Learning Russian- Update 1

According to the Excel document I created, I started this daunting task June 12th. I’d at least like to have that down for my personal records.

Yeah, I’d been at this for only 3 months, which isn’t too long, but I also haven’t been doing this every day.

My motivation:
I’m not entirely sure. Obviously, at some point, it did start with Evgeni Plushenko.
Although I can’t be sure if it was because I wanted to one day watch his Russian interviews and not worry about not understanding it… or it was because I wanted to be able to understand his Russian tweets or Russian articles written about him.

However I started, it has been hard, but it’s been interesting to say the least. And fun too.
There has been no greater joy so far than to be able to understand some of the Russian I read, either on his Twitter account or his wife Yana’s or comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (which I never visited at all before I became a fan of his).

Today is a good example of that. Plushenko was tweeting about competing in a golf tournament. By merely sounding out the words in my head, I understood “golf tournament” and the rest… I right-clicked and translated as I always do (in part to double-check myself, but mainly to see what words I hadn’t picked up).
Then his next tweet, I put together that he played well and was very happy about it. The rest of the translation: he and his team won 3rd place.

I’d like to say those moments of joy have gotten more frequent, but I’d be lying.
The truth is, and probably will always be, that I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

My ultimate goal in all this is to understand spoken Russian, particularly Plushenko speaking in his native tongue.
After seeing his latest interview about his “Snow King” ice show, understanding NOTHING, I was a little disappointed.

It certainly is one thing to understand the Russian I read and another to understand it spoken.

Using my #1 source, I’d gotten through lessons on all the cases and plurals.
My next lesson is technically “verbs in motion,” but I want to know my cases before that. And it’ll probably be the biggest hill I’ll have to climb for quite some time.
Just to see how well I’m doing, I went on another website to see how much I understand. So far, it’s been going well.

Nominative case is obviously the easiest because by definition, changes are only made to designate plurals.

Another thing I did was start memorizing the meaning of prepositions because most are one-two letter words, easy to remember and such. That really helped me understand a lot more of the articles I was reading.

The next step for me after learning the cases (or at least while doing so) is learning lots of vocabulary. It’ll be easier to see the changes from one case to the next if I know more words.

While working through all this, I have two projects I’m working on.

Well, one, I might be already done with.
Plushenko’s birthday is November 3rd, so I want to send him a tweet in Russian as my present to him (although I already gave myself as a new member of his international fanbase back in February)
The thing is that I don’t just want to write what I want to say in English and translate.
If I can read and understand my own Russian, I’ll be more comfortable with sending it to him (and having it online for his Twitter fans to see).  I have the phase “happy birthday” saved on file as well as Russian for “good luck” and put together a few things before double-checking myself online.

As for the 2nd project:
I don’t know if Plushenko would be into free-form (non-rhyming) poetry, but I started embarking on the task of reorganizing song lyrics from music that reminds me of him into shorter composed poems.
And in my translation process, I’d already made a lot of changes so the lines don’t resemble the original lyrics quite as much.

example: “I didn’t know what was in store” is probably a cliché in English impossible to translate so that line will probably be “I didn’t know what would happen” or “what would come”

I’m only going to translate with words  I know, so I can be proud of the work I do putting this poetry together.
Anyone can translate using the Internet, so I really want to know what I’m talking about.

Otherwise, my only other goal is maybe getting a response from him.. which is the case with the other 3 male celebrities I support in a big way, whose talents made me happy and changed my life.

With Plushenko, the mere idea of seeing him skate in person is hard to imagine (harder than even my dream of seeing Prince in concert) and meeting him impossible. The fanfiction I wrote about helping him recover after the surgery was one thing.. it made me feel better about him getting better and not worrying so much about it. [I’m still deciding if I want to share it with anyone]
Other than, maybe, an autograph as a keepsake, meeting him doesn’t feel as important to me because he’s not someone I imagine discussing their art [songwriting, acting, etc] with. If lucky enough to have the opportunity I’d have so little to say.

Just that I became a fan during Sochi and I’d prayed for his health since the injury.

I’d had thoughts of sending my necklace to him while he was in the hospital as my way of wishing him good health 😛 but as the days went by, praying for him every night, I just got too attached to it to let it go.

But I’d show it to him and tell him how I keep it close as a reminder of him, how his skating moved me and not to lose faith in hard times.

I’ll say this: if he just said “thank you for supporting me” and I made him happy… that’s all I could ever ask of him 😀 aside from him to stay healthy, keep skating and just doing what makes him happy, of course 😉

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