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Thread: Complete Beginner

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Complete Beginner

    Hello everyone, I've been wanting to learn Russian since I was younger. And have finally gotten around to the learning part, instead of just the wanting. I have no prior experience to Russian outside of snippets of spoken Russian.

    (I hope this is in the correct forum.)

    I'd like to teach myself, as taking classes is not an option for me at this point.
    So, I was wondering what good programs there are to use for learning Russian. Any helpful materials, ect.

    As I said, I have no prior knowledge at all. And it would be marvelous if anyone would have some suggestions as to what program and materials to use. I heard that Rosetta Stone was pretty good, but for the most part reviews have been mixed. If not, what would be recommended?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. =]

  2. #2
    DDT is offline
    Завсегдатай DDT's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    I have given up the Gambling, the Wine and the Cows!.. I'm back now! ....nope Im gone again!
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    Just get whatever CD's you can find. You might be able to download stuff of the internet. I have seen Pimsleur Complete Russian I II III and Learn in Your Car on the web and at the library. When you have finished one set go find another. They are good for learning new vocabulary and pronunciation. They probably won't teach you grammar though. Get New Penguin Russian Course by Brown for that. It is cheap like 12 bucks and as good as any book they will sell you for $100 in college. Read as much Russian as you can here at MasterRussian. After a while you will find that you are understanding more. Ask us questions and stay active every day.
    Don't think that you can skip on grammar. You must get a handle on it in order to form your own sentences. Once you have got the cases learned you will wonder why you ever thought it complicated!
    There are tons of sites on the internet to explore that are good for different aspects of Russian language. Find them and save them to Bookmarks. Over time you will collect quite a number. This is probably the best and most active site for someone studying Russian.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Is there a particular order to learn? I want to make sure I do it correctly from the beginning. And make sure I don't skip over anything. Trying not to be a pain, but I like to be organized.

    Any good source links to websites to get off on the right foot would be marvelous. =]

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    DDT spoke volumes...
    Penguin is a great book (I think so). I read a few pages every night, then go back and re-read them. KATZNER Russian/English dictionary is the best.
    The forums here are really good! The STUPIDEST topics make me look up words. If there are J-1 visa kids near you, talk with them. That's how I got started.

    Good Luck and God Save You
    I'm easily amused late at night...

  5. #5
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    СССР -> США
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    capecoddah: ... The STUPIDEST topics make me look up words. ...
    Где тут тупые темы? Хмм...
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин
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    I agree with DDT with one exception.

    While learning grammar is necessary, it is not necessarily essential to study grammar in a focussed way in order to learn it. The wondrous Pimsleur tapes teach a tremendous amount of grammar without ever using a single grammar term.

    By the time you were three years old you already had absorbed most of the grammar of your native language--those structures used most of the time for conversations. Yet no one teaches "grammar" to children under three. Somehow they are able to learn it

    Small children have one distinct advantage (and it is not that their minds are able to learn language faster at that age). Their advantage is that they have no other responsibilities in life and can just play language games all day. If you were able to do that you would learn very quickly as well.

    Anyhow, the Pimsleur materials will help with speaking and listening skills. Any other textbook can help you with reading and writing. Brown's book is the most clearly written I've seen, but you could make any textbook work for you if you do all the exercises.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005
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    Don't skip the grammar. We are not kids (I wish we were). The intuitive approach is ok if you want to pick up some phrases or to be able to talk in some standart situation (hotel, airport, etc.). But without grammar you won't make a considerable progress or will make it too slow.
    I'd advise to read in Russian as much as possible. As soon as you learn a hundred or two of words begin to read unadapted literature. Try to find some modern popular Russian authors (classics are harder to understand and you'll have to deal with some outdated vocabulary). Reading will increase your vocabulary and grammar skills very fast.

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