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Thread: Russian in College - Suggestions for further self-improvement/retaining over breaks

  1. #1
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    Russian in College - Suggestions for further self-improvement/retaining over breaks

    I have a final tomorrow in my first semester Russian course. I realized that after having not looked at Russian in near about a week, I was drawing blanks all over the place in my memory. Obviously, this will just be getting worse over the Winter and Summer breaks.

    Next semester I hear is largely vocabulary based, after learning the grammar this semester (though the instrumentive, genetive, and dative cases still remain). Outside of our textbook and workbook, Troika, I don't have any resources or any habits established outside of the daily assigned homework.

    Any recommendations on say, good dictionaries, or fiction books (such as childrens or interlinear)? How about language textbook or workbook supplementals?

    Finally, how should I prepare for a vocabulary intensive semester? I started out this year by putting the words we learned into a Spaced-Repetition Memory software, but this quickly became unwieldy. Perhaps I should do handwritten notecards?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    It looks like you have just started learning Russian. Can you follow the gist of material in on-line newspapers like Новая Газета ?

    One thing I did when starting is get recordings of Russian folk music with the words. I learned the songs. Not pop music which is too full of slang, but normal folk music, on the order of our (USA) "Home on the Range." Russian similar songs include Калинка, Кто его знает, Подмосковные вечера, Эх, дороги. These are songs "everybody knows." If you play a guitar or other instrument, all the better. You can probably find the music online.

    Хотелось бы знать, правильно я писал о таких русских песнях - то есть, их «все знают»?

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    ...
    Хотелось бы знать, прав ли я в том, что их "все знают"?
    Да, ты прав. Все знают эти песни. Только не писал, а написал. Здесь сов. вид.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    Хотелось бы знать, прав ли я в том, что их "все знают"?
    Да, ты прав. Все знают эти песни.
    I think it depends. Everyone knows about them and the tunes are famous. What about lyrics I doubt many people know them by heart, especially young people. Most can sing along to refrain or remember a few lines, but not the whole song. These are songs I can imagine my Grandma singing. My mom? I don't think so. )

    PS. Speaking about song choice for a Russian language learner I can't help mentioning (again) "KINO" songs. Very clear pronunciation, relatively slow tempo and relatively easy grammar constructions, modern vocabulary, very little or no slang.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HKXMBfDxR0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMT9F7dZltY

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    These are songs "everybody knows."
    Хотелось бы знать, правильно я писал о таких русских песнях - то есть, их «все знают»?
    Мы говорим: "всем известные" песни.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    gRomoZeka
    Yeah, you're right. I think the same applies to American folk songs. You have to be a folk music lover to know all the words. I think that liking music goes beyond just enjoying whatever they happen to be playing on the radio currently.
    PS Well, I might be old enough to be your grandfather, so I still remember these songs from high school. =:^)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollos View Post
    I have a final tomorrow in my first semester Russian course. I realized that after having not looked at Russian in near about a week, I was drawing blanks all over the place in my memory. Obviously, this will just be getting worse over the Winter and Summer breaks.

    Next semester I hear is largely vocabulary based, after learning the grammar this semester (though the instrumentive, genetive, and dative cases still remain). Outside of our textbook and workbook, Troika, I don't have any resources or any habits established outside of the daily assigned homework.

    Any recommendations on say, good dictionaries, or fiction books (such as childrens or interlinear)? How about language textbook or workbook supplementals?

    Finally, how should I prepare for a vocabulary intensive semester? I started out this year by putting the words we learned into a Spaced-Repetition Memory software, but this quickly became unwieldy. Perhaps I should do handwritten notecards?

    Thanks!
    Katzner's (big red dictionary) is often suggested, and is extremely useful, along with the Big Book of Russian Verbs (either the 501 or 555). However, I must say that I'm sorry you are using «Тройка», my personaly experience with that book is not good.

    Anyway, for outside sources other than books with endless amounts of texts, just try watching childhood movies like Disney, or youtube the russian cartoon «Чебурашка».


    Удача!

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollos
    Finally, how should I prepare for a vocabulary intensive semester? I started out this year by putting the words we learned into a Spaced-Repetition Memory software, but this quickly became unwieldy. Perhaps I should do handwritten notecards?
    The only way to enhance your vocabulary intensively is reading, reading and reading, maybe even reading all the day long. This is the most time consuming task. So, find books which you would like to read in English and read it in Russian. There are a lot of books of classic (non Russian) authors which were translated to Russian. For the beginner the non genuine Russian books (books which were originally written in non Russian language, English for an example) would be the best. These books mainly have no weird Russian grammar but have really big vocabulary. You can take books which you've liked to read in English (sci-fi, detectives, horrors or whatever you like) and find a Russian translation.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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