One of the things that helps me most with vocabulary is writing in the target language. I'll go to Ling-8 to write in my target language. When it gets corrected I remember it. Also, I remember phrases through communicating with people: "Je vous souhaite une bonne journée" was a series of connecting phrases that I did not have to memorize because I always come across it in correspondence. Imagine learning whole sentences built from vocubalary that I did not have to memorize, but learned through constant and repeated exposure? Reading in the target language helps too. I can't remember a random list of words, but need to see them in context. When in context there is no need for memorization. The word and its meaning stays with me because seeing the word in context is what gives the word meaning because it is then that the word is making meaning. Lastly, one of things I do is change my home page into the target language. This way I am constantly exposed to the language and the language is being consolidated much faster than any forced memorization.
lang-8 is just for writing though. I often post a video and write something about the video in French. I have not enough skill in Russian to express what's on my mind. But the corrections always stick with me! There are plenty of Russian speakers who can correct your work.
To read and listen to Russian stories and dialog, just go to www.lingq.com I prefer Russianpod101 to Ling-q because I find that this site is much more comprehensive and conducive to learning, though I sometimes like to just listen to straight dialog or stories without the "act" at www.lingq.com
Thank you for those links! I had only heard of lingq.com before now. The russian-plus site has a very cute squirrel video at the top right now.
I used to write a list of all my vocabulary words and phrases on a sheet of paper with a translation on the opposite side, then fold the sheet and test myself from one language to another. I also listen to some Russian pop music and I used to watch a Russian news broadcast every day, but the channel that showed it stopped showing Russian programs. I think that a combination of methods and sources is most useful for language retention, and the internet makes that a lot easier.
A site I use is livemocha.com, but I feel a lot of pressure to help other people out and I was getting so many notifications about requests for help from other users that I have stopped for a while, because I never get any further in what I want to learn. I may try that again, as some of their vocabulary complemented the words we learn here.
these ideas are good i know bbc has some tips but i know of a few site that can help. sharedtalk.com is a site for penpals bbc as i mentioned before,and if you check your local libray they are sure to have books music and many other things in russian.
also can you give me some russian pop music? names and songs i listen on youtube
I have not tried BBC. Maybe I will look into it! As for Livemocha, I agree with you that correcting other people's work is daunting and even distracting. I don't bother with Livemocha anymore because it is mostly a pain to deal with. I don't know of any pop songs in Russian, although I found a really cool Russian rap song that I posted on my Russian blog. I will try sharetalk.com. That might be interesting. I also agree with you that it is important to vary resources for learning a new language. One site cannot do the job of many different sites.
Do you read bilingual books? I have found that that is helpful to me.
Your method of writing vocabulary words down to test yourself is great. You have stopped doing that, yes? I keep a journal with me of French and Russian: French on one page, Russian facing the other. I used to keep separate notebooks, but then I asked myself why waste paper and time. If I can have French on one page (with some English translation) what is the big deal if I have Russian on the facing page. Afterall, I reasoned, the information is going to the same place--my brain.
By the way, I have not used any library resources. I have a large library and like to own and care for my own books. I have quite a bit of Russian language learning books and audio, but only one bilingual book. Oh, I forgot to mention www.Librivox.org There, one can download audiobooks with accompanying texts in any language for free! That is if you don't mind reading literature before 1920. I love literature and classics, so simply adore this site. Anyway, if one is learning a language, one may actually find something of interest there. I know I certainly have.
ok everyone these are great ideas now how do you use the language around you? i personnaly speak to my family then translate. i also try to think in the language. so give me some more ideas thanks your all doing great
I am quite obnoxious with my target languages. I speak to everyone and anyone in French or Russian. Of course, I have to translate, but I get to practice in everyday situations. When I order a coffee in a cafe, I order in French. When I go to the local store for milk, I greet everyone in Russian, then ask them how they are in Russian. I say thank you in Russian and in French too. I use it all the time every chance I get. People are so used to me doing this at all my regular hangouts that it is no longer a surprise or even an annoyance. The other day when I was in the book store I started talking in French, said thank you in Russian and sure the person behind the counter was stunned, but they were also happy because they remembered that they knew French. The young man said, "Oh, I used to study French!" We both laughed.
In sum, I use my languages in bits and pieces everyday in most every situation. When I finally get the pronunciation down for a new expression, I just use it right away. If people are really bothered, say in one of the grocery stores, I just speak in English that way no one is the worse for wear. I am not the least bit shy or afraid of embarrassing myself, so I just go ahead and take the plunge, much like a toddler learning how to speak--just go for it! You will even make new associates and even make most people smile.
ok this is a good way but what about those that have a fear of embarrasing themselves? i am a little but not too much. i mostly speak it with my russian friends and family. this is a great idea but i would like to get more
It seems to me a fear of embarrassing is common for all beginners. Some time ago I was afraid to speak to my classmates, to my teacher, to my familiars in Skype and to native speakers I met for the first time face to face.
This fear should be overcame. All you need - just keep practising and don't care about mistakes. Small children do a lot of mistakes learning their native language, but they don't care and keep talking all the time. As a result they develop perfect fluent correct speech.
I started to talk to myself aloud to get accustomed to sounds of foreign language coming out from my mouth. And then I felt more self-confidence to say the same sounds to other people. I was very nervous before each seance of conversation, but after it was finished I felt like "Wow! I did it! Cool!" and I wanted more. Skype or Livemocha's or other voice chats are nice possibilities to practice and to defeat own fears of speaking.
P.S. One more tip to memorizing word and phrases: watching films with original soundtracks with subtitles. When you see an exciting picture, accompanying phrases stick in your head by their own. Since once I saw a man admired tender pink sakura blossom, I will never forget the phrase "Sakura no hana ga suki da..." And there are a lot of other examples.
I really like the music of Jasmin (Жасмин). Unfortunately she doesn't seem to have made a music video for my favorite song, but here's a link to one of her songs and it even has the Russian lyrics on the side:
I agree with Pollyanna that movies are another great way to learn language. I used to buy Russian movies based on whether I liked the actors/actresses or director from another project and ended up watching some things that I wasn't very interested in, but the internet has helped provide more information about movies so it's easy (or at least easier than it used to be) to find something you might like.
I like the idea of having a multi-lingual journal with vocabulary! I still make vocabulary lists, but not in the same way as I used to do. I've been making flashcards lately, or just little lists for quick reference. I'm considering marking the objects around me with Russian names.
Whenever I'm around a Russian speaker I become too shy to attempt to speak. And if I do get over my shyness, they don't want to speak in Russian. Maybe I should try out one of those sites where you get language partners!
hey i should mention that the journal idea is a good one when i was in grade 4 i started a journal and wrote it in spanish and french but then a few years later dutch and japanese then last year russian so now my journal is multi lingual. and it doesnt have to be a journal or diary but it could be a story book or anything i hope you give some more tips as this helps not just me but those reading this. great job guys lets keep this post going