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Thread: Russian for Beginners (by Duff, Makaroff)

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    Russian for Beginners (by Duff, Makaroff)

    Has anyone ever used the book "Russian for Beginners" by Charles Duff and Dmitri Makaroff? Im asking for your opinions on the book.
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    I've used it some, but had to switch to get the basics since it uses a more archaic language. Some of it's cartoons and such are cute, but I personally prefer a more modern text for getting a grasp on the language and then I think it would work well as a supplemental text to practice reading. It isn't as archaic as some I've used though, so if it's what you have you could probably work with it.

    Just the advice of a simple minded neophyte...
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    Почтенный гражданин russkayalove's Avatar
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    yes, I was using this book (Russian For Beginners), but I have no comment really. It's fine, I guesse. I haven't gotten far enough into it yet to really judge if its a great book or not. I'm thinking about getting a different book, maybe a dictionary, just to learn words. The grammer is probably easier to learn if you are in a language class, instead of by the book on your own.

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    ooo i beg to differ
    Agnus Dei, quitol lis pecata mundi. Miserere nobis.

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    Почтенный гражданин russkayalove's Avatar
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    Well I guesse it just depends on if you prefer to learn in a structured environment or not. When it comes to the grammer I just don't know where to start. In order to really follow through with the learning process, I would rather have deadlines, but everyone's different!

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    what do you mean... you liKe grammar handed to you a little at a time or in one big helping?
    Agnus Dei, quitol lis pecata mundi. Miserere nobis.

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    Personally, I prefer when the whole grammar picture is presented and then detailed with time.
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    Почтенный гражданин russkayalove's Avatar
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    I guesse you could say I would like the grammer alittle at a time, how they usually teach it in the classroom. Grammer is somthing you have to practice and use day to day so that it sinks in. In a class you are practicing and challenging yourself on a regular basis. You HAVE to keep up because of the deadlines. So you can't just be like, "oh this sucks", and procrastinate. Also, in a classroom, you have a bunch of other people there learning the same thing at the same time as you. So when it starts to get really really tough, you won't starting feeling like the only nutcase around for getting yourself into that. Supposedly the grammer is the hardest part, so I think I'll save it for the classroom.

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    i used this book to teach myself russian about 2 years ago. i wouldn't say the language is 'archaic' unless you think english in the 1960s was that much different. i like it's "no b.s." manner, i.e. they just start giving you the grammatical forms etc. and give you some examples. however there is not enough exercises for you to practice, it does move pretty fast, and it does not cover some basic things that you need to know. i would suggest getting a russian college textbook. look for one with the authors Leonid + Galina Stilman. the textbooks are good as they have a lot of exercises for you to do , asnwers, reading selections - oh that too, the reading selections in the book by Duff + Makaroff are pretty stupid, they give selections that dont teach you very useful vocabulary. how often do you have to say 'thatched roof' in a given day?

  10. #10
    mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    i would suggest getting a russian college textbook. look for one with the authors Leonid + Galina Stilman.
    I think you are talking about one called Introduction to Russian Grammar or Introductory Russian Grammar or something like that. I would not recommend it to anyone who is in or beyond their second year, but if you are just starting out it is a great book and you can find it on Amazon pretty inexpensively (if you buy it used, that is). I think the last chapter dealt with perfective/imperfective aspect, if that's an indication of how advanced one can expect it to get. It seemed very thorough though. Whole chapters were devoted to each case rather than teaching them all at once. I also thought the order in which they present them was smart and maximizes the number of sentences a student can form and read based on their current understanding of grammar. Another grammar book of mine tried to teach all the cases and prepositions within a few pages. Somehow I doubt this was a very effective method for most of its readers.

    On a negative note, I was disappointed that the book was not full of outdated cultural references and vocabulary words like "bellbottoms" and "Gosplan." I am only being 50% facetious here

    Oh, and you've got to love those cross-cut pictures of the inside of somebody's mouth showing you how to pronounce the letters

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    Wow. I made that post over a year ago. Isn't it funny how crappy I wrote? Anyhow, yea, that's the one I was referring to. About how advanced it gets, the one I have covers perfective/imperfective about midway through the book and they go through a lot of verbs of motion as well. The last chapter in mine is devoted to participles.

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    I was almost going to comment, appalledly, on your lack of capitals when I saw the date.
    Army Anti-Strapjes
    Nay, mats jar tripes
    Jasper is my Tartan
    I am a trans-Jert spy
    Jerpty Samaritans
    Pijams are tyrants
    Jana Sperm Tit Arsy

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    duff and makaroff

    i am usung this book currently. It seems to be very thourough. However it urges one to find some one to speak the language. So I am also using Ultimate Russian. I may enter all the words on Anki the flashcard program. Good luck

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