Firstly I have only recently just discovered this site and apologies if this has been asked before.
I am at a lower intermediate level in Russian (I am an adult learner who took my A-level in it in the UK 7-8 years ago). The biggest problem I find in Russian (especially when trying to use authentic material e.g. newspapers) is that whilst I often translate/understand all the individual words in sentence, I don’t really understand the meaning. This is particularly the case when there are lots of small words in a sentence. This may be because
· My grammar is very poor
· I’ve leaned lists of individual words in isolation and don’t really understand their context.
· There didn’t seem to be that much intermediate material for people who have grasped the basics (particularly a few years ago). Trying to bridge the gap between beginner and competent user seems more difficult for English speakers in this very grammatical language.
· I need to move away from trying to translate word for word.
I since ‘parked’ my Russian and more recently I have started leaning Spanish, and whilst I am at a more basic level, I don’t find the above so much of a problem. In fact I probably have more success reading articles in Spanish than Russian. I’m going to concentrate on Spanish for the next 6-12months (where I can feel myself making real progress, though I can’t speak). But later on I intend to re-start Russian.
I was just wondering whether you, or any of your readers had any advice for someone getting through the intermediate stage? It is just a case of prolonged exposure and then hopefully it will come? Do I really need to try and improve my grammar, because just trying to learn more words may not help me progress much?
Thanks a lot for such a great site and for your very informative posts.