In this unstructured attempt at learning to speak and read a Slavic language, I decided I’d give Russian a go. The thing about the city of Columbia: I could only find one native speaker. And while he gives really helpful feedback on the phrases I try to say, we only bump into each other about once every month or two.
Here’s a breakdown of the ongoing process of me getting my feet wet in Русский язык :
- My initial excuse to learn it was the phonetic inventory. There’s just something alluring to me about the way Russian is spoken.
- Almost all of my classmates who tried learning it fed me the same story about that “horrible” class they’d been dragging through. The way they discouraged me from learning it made me itch to prove i could pick it up even more. Who cares about the cases and tenses when you’re starting out? It’s wayyyy better for a non-native speaker to focus on getting comfortable speaking instead of getting caught up in grammar, in my opinion.
- Some friends I made along the way taught me some phrases and showed me some Russian bands. The music wards off the language class vibe (can I find it unbearable to sit in a room for 50 or so minutes to get a grasp of a watered-down version of a language I want to use with real people).
- Now, I’m using 30-minute recorded lessons to get some audio immersion in every day or so. 39 lessons in, I’m starting to see some progress. Hopefully, I can hold a conversation of 10 minutes or longer just in Russian by the time the other 59 are through.
Here’s a phrase I learned today. “по крайней мере я попробую,” “At least, I’ll give it a try.” I’ll keep you updated while I give this a try. (: пока for now!