There are only a few reasons people decide to learn a new language, according to David Crystal. These reasons include, for economic reasons, it’s the language of the state, for religion, or because it’s the language of the media – so whatever your reason may be, how do you plan on learning it? In the post linked below, they explore different apps and how they helped (or hindered) their Russian learning experience. The tools that were available included Pimsleur, Duolingo, Memrise and some personal materials.
Each of the apps had their pros and cons – each offered something to help learn, but as a sole tool – none stood up to the author’s test. Pimsleur was great, convenient but timely and difficult to stick with. Memrise – was great to learn new vocabulary, but it didn’t put it all in context. And then with Duolingo – it puts the vocabulary into context, helps with reading but does not help you learn pronunciation. In order to learn Russian (to an extent), David combined the apps with his personal materials and was able to navigate through his trip, understand and keep a conversation going with locals. If you can supplement your apps with extra language learning tools – then you’ll be better off. Think of the apps as a flash-card, study-drill session to help your process.
Keep reading to learn how this combination method worked to learn enough to read, write, and speak Russian to last a 2-week trip!