Feeling quizzical about quizzes?
Feeling testy about tests?
Not sure what answering questions and filling in blanks can do for you?
Let alone your grasp of the Russian language?
As either an evaluation of skills or a learning method, …
I find phrase lists depressing.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, though.
They can be incredibly helpful and have been provided to the public by many kind people, from Rick Steves to the fine bloggers here at FluentU.
Denial, anger, bargaining, declension, acceptance.
Wait, that’s not right, is it?
If anything, the five stages of Russian learning grief involve struggling with the existence of declension.
You have to work your way up to accepting that it’s just something …
You count your blessings.
You don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
You make sure everyone in your life knows they can count on you.
But can you… count?
Hey, it’s totally understandable if you can’t count in Russian yet.…
Taxes. Seasonal allergies. Cleaning out your fridge.
I might as well add “verb conjugation” to this list of tedious and unpleasant experiences.
Yes, conjugation is notorious for being a language student’s nightmare.
Unlike some aspects of language, it’s not …
Making your own tomato sauce is easy.
Marcella Hazan’s famous recipe calls for only four ingredients: tomatoes, butter, onion, salt.
But many people still buy jarred sauce. Maybe because it’s slightly easier.
Or because no one has ever told them, …
Talk is cheap.
At least, it seems that way before you start learning a language.
Then suddenly, the type of conversations that aren’t worth a second thought in your native language become intrinsically valuable in your target language.
It can …
You can’t lose a language.
Sure, you can learn Russian and then forget it.
You can let your Russian grow rusty and full of weeds, slowly abandoning it to the sands of time.
But you won’t lose …
The Russian language is a beautiful, mysterious stranger.
You make eye contact with her from across a crowded room.
You imagine she’s beckoning to you with her enchanting alphabet, her beguiling case system, her weird but elegantly loopy …