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Thread: Hello from Sydney Australia

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер Lindsay's Avatar
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    Hello from Sydney Australia

    Hi everyone, my name is Lindsay and I'm an artist from Sydney Australia.

    For many years I've found the Russian language interesting and beautiful to listen to (when I've heard it in movies or on TV) and I've said many times I'd like to learn it one day. For my birthday last month my wife decided to take me at my word and bought me the first level of Rosetta Stone in Russian.

    I've very much enjoyed the first month of learning and I'm supplementing the software with my own studies (via the internet, a dictionary, and so on). My major frustration with the RS software so far is that it's learning by rote, and there are times when I want to understand *why* something is - I have an analytical mind and need to understand the underlying logic.

    For example; RS taught me the word for White, then gave examples for White Car, White Milk, White Rice - but in each of those the word for White was slightly different. It really annoyed me to not understand why that was, and it took me quite a lot of googling to find a page that led me to the answer (objects have gender). So I decided that finding and joining a forum such as this where I could come and ask these questions would be a good idea because I'm sure there will be plenty more!

    I look forward to meeting you all

    Regards,
    Lindsay

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай
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    Welcome, Lindsay! Your wife is very thoughtful.
    You'll find here a lot of reviews and pieces of advice as to what books, audio courses or software to use in your studies. A good grammar book is a must have if you are serious about learning Russian. You'll certainly need it to tackle cases.

    BTW, did you know that verbs in the Past tense have gender too? So if a new user joins some Russian forum and says "I've heard about this forum from my friends" you can immediately tell if it's a male or a female from this phrase alone. Same goes for "I'm glad to join this forum!".

    Good luck!
    Удачи!

  3. #3
    Увлечённый спикер Lindsay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    You'll find here a lot of reviews and pieces of advice as to what books, audio courses or software to use in your studies. A good grammar book is a must have if you are serious about learning Russian. You'll certainly need it to tackle cases.

    BTW, did you know that verbs in the Past tense have gender too? So if a new user joins some Russian forum and says "I've heard about this forum from my friends" you can immediately tell if it's a male or a female from this phrase alone. Same goes for "I'm glad to join this forum!".
    I'm just this morning learning about cases - of course I've used them all my life but never knew there was a system of rules to it. It's funny to realise I have to learn more about English in order to learn Russian!

    As for gender - is there any logical basis to determine what gender an item is, or is it simply a case of learning and remembering?

    Thanks for the welcome!

    ~ Lindsay

    PS: When she bought me the Russian course, my wife bought herself the French course, so we're keeping each other motivated

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    In most cases it's impossible to guess the gender based solely on the nature of the object. It's a matter of outlook. For example in Russian "death" is feminine (and is often described as an old woman with a scythe), in German "death" is masculine. Russian "дерево" (tree) is neutral, "ветка" (branch) is feminine, "лист" (leaf) is masculine. Why? Who knows..

    BUT...

    Often you can tell a gender of a nown looking at its ending:
    female - -а, -я
    neutral - -о, -е
    masculine - consonants


    There are exceptions to this rule, but not too many, and you'll be able to memorize them. For example "папа" and "дядя" (dad and uncle) are understandably masculine, despite ending with а/я.

    It reminded me...
    Most diminutive names (both male and female) end with 'а' or 'я', and it often causes confusion among non-Russian speakers. Famous Nikita (with the stress on i) is a male name ONLY in Russia and CIS countries, as are some other Russian male names that are used as unisex in Western countries. In the movie "Gannibal rising" Gannibal's little sister was named Misha, which was a terrible blooper since the action took place in the USSR (Misha is short for Michael and is also a strictly male name here).

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    From what I understand, RS would be difficult without a real grammar to give you information just like what you are asking about. Infants learn by rote, but once you're grown up a bit, you need more than that. Gromozeka gave you a start with the three genders in Russian -- Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter. Look in the Learning thread and you will find some suggested textbooks. OTOH rote is not bad -- I still remember from my first year Russian class where we had to memorize a Krylov fable that starts Волк из лесу в деревню забежал, не в гости, но живот спасая. I'd guess that a lot of folks here know this one.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    OTOH rote is not bad -- I still remember from my first year Russian class where we had to memorize a Krylov fable that starts Волк из лесу в деревню забежал, не в гости, но живот спасая. I'd guess that a lot of folks here know this one.
    Басни Крылова

    Привет, Lindsey!
    Добро пожаловать к нам!

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