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Thread: About to start learning Russian.

  1. #1
    Новичок Chanil's Avatar
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    About to start learning Russian.

    So I've been wanting to learn Russian for a long time now, and just recently I've decided to actually do it. Could anyone give me any pointers on specifically where to start? I was thinking about starting with Rosetta Stone, but also saw some people talking about Pimsleur, which would you think would be the best for someone starting?

    Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Im actually using no textbooks, but doing well. If you seek out the right recources it goes well. I've only spent about $10 on my studies for a dictionary
    My brother learned Egyptian Dialect Arabic this way, so why not Russian for me lol.

    Other than that, I have heard plimsour has a few more disadvantages than R-stone

  3. #3
    Подающий надежды оратор randem's Avatar
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    I started with LiveMocha, and found it to be an excellent (FREE!) jump-start on the road to learning. Because I am particularly eager to learn, I was able to get through all of their Russian lessons in the span of about six weeks.

    The good: lots of vocabulary, sound, native speakers to help you, and FREE!
    The bad: no grammar or explanations of why things are the way they are.

    Part of the reason why I found LiveMocha particularly beneficial is because I was not relying solely on that single resource. I also found resources on the web that explained Russian verbs of motion, so I was less confused by those verbs when they came up on LiveMocha.

    Also, I eventually began using the Living Language book "Russian in 4 simple steps", and the combination of resources served me very well. In fact, I just finished this book last night, and I already feel well-armed in the Russian language.

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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Chanil - What are you goals? Just pick up some vocab and phrase? Or speak and write semi-fluently? I would recommend a different path depending on your answer...
    Пожалуйста, исправляйте мои ошибки.

  5. #5
    Новичок Иван из космоса's Avatar
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    The New Penguin Russian Course (here) is simply fantastic for beginners.

    If you have the diligence to work through this book, you will have a great foundation for Russian. Since you're just beginning, this is the best that you can do. I also suggest getting a Russian dictionary, simply because you'll want to know how to actually use the Russian that you've learned and not just speak in examples. For this, I suggest the English-Russian, Russian-English dictionary. (here)

    As for learning accent, any form of "real Russians speaking" will work. As long as you get a good foundation of how to interpret the phonetics of Russian and understand how the words are modified (like with palatalization and vowel reduction), it becomes fairly easy to understand exactly how to slip into Russian. I must admit that I have the Pimsleur cd set, but the only help that I gleaned from it was learning pronunciation. In the Pimsleur tracks, they don't really explain why you say something different (like case endings), and I think it's essential for any serious student of Russian to completely understand the entire grammatical make up and whatnot.

    Anyways, I hope that these suggestions are helpful and that you are successful in your Slavic aspirations.
    Пожалуйста, исправьте мои ошибки. Спасибо!
    Я люблю вкусную кукурузу.

  6. #6
    JackBoni
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Здравствуй, Чанил. Добро пожаловать в форум.
    Hello Chanil, welcome to the forum.

    Here are a few links to get you started. I don't know if you already have a Russian-English dictionary, but the first two links below are links to online ones, which I use whenever I don't have my dictionary with me. The one below that is a link to about 500 news reports in Russian. They have the original spoken Russian there, as well as transcriptions of what's been said in both English and Russian, so you can check you're hearing the Russian right, and check you understand the Russian, too. I find this quite challenging, but I still find it useful for getting an ear for it.

    http://wordreference.com/

    http://multitran.ru/

    http://www.russianmentor.net/RussianLib ... iption.htm

    I totally agree with Иван космоса; The New Penguin Russian course is very good. It seems to concentrate far more on Russian grammar than on vocabulary, though. That's where reading and listening to music will help. In case you don't have a Russian keyboard yet, there are also a few transliteration sites on the net.

    http://translit.ru/

    I hope that helps at least a little. Good luck.
    Желаю успеха.

    Jack

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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    In case you don't have a Russian keyboard yet, there are also a few transliteration sites on the net.
    This site is much better for typing Russian:
    http://winrus.com/screen_e.htm
    It's an online keyboard (both phonetic and standard variants are available).
    If you have problems with both posting new messages and sending PMs, you can send an e-mail to the Forum Administrator here:
    http://masterrussian.net/sendmessage.php
    У меня что-то с почтой, на ЛС ответить не могу. (

  8. #8
    JackBoni
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Zaya, cпасибо большое за ссылку. Этот сайт намного лучше сайта, который я обычно использую.

    Chanil, if you think you'd like to see the full picture right away in terms of learning Russian's extensive grammar, then I recommend one of the following two books:

    Wade's Reference Grammar

    Offord's Grammar

    The first link is a reference grammar. It is the most reliable and comprehensive English language reference grammar of Russian to date. Saying that, it's a reference grammar, so it's also got no exercises in it whatsoever. Wade seems to have written a further book with separate exercises for that book, although I can't comment on that, having never used it. You can find it here.

    The second link is another grammar I've bought. The university I'm attending uses Derek Offord's book for the second year's grammar classes. It has exercises as it's not a reference grammar, although it's nowhere near as comprehensive in the information it gives as Wade's grammar is. Have a look for yourself. I prefer to see the full picture myself, so I went for Wade's first.

    Джек.

  9. #9
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackBoni
    Этот сайт намного лучше сайта, который я обычно использую.
    Этот сайт намного лучше того, которым я обычно пользуюсь.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  10. #10
    JackBoni
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Спасибо, Оля, за исправления.

    Chanil, obviously listening to Russian music and watching Russian films will be useful. I find it to be a bit daunting because it's difficult at the beginning to catch what is being said. Although I still often don't understand a lot of the content in the songs I listen to, you do get used to the sounds of Russian and therefore are eventually able to at least hear the words which are being said, as opposed to just hearing a jumble of sounds. I find it difficult to decide which words to learn; it's such a long time since I've had to start a foreign language relatively from the beginning in terms of vocabulary. To solve that problem, I just look up the words as I need them, like I seem to remember doing with German. After a little while you'll be able to talk about some topics without having to use a dictionary too often. Looking at the big picture is scary, I find, so I break it up into smaller, manageable bits.

    Here are links to a thread about Russian music and another which talks about films.

    Russian Bands

    Russian films

    Желаю тебе большoго успеха.

    Jack

  11. #11
    Новичок
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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Found the following free links - I think they might be useful for beginners.

    http://www.dotty-dingo.com/RU/Contents.htm - listening & learning basic Russian

    http://learningrussian.net/russian-grammar/ - Russian grammar

    http://spoonfedrussian.com/ - includes video clips

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    Re: About to start learning Russian.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackBoni
    And for something a bit more digestible but still mostly complete, try "Essentials of Russian Grammar", by Maltzoff.
    Пожалуйста, исправляйте мои ошибки.

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