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Thread: Frustrated - Russian, where to start?

  1. #1
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    Angry Frustrated - Russian, where to start?

    Hi everyone, I'm in a bit of a lull. I'm frustrated because I really want to learn or at least improve my Russian,
    but I have plan, no organization. I find myself coming to the forum and asking, "Where the heck do I start?"
    What is the best way to start? Surely there is a smart way to do it.

    Should I learn alphabets?
    Should I learn words?
    Should I spend all day on youtube listening to Russian?

    Honestly I don't have a clue. I think I can learn it, but I need a guide or an outline.
    Something that says, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3.....

    Anyone here feel my pain?

    Ok thanks for letting me vent....

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин Serge_spb's Avatar
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    Do you really need it?

    Consume any information you are interested in, but in russian.

    (Newspapers, youtube, songs, movies, porn )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge_spb View Post
    Do you really need it?

    Consume any information you are interested in, but in russian.

    (Newspapers, youtube, songs, movies, porn )
    Thanks, and on the porn! Wells there's a ton of youtube, songs, movies, etc.
    I can immerse myself, but if I hear a song how will that help...I don't understand the words.
    Well sometimes I'll hear a net, da, lyublyu etc. but not complete sentences/lyrics.

  4. #4
    Подающий надежды оратор Black Forest's Avatar
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    It seems you have been in this pickle for quite some time. A good start would be practice at understanding the written language - letters and vocabulary. Let the alphabet be the first thing you learn, if you haven't already done so. It's non-negotiable.

    You should consider a book for learners. Though there are those on this board who scoff at its relative incompleteness, Nicholas J. Brown's Russian Course offers an appropriately comprehensive introduction for Russian beginners. Schaum's Outline of Russian Grammar comes with an even greater level of detail.

    One of the better ways to sharpen your language skills is to read. Take samples of Russian literature and read through them repeatedly to the point at which you can quote them by memory. Of course, it is necessary to know the words you quote. For this, a bilingual dictionary, printed or digital, can work wonders. Like walking before running, reading before listening enables one to better "place" the sounds one hears, greatly enhancing the retention and understanding of verbal input.

    For listening, you could do a lot worse than YouTube, on which there is content geared towards Russian learners and natives alike. Podcasts and even audiobooks go further on the side of clarity and breadth of content. From there, you can begin to incorporate Russian music, movies, television shows, and perhaps video games into the process. These types of media are arguably the next best thing to living in a pure Russophone environment, especially if your goal is to eventually achieve fluency.

    This sort of plan is very broad, and is best carried out over a period of several years, with each stage spaced out as generously as suits one's comfort level. Your two closest allies throughout shall be Repetition and Immersion.

    Действуй!
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    Шварцвальд

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    Thank you so much Black Forest. Nice reply, and helpful. Ok concerning the alphabet, do I need to learn to write them, or speak them, or identify the letters on a Russian keyboard.
    Your advice makes sense though. When I was learning ABC's of English, as a child, we had to learn to say the letters first, then write them, then came short sentences, then came reading.
    About memorizing literature, did you mean I should be able to pronounce the words first, then quote again and again out loud to start to improve.

    For instance: I learn the word boat, b-o-a-t, say it, spell it, then read it in literature, etc?
    And thanks for the book recommendations, I'll google them right away.

  6. #6
    Почётный участник Meerkat's Avatar
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    Get memrise app, and seek Russian courses with sound. "10 000 most common words" is a good one. Play. A lot. You'll learn alphabet, pronunciation and most common words in frequency order. Grammar you need to learn elsewhere.

    https://www.memrise.com/

    Plus do all the other things people told you here.
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    Подающий надежды оратор Black Forest's Avatar
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    Start by learning how each letter is pronounced. There are resources on this very website to put you on track, and if you are truly motivated, it should take you no more than a day to form a grasp on the alphabet. Handwriting is not essential, but recommended if you plan to reside in, or correspond with people from, Russia. Whether or not that is the case for you, though, the ability to identify the letters on a keyboard can be useful, indeed.

    As you learn the pronunciations of letters and words, you should speak them aloud yourself, doing your best to follow pronunciation guides.

    Regarding literature, that is a task for a future period, when you are ready to advance your immersion and make Russian reading a regular priority. For now, focus on the bare basics.
    Last edited by Black Forest; September 26th, 2016 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Additions
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    Шварцвальд

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Forest View Post
    Start by learning how each letter is pronounced. There are resources on this very website to put you on track, and if you are truly motivated, it should take you no more than a day to form a grasp on the alphabet. Handwriting is not essential, but recommended if you plan to reside in, or correspond with people from, Russia. Whether or not that is the case for you, though, the ability to identify the letters on a keyboard can be useful, indeed.

    As you learn the pronunciations of letters and words, you should speak them aloud yourself, doing your best to follow pronunciation guides.

    Regarding literature, that is a task for a future period, when you are ready to advance your immersion and make Russian reading a regular priority. For now, focus on the bare basics.
    Thank you so much Black Forest. Again extremely helpful. Ok I'm off to do my homework,, thx again.

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    Почтенный гражданин Serge_spb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand View Post
    I can immerse myself, but if I hear a song how will that help...I don't understand the words.
    Well sometimes I'll hear a net, da, lyublyu etc. but not complete sentences/lyrics.
    Damn, man, there are lots of stuff with subtitles \ lyrics, also on this forum in a corresponding section. Or register on vk. com and get what you need. The majority of songs there already have lyrics and lots of hot stuff can be found there as well (if you know what I mean ).

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