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Thread: New Kid on the Block

  1. #1
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    New Kid on the Block

    Извините, Russian speakers! I have come today to introduce you to my struggles with the Russian language; hoping that perhaps you may wave your shepherd's staff about and guide me home. I had been previously learning with Rosetta Stone but realized after searching the web vastly that this was not the true way to learn Russian efficiently. So, with the advice of many threads and people here I chose to get involved with Pimsleur! A very handy help it has been, teaching me the essentials before the stuff that seemed unrelated in RS.

    As a humble student treading among the masters of the Russian tongue, I come to ask: what is the best way to truly get started? Is Pimsleur a great way to start? What sort of things should I practice often? Is it a good idea to listen to things like Russian music or radio broadcasts in my spare time just to sort of get the feel for the way it's spoken or sounds? I was also told I don't need to know the alphabet - is this true?

    I pray these questions will be granted with gracious answers taken from everyone's time. Thank you, and good day!
    Ba-dum tish.

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    Re: New Kid on the Block

    Quote Originally Posted by Coup
    I was also told I don't need to know the alphabet - is this true?
    NO.

    Who told you that?
    Well, it's not something new, and this position is not rare, unfortunately. We Russians can understand a word written in Latin, it's true. But, it's ugly and often is difficult. What would you say if I were to write in English like this: йес, ин Енглисх лике тхис ?
    So do you think you don't need to know the Cyrilic alphabet?

    You should understand that in Russian it's not like in, say, Serbian which uses both the Cyrilic and the Latin alphabet. Russian language only uses Cyrilic, and if you don't learn and don't use it, you simply don't respect the language. I also don't think that such learning could be quite successful.

    And, by the way, you would hardly get corrections if you write in Russian using Latin letters.

    P.S. What's in your avatar?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    I told him he was full of it when he told me that. Besides, the alphabet itself looks far too fun to not learn.

    As for my avatar, it's a picture of two French snipers during World War I.

    Any advice about the other questions?
    Ba-dum tish.

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    I only can say that Pimsleur's texts are idiotic from natives' point of view, and they don't sound natural at all. Well, maybe it helps with pronunciation, I don't know.
    I think that the best way of learning a language is watching movies having Russian text of heroes' lines, but it seems like no one feels enthusiastic about this method... Well, it's the best method for me. I never thought all that language-learning soft is useful. It's like soy instead of meat.

    Of course, before watching movies and so on, you need learn some grammar anyway.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Then you'll have to help me understand what your recommendation is.
    Ba-dum tish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coup
    Then you'll have to help me understand what your recommendation is.
    I get a movie. Say, "Catch Me If You Can". I buy a DVD or get an avi file through the Internet - never mind. You can easily find a lot of Russian (or rather, Soviet classical) films on the Internet, with English and/or Russian subtitles.

    Well, I have the movie and I have the text. I'm listening to DiCaprio, he's saying "bla bla bla". I look to the text and see that what he says is not "bla bla bla", but "Carl, get me in the car, please." I listen to him again and now I understand -- he really says "Carl, get me in the car". Cool.
    Anyway, it helps a lot with learning the pronunciation.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    As far as just learning the language in general?

    I feel I'm missing something...

    Often one would think a beginner would feel swamped trying to watch a movie where the language is being spoken so rapidly they can't pick up on the terms being used. Thoughts?
    Ba-dum tish.

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    Well, that's why I say one should know the grammar more or less.

    By the way, the language in movies is not always being spoken that rapidly. In every movie one can hear several phrases (or parts of phrases which is not bad also) quite distinctly. For example, I hardly speak and understand French (I almost don't), but when I watch some French film, or, say, even Sarkozy's speech, I'm able to make out some separate words or phrases sometimes, and I think that when I understand only few words, it helps anyway because I hear how a native in his live speech pronounce them and I can make out on my own.

    Well, I say that it's me who prefers this method, and I don't make anyone to do the same.

    P.S.
    language is being spoken so rapidly they can't pick up on the terms being used
    One can, if he has the text.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Hmm... then merely for curiosity's sakes, what sorts of Russian movies would you recommend I watch? I've been meaning to catch up on watching foreign films - in the last few months I dived into some German ones. Any Russian Recommendations?
    Ba-dum tish.

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    After learning alphabet, try to get some audio books in Russian + texts of the same books. Read it and listen to it.
    This way you'd kill two birts with a single stone:
    1. You'll hear actual pronounciation and train your ears to recognize speech patterns.
    2. You'll see and memorize the grammar by live examples.

    You can use an audio course as well, I advise to combine.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coup
    Any Russian Recommendations?
    Watch very famous Soviet films, not modern Russian "Hollywoodies".

    Sherlock Holmes films by Igor Maslennikov (by the way, I think speech in them is not that rapid)
    Eldar Ryazanov's films
    Georgy Danelia's films

    There are A LOT of Soviet "cult" films.
    By the way, my German friend told me he didn't know any "cult" German film nor any he could recommend me.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Haha, the German selection was pretty poor - had to scrounge!

    I thank you for the recommendations though. I shall look into them!

