In around August 2018, I switched my phone’s language from English to Russian. I switched it back to English mid-September of this year (2019).
The idea of switching my phone to Russian arose from the desire to expose myself to the Russian language more authentically in daily life. As my phone is my daily fellow, using it in Russian suggested itself.
During a vacation in an Eastern Russians-speaking country in September 2019, I came to the conclusion that this strategy is suboptimal at this point in time. These are the major three reasons why I decided to switch it back, sorted according to their importance:
- My level of Russian is admittedly not high enough to make practical use of this daily authentic exposure.
- Studying Russian at an beginner-ish level, adhering to text books seems to be a more efficient solution. The latter approach appears to be a denser and more explicit learning experience. Despite its lack of authenticity, it is probably more efficient at the beginning of learning a language.
- The phone’s usability is severely crippled if one does not honestly attempt to learn all the new words one is exposed to.
I would like to conclude by encouraging you, fellow language learners, to try it out in your target language! It is indeed very authentic and learning through this approach by the mechanism of osmosis did work for me. I haven’t learned as many new words as I wanted to but this is solely due to me being not consistent enough and now having a high enough skill level in Russian, yet. In the future, I will certainly set my phone back to Russian again!