Sunday, June 14, 2015

How I studied Chinese and Russian

I'm almost finished with the first two weeks of my summer challenge! This is how I managed to find some time to study first Chinese and then Russian every day for a week. I'm not super proud of myself, but it's a great start.

Näin opiskelin kiinaa - This is how I studied Chinese:

  • I was very gentle with myself. For the first couple of days, I just wanted to read about Chinese and life in China, and get accustomed to the sound of it by listening to songs in Chinese. 
  • Whenever I was doing something on the computer or building legos with my children, I was listening to Chinese songs from Youtube. (Did you know that this Finnish artist also sings in Chinese?)
  • Instead of reading Keskisuomalainen while having breakfast, I was reading a Chinese course book that I borrowed from the library. The book was also the last thing to read in bed. 
  • After realizing how pointless it was to read pinyin without really knowing how to pronounce it, I started watching various Youtube Chinese tutorials. 
  • I should learn how to study in a mess. So many times I found myself cleaning in the morning when I should have been studying, and when I was ready to study, my kids woke up.
  • I didn't manage to organize a Skype or a live chat with a real Chinese person, but I'll definitely do something about it in the near future. Chinese is fascinating, but I don't want to study it all by myself.

Näin opiskelin venäjää - This is how I studied Russian:

  • I have studied Russian before, so this week was a bit different from the previous one. I read this book about Russian language, and I also studied from a texbook with a Finnish translation next to the Russian text, which I really like.
  • During the week, I skyped twice with a lovely Russian lady who helped me with this Memrise course and with my pronunciation. 
  • A friend of mine recommended this online radio channel, and I'm planning on doing all the boring household chores while listening to Russian music. (And if you don't like the music, at least you'll do the chores faster!)
  • I totally forgot to watch Yle Novosti, but I'll try to form a habit of watching it every day, since I really want to learn Russian. I think it's actually quite lame not to know the languages of your neighbouring countries. 


echoegami said...

I practice new words and old words w/ memrise while I ride the train to and from work. Throughout the day I listen to radio suomipop and try to get the gist of the songs and the news. In the evening I work through the language workbook I ordered online, Suomen Mestari, or I review my notebooks and hand outs collected from two years of class. This is all to prepare me to retake intermediate finnish in the autumn. Even though I passed my proficiency exam I feel like I could really use another year to really affix the language in my brain.

Unknown said...

Hi Hanna! I just stumbled across your website while looking for explanations of some Finnish words! My experience on learning new languages is by sorting out the grammars first then listening to radios and watching original movies with subtitles. And most of all, chatting with natives! If you want, I'm happy to be the real Chinese person for you to practise on Skype! Just leave me a msg here, I'm saving your website for learning Finnish! :)

Thanks for your work on this website and good luck on learning new languages! :)


Elena said...

The radio channel recommended by your friend for studying Russian is quite good. It's a good quality music, mostly rock, but also some other genres. I could also recommend this Russian singer - most of her songs are slow tempo and words are not that difficult:

Btw, I'm a native Russian speaker and I live in Helsinki. If you need any help with your studies, please feel free to reach out. Good luck!

P.S. Thanks for this website! It's awesome :)