30 Days of Russian – Day 9: Basic Vocabulary

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I found out about a very promising language-learning method developed by Gabriel Wyner, writer of the book “Fluent Forever.” But before I started with that, I did my daily Duolingo assignments plus a little bit more (it’s just so addictive), and I noticed that I could get a lot of insight by checking the comments after answering each task. Many people had the same questions as I did and many native speakers were willing to answer those questions. Here’s an example:

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After working on Duolingo for one hour and learning the lessons “The infinitive, likes and dislikes” and “Food”, I decided I really should try the Fluent Forever method. So I checked the website and decided to download and install Anki (I always thought that Anki was not very user-friendly, but I was curious about its algorithm) and make flashcards based on the list of 625 basic words I mentioned previously. The idea is to use a dictionary to find the Russian equivalent of each word in that list, look for images on google using the Russian word, and make an Anki flashcard with one of those pictures on the front and the term (in Russian) on the back. Using a website called Forvo, I also found audio files with the pronunciation of each word and added them to my Anki flashcards.

The idea is that the process of creating the flashcard and studying without any English translation (only with pictures) helps you remember the words more easily and naturally. Since I spent most of my time on Duolingo today, I only had the chance to download Anki and make four flashcards. The whole process takes plenty of time (looking for the word, downloading pictures, downloading the audio and making the flashcard), but I hope I’ll become faster at it.

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I’ll try to devote more time to this tomorrow and I’ll let you know how many flashcards I can make in one hour.

Я не забыл написать текст по-русски сегодня и вчера, кстати. Я просто думал что мне сначала нужно научиться русские слова.

See you next time! Пока!


Gerardo Urbina is a Chemistry student at Nagoya University who loves reading and learning about anything. Born and raised in El Salvador, he speaks Spanish, English and Japanese, and is currently learning French and Russian. Read more about him and his ideas for The Relearner.

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