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Thread: A question about learning methods...

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    A question about learning methods...

    Hello. I'm new here.

    I plan on starting Pimsleur Russian 1 within the next few days. I also have The New Penguin Russian Course, as well as Harper Collins Russian Concise Dictionary.

    My question is: Should I focus on learning how to speak some Russian first, before I delve into the written part?
    I was thinking of finishing all of the Pimsleur courses (Russian Comprehensive I, II, and III) and then learning written words, grammar rules, etc. I've memorized most of the alphabet already.

    Sort of confused on how I should approach this. Any opinions?

    For anyone that is well into their own study of Russian, how did you learn it?

    Thanks in advance.
    vodkareening

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    That depends somewhat on what your goals in learning Russian are. Are you mainly interested in reading or speaking, in other words Even if you mainly want to speak, I don't recommend just going with Pimsleur and then starting to learn grammar and the like. You'll never be able to make an original sentence (or understand one, for that matter). Pimsleur teaches phrases, and helps with aural comprehension and pronunciation. I haven't done all the Pimsleurs, but I don't think all three are really necessary. You should get enough pronunciation just listening to the first level; after all, there are only so many sounds in Russian

    Of course, the best way to gain aural comprehension and oral skills is to listen to Russians a lot and try to interact with them. The opportunity to do this is my good fortune. I also think listening to poetry at www.russianpoetry.net and following along in the text is helpful. (Go for Pushkin.)

    I began learning Russian with Russian for Beginners by Charles Duff & Dmitri Makaroff. I went to Russia for the first time at Lesson 9 and didn't get very far. I went the second time around Lesson 32 and did better. I don't distinctly recall ever using a phrase I learned from Pimsleur. (I.e., I didn't go around walking up to girls asking where they'd like to eat.) Of course, I had known many of the most basic phrases already. I don't know if I'm well into my study of Russian, but that's how I did it. Right now I'm working with Essentials of Russian Grammar (Nicholas Maltzoff), Using Russian (Offord and Gogolitsyna), and Russian Learner's Dictonary (Nicholas Brown). And a little bit with Roots of the Russian Language (George Patrick).

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    Start with the Pimsleur immediately. To do otherwise would be like a deaf man trying to learn to pronounce a word. You might as well start on the New Penguin too since you already have it. While you are learning the alphabet you will be recognizing sounds from the words that you have already learned form Pimsleur. Later when you have progressed into the higher levels of Pimsleur you will realize that you have been applying the grammar principles of your book all along.
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    Thanks for the help.

    I started Pimsleur today. I'll probably start reading the New Penguin in-depth over the weekend. And I finally found my stash of Ariya and Zemfira CDs that I had around the house. (I should have mentioned that I attempted to begin my study of Russian a couple of months ago, but got side tracked.) I remember some of the songs, and can sing along, but I have know clue what I'm saying. Hopefully, that will change with time.
    I was also thinking about ordering How To Learn Any Language by Barry Farber, which I've heard some good things about.

    Thanks again!
    vodkareening

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    That's one of the coolest things about learning languages. You've got all you're old favourite songs that you can't understand at all when you first start out, then as your studies go on everytime you listen to the song again you hear a new word you didn't understand the last time, then sentances and then one day you wake up and you can understand the whole thing.

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    True, and this is the good part of it. The bad part would be that you may no longer love the songs as much as you used to, simply because you've discovered that the lyrics are kinda stupid or even retarded.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

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    Lol true but otherwise you'd probably look up the lyrics on the internet anyway so either way you'll find out how lame they are. Anyway, what lyrics aren't gay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FUBAR
    Thanks for the help.

    I started Pimsleur today. I'll probably start reading the New Penguin in-depth over the weekend. And I finally found my stash of Ariya and Zemfira CDs that I had around the house. (I should have mentioned that I attempted to begin my study of Russian a couple of months ago, but got side tracked.) I remember some of the songs, and can sing along, but I have know clue what I'm saying. Hopefully, that will change with time.
    I was also thinking about ordering How To Learn Any Language by Barry Farber, which I've heard some good things about.

    Thanks again!
    I have the Farber book.. it is a excellent book.. it is what inspired me among other things to start learning languages... i think its a little outdated since it was written in the late 80's or early 90's... and wish he would revise it.... also he has a address for the Language Club in NY but i think they no longer exist.. thats another reason i think it is outdated.... wish i could find that Language Club...
    How I wish, how i wish you were here. Were just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. Year after Year. Running over the same ground, have we found, same old fear. Wish you were here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    That's one of the coolest things about learning languages. You've got all you're old favourite songs that you can't understand at all when you first start out, then as your studies go on everytime you listen to the song again you hear a new word you didn't understand the last time, then sentances and then one day you wake up and you can understand the whole thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderkat
    True, and this is the good part of it. The bad part would be that you may no longer love the songs as much as you used to, simply because you've discovered that the lyrics are kinda stupid or even retarded.
    That seems to happen to me most with (the German band) Rammstein. LOL
    vodkareening

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rounder22
    I have the Farber book.. it is a excellent book.. it is what inspired me among other things to start learning languages... i think its a little outdated since it was written in the late 80's or early 90's... and wish he would revise it.... also he has a address for the Language Club in NY but i think they no longer exist.. thats another reason i think it is outdated.... wish i could find that Language Club...

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it was still around. And according to this interview the Language Club was still operating in April 2005. (They don't speak Russian, though. Only Spanish, German, and French. )
    vodkareening

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