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L-R Method (Russian)

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
New Zealand
Joined 3008 days ago

4 posts - 4 votes
Speaks: English*

 Message 1 of 3
02 January 2016 at 9:29am | IP Logged 
Hi there

I have spent a fair bit of time on the forums today and have decided I would like to
give a shot at learning Russian with the listening-reading method. To get started I
have bought Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilich in interlinear format from, and have got my hands on an audio recording of the native text
as an audiobook.

As I understand the method, I can't just dive into this yet - and will need to read
the English text in full and get to grips with it first, then listen to the Russian
audio just to try and follow along with the native text to see if I can actually
follow the sounds/intonation/pauses and flow of the text. Only after that should I be
listening to the actual audio and reading the English text to try and pick out meaning
as I go along, and I think I'm not supposed to stop the audio or try translate mid-way
and just try absorb what I can as I go. Is that right?

I've also seen in the explanations that it is suggested that I get to grips with some
basic grammar rules for L2 (Russian). What would be the best way of me doing that
quickly? If I'm taking this method I would prefer to not have to do a full
alternative course as that would kind of defeat the point of learning through the L-R
method (I think) but not sure where I can get snippets of grammar down pat quickly
from. The best book I've seen is the New Penguin course but it looks a bit lengthy.
Any suggestions, tips, thoughts, experiences that you can lend that may help?

Thanks all in advance, hope this all makes sense.

1 person has voted this message useful

Russian Federation
Joined 2606 days ago

41 posts - 71 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English

 Message 2 of 3
02 January 2016 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
Russian is kinda difficult and distant language (but not like Japanese, obviously), I'm not sure what you'll experience but expect difficulties anyway. L-R surely requires some concentration, motivation etc.
I am currently L-Ring Polish language which is fairly close to my native (Russian) one. Before I tried to L-R my first book I had made some preliminary learning: phonetic system, orthography, skimmed through grammar (which was close enough to that of my native language), etc. I had read all four books I wanted to L-R in Russian first. I hadn't prepared any kind of interlinear or parallel texts so I was hoping to just listen to the audio in Polish while looking at the Russian text... absentmindedly. I also had listened to a several hour's worth of Polish audio (one of the audiobooks) while looking at the text to get my ears used to the sound of Polish.
So at my first day of L-Ring I got extremely frustrated. The translation turned out to be very different from the original. Some passages were skipped, some were invented entirely, the translator simplified sentences or embellished them with made-up details, rephrased or shuffled passages in random order whenever she liked. Most of the time I wasn't able to match what I heard to what I read and it kept irritating me until I realized that this wasn't working at all. But my short two-week vacation had just started and I didn't have time to find some other books, read them and start working on them. And all of the other three books were by the same author and most probably translated by the same translator in the same way. The first day of vacation was spoiled.
So then I got the other book, three books, actually. They were not modern (the end of nineteenth century) but they turned out fine. They had few different translations so I was able to compare them and choose the one that was closer to the original Polish text. I hadn't read these books in Russian before but I didn't have much choice anyway and started L-Ring them from scratch... and it worked! The translator did a very good job to make these books useful for Russian learners of Polish. It matched the text almost word-for-word (taking in the account Polish own word order rules). By the end of the first book though the translator got a little bit lazy and in the second book started to stray from the original here and there but I already had enough exposure by that time to be able cope with it.

smaching wrote:

I think I'm not supposed to stop the audio or try translate mid-way
and just try absorb what I can as I go.

Every person is different and would have to figure out for himself what works for him. Even with a language very close to my native one and even with the good translation it was difficult for me to just listen and match the audio to the meaning on the fly so I used the stop button in the beginning a lot (it was probably also because I hadn't read the book in Russian). I read a phrase or a sentence quickly then stopped and listened to the audio. Over time I was getting more and more used to the language and could listen to the longer chunks of audio until finally I was able to listen-read without stopping.
You should use whatever you can to get more exposure in less time. If you listen to the audio without stopping but can't keep up then you won't get much exposure, will you? If it helps you to get more exposure then use it until it starts hindering you and you could be better without it. Use dictionaries and other tools if they're handy, and if they help you.

As for grammar - Polish grammar is not very different from Russian, so my experience won't be very useful to you. When I listened to enough Polish audio I started noticing that Polish endings and stuff are actually different in many cases. So I used wiki's articles to make some tables and get familiarized with Polish... peculiarities. And when I listened to audiobooks I paid special attention to grammar. And I think it was very beneficial.
3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4962 days ago

9753 posts - 15777 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 3 of 3
03 January 2016 at 9:08am | IP Logged 
Yeah, using stop is okay.

As for the grammar, you mostly need to know what is out there. For example 6 cases, 3 tenses, verbs of motion, prefixes, particles and whatnot. gradually you'll be learning more about how they're used :)

1 person has voted this message useful

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