    Any kind of books in particular Ramil? Story or textbooks? Anything in particular?

    I'm sure my incessant questioning is becoming annoying.
    Ba-dum tish.

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    After learning the grammar rules (well, the basic ones at least) try to read aloud in Russian (after hearing it in audio-version). Don't worry if something would be difficult at first.
    Our memory is functioning like that - the more information channels you use - the better you remember it afterwards. If you use your eyes for reading, your ears for listening and your mouth for speaking, the progress would be faster.
    And I advise you against the newspapers - they use an artificial language that is hardly encountered in real life.

    Also, try to get some russian DVDs with both English/Russian subtitles and watch them twice at least. For the first time, turn on english subtitles to understand it, then turn on Russian subtitles to read what you hear, then you can try to watch the movie without subtitles at all.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Hmm! A great concept! I shall give this a try.

    I appreciate all the advice I had received thus far. Perhaps by morning I shall be impressed further!
    Ba-dum tish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coup
    Any kind of books in particular Ramil? Story or textbooks? Anything in particular?
    Any books will do, I think. Try to pick some book with many dialogues and descriptions. And of course, the more interesting the plot for you, the better. Avoid boring stuff - you won't remember a thing on the next day )))

    I'm sure my incessant questioning is becoming annoying.
    Nope. And don't listen to people who say that Russian is difficult. If you want to learn the difficult language, try Japanese or Estonian instead
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Haha, I'll keep that in mind!

    I do know that it is alot more different than English than, say, German - something I have also been learning and find it easy to catch onto. Russian itself, at first, seems worlds apart; somehow I think I'll be able to make it though! Maybe I just need a little help.
    Ba-dum tish.

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    Увлечённый спикер jjjiimm's Avatar
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    This is what helps me:

    1) Talking to Russian (by "Russian," I actually mean anyone from the former Soviet Union) people in Russian (via Skype or locals that live in your proximity).
    2) Watching Russian movies, TV shows, listening to Russian radio, and reading Russian books.

    * For Russian radio, visit http://www.101.ru/
    * For Russian movies and music, go to http://www.russiandvd.com/
    * For books, I think you can use http://www.kniga.com/

    You're in for a serious treat, my man, if you like foreign films. I am totally addicted to Soviet cinema (you'll quickly realize the difference between Soviet cinema and modern Russian cinema). Check out these movies (cannot type in Russian at work, but you can look them up on IMDb.com and RussianDVD.com; eBay also has Russian movies):

    * Ironiya Sudby ili s lyogkim parom! (watched by Russians every New Year (the equivalent to America's Christmas Story culturally, it would seem.)
    * Sluzhebniy roman
    * Brilliantovskaya ruka (Yuri Nikulin, famous Russian comedian)
    * Moskva Slezam Ne Verit

    Vozvrashchenie (The Return) is a good modern Russian film. Also, Brat (Brother) seems to be culturally important to some Russians. It's a good movie, everyone agrees it realistically depicts violent life in 1990's St. Petersburg.

    3) Attending a Slavic church. I am Christian and so is my girlfriend, and when we go in, it's as if we weren't in America anymore. One tip - dress nice!

    4) Studying a Grammar course book, often going over each lesson multiple times. I use the Penguin Russian course book, you can find it in any bookstore (Barnes & Noble, for me). Lots of good information in here, but there is a lot and you might find yourself repeating each lesson just to get it down even more. I'm terrible at studying every day, so I often have to review the last lesson.

    I hope this helps you. I've been in it for nearly two years now and the fiance and I are planning to visit Russia next year or the following year. I recommend going to Russia to you as well if you are serious.

    One final note.. develop a taste for tea, caviar, eggplant spread, and Kvas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjjiimm
    * Ironiya Sudby ili s lyogkim parom! (watched by Russians every New Year (the equivalent to America's Christmas Story culturally, it would seem.)
    * Sluzhebniy roman
    +1
    They're Eldar Ryazanov's films whose films I've recommended above.
    The Russian names are:
    Ирония судьбы
    Служебный роман
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Увлечённый спикер jjjiimm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by jjjiimm
    * Ironiya Sudby ili s lyogkim parom! (watched by Russians every New Year (the equivalent to America's Christmas Story culturally, it would seem.)
    * Sluzhebniy roman
    +1
    They're Eldar Ryazanov's films whose films I've recommended above.
    The Russian names are:
    Ирония судьбы
    Служебный роман
    Thank you. Yes, I love that director. Andrei Myagkin is one of my favorite Russian actors. I recommend these films also to hear beautiful Soviet music. Sergei Nikitin sings alongside Alla Pugacheva in Ирония судьбы. My favorite Russian artist is Sergei Briksa (Christian), but I also like Nautilius Pompilius (from the film "Brat"), and Leningrad (crazy and original).

    Edit: I forgot about Kipelov, I like them too.

    It's nice to know of this kind of stuff. Most Americans know nothing about any of this! lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjjiimm
    Andrei Myagkov is one of my favorite Russian actors.
    Андрей Мягков. Yes, he's good...
    And I agree, the music in "Ironia" is amazing. As well as in "Служебный роман".
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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