉

Hah yeah the site is called My Language Exchange.  It's set up specifically for meeting penpals.

And Unixlady knows.  And she knows the password for my phone ;)

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2 hours ago, unixknight said:

So I've been studying Russian off and on since high school. 

I'm impressed.  I think Russian is hard for English-speaking people.  I know whole books have been written on its verbs of motion and when to use its perfective and imperfective aspects.  The hardest part for me was memorizing the stress on syllables, which was utterly unpredictable and which often bounced around like crazy when you conjugated verbs and declined nouns.  I finally gave up, although I did go to Moscow with a friend a few years ago and was thrilled to recognize some words on buildings, even though the most common word seemed to be "casino." 

I once heard a story that German linguists in the 19th century started to think that Latin and Greek were hoaxes, because it was inconceivable to them that people could memorize so many declensions and conjugations, let alone blurt them out in rapid speech  But then they found peasants in Russia who were rapidly speaking a grammatically complex language that was at least as inflected as Latin and Greek, it not more so.  Who knows if that's a true story, but it rings true to me.

But I think you should keep studying.  Being bilingual is good for your brain and by some reports may even slow dementia... if the grammar doesn't give you dementia first.

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16 minutes ago, Texan said:

I'm impressed.  I think Russian is hard for English-speaking people.  I know whole books have been written on its verbs of motion and when to use its perfective and imperfective aspects.  The hardest part for me was memorizing the stress on syllables, which was utterly unpredictable and which often bounced around like crazy when you conjugated verbs and declined nouns.  I finally gave up, although I did go to Moscow with a friend a few years ago and was thrilled to recognize some words on buildings, even though the most common word seemed to be "casino." 

I once heard a story that German linguists in the 19th century started to think that Latin and Greek were hoaxes, because it was inconceivable to them that people could memorize so many declensions and conjugations, let alone blurt them out in rapid speech  But then they found peasants in Russia who were rapidly speaking a grammatically complex language that was at least as inflected as Latin and Greek, it not more so.  Who knows if that's a true story, but it rings true to me.

But I think you should keep studying.  Being bilingual is good for your brain and by some reports may even slow dementia... if the grammar doesn't give you dementia first.

Thanks, though I suppose it's 'trilingual' since I actually learned Spanish before English.

But yah, Russian is insanely complex, far moreso than Spanish, but I'll say this for Russian:  It's consistent (more or less)  Generally words are pronounced exactly as they're spelled and there don't seem to be as many grammatical exceptions as English.

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7 hours ago, unixknight said:

So I've been studying Russian off and on since high school.  I'm already fluent in Spanish and wanted to branch out.  I mean, I've heard of people who know a dozen languages, so getting into a third can't be so bad, right?

So I have been feeling pretty confident and decided to look online for a pen pal in Russia.  I did find one, and she is also studying English.  She suggested a live chat on the phone.

And this afternoon, I discovered just how awful my Russian still is.  *sigh*  Ah well.  Could have been worse, I suppose.  I guess I need to spend more time with Duolingo than I have been..

Some of us are still working on a decent Russian accent.

 

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7 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Some of us are still working on a decent Russian accent.

I like the way the showrunners of Chernobyl handled it... No Russian accents, just had the actors speak normally.  This way there wasn't the distraction of inconsistent delivery and, as they put it, it's too easy to inadvertently slip into sounding like Boris and Natasha.  I didn't mind that Sean Connery and Tim Curry didn't try to sound Russian.  I mind that Sam Neil did and he wasn't very good at it.

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1 hour ago, unixknight said:

I like the way the showrunners of Chernobyl handled it... No Russian accents, just had the actors speak normally.  This way there wasn't the distraction of inconsistent delivery and, as they put it, it's too easy to inadvertently slip into sounding like Boris and Natasha.  I didn't mind that Sean Connery and Tim Curry didn't try to sound Russian.  I mind that Sam Neil did and he wasn't very good at it.

Reminds me of the BBC series I, Claudius.  All the Romans and all the children spoke English with thick English accents and could have passed for British royalty.  In one delicious scene, Herod Agrippa (as a child) speaks and then leaves the room, and an adult Roman woman remarks, "And how well he speaks Latin!"  But in later episodes Herod reappears as an adult, and then he's speaking like a grizzled rabbi from the Bronx.

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2 hours ago, unixknight said:

I like the way the showrunners of Chernobyl handled it... No Russian accents, just had the actors speak normally.  This way there wasn't the distraction of inconsistent delivery and, as they put it, it's too easy to inadvertently slip into sounding like Boris and Natasha.  I didn't mind that Sean Connery and Tim Curry didn't try to sound Russian.  I mind that Sam Neil did and he wasn't very good at it.

I prefer the AC: Unity approach. Everyone is French but have English accents.

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19 hours ago, unixknight said:

Duolingo is great, but you really need someone to practice with.

My kids do Duolingo.  But I never hear them saying any words.  I see that they are reading foreign languages.  But is there a verbal portion as well?  I haven't investigated it enough to find out.

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4 hours ago, unixknight said:

I like the way the showrunners of Chernobyl handled it... No Russian accents, just had the actors speak normally.  This way there wasn't the distraction of inconsistent delivery and, as they put it, it's too easy to inadvertently slip into sounding like Boris and Natasha.  I didn't mind that Sean Connery and Tim Curry didn't try to sound Russian.  I mind that Sam Neil did and he wasn't very good at it.

I thought Defiance was absolutely horrible for this very reason.  They spoke Russian with an English accent and English with a Russian accent.  Both were terrible.

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13 minutes ago, Mores said:

My kids do Duolingo.  But I never hear them saying any words.  I see that they are reading foreign languages.  But is there a verbal portion as well?  I haven't investigated it enough to find out.

Yes, there is pronunciation practice. It doesn't replace actually trying to speak with someone.

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31 minutes ago, Mores said:

My kids do Duolingo.  But I never hear them saying any words.  I see that they are reading foreign languages.  But is there a verbal portion as well?  I haven't investigated it enough to find out.

 

17 minutes ago, Vort said:

Yes, there is pronunciation practice. It doesn't replace actually trying to speak with someone.

Sometimes.  They don't have it for all languages.  For a while they did have it for Russian but it went away.

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3 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Eso si que es?

S-O-C-K-S

4 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Yo estoy lorando.

Pronounced "Joe S-toy yoh rand-o". Lloviendo está, y por eso que no ves mis lagrimas.

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:30 PM, NeuroTypical said:

yo tengo una biblioteca, por favor.  Eso si que es?  Yo estoy lorando.

????

I have a library, please??? Huh??? Is there a joke I'm missing?

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