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nagareboshi

Kingfisher
Orthodox
(Don't take this too seriously) I'm interested in learning an Orthodox nation's language. Greek is the obvious choice in the sense that the phonetics and vocabulary are much more familiar to English-speakers; but the Greek-American church has many problems. I like Russian people better and would be more willing to converse with them, although the difficult consonants and phonology are really getting in the way. The sounds are more or less incomprehensible to me. And we aren't even talking about the grammar yet. This is a real Tower of Babel moment.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
(Don't take this too seriously) I'm interested in learning an Orthodox nation's language. Greek is the obvious choice in the sense that the phonetics and vocabulary are much more familiar to English-speakers; but the Greek-American church has many problems. I like Russian people better and would be more willing to converse with them, although the difficult consonants and phonology are really getting in the way. The sounds are more or less incomprehensible to me. And we aren't even talking about the grammar yet. This is a real Tower of Babel moment.

Having a similar dilemma, I play with the idea often. If you decide to go down the language route (this is what I say to myself) I recommend you learn Esperanto first - do an intensive two-week study and then you'll feel accomplished once you've mastered a pointless language, then use the momentum to learn the next. Go all in if you do it. Easier said than done, I'm easily distracted. I'd go with Russian, personally. But Greek has more historicity, you can bounce from that to Ancient Greek, then become a classics nerd and learn Latin too - then you would be a true master :)

Just started watching Andrei Tarkovsky's works last night, starting with Ivan's Childhood (next up is Andrei Rublev) and Russian is beautiful, it sounds very mature? Maybe just an impression. English is probably just abused after so much adoption across the world, so it feels its lost some of its roots. Also as a dude, I feel like speaking Russian will help me attain the deepest octave possible in my voice - it seems Russian men have the capacity to reach the bowels of their larynx far easier than Westerners (see 1st song of this chant compilation, i'm sure you already know it, used as sample for some of COETL's stream music: 0.01-3.31 - maybe the deepest pitch possible)
 

Pete345

Robin
Orthodox
(Don't take this too seriously) I'm interested in learning an Orthodox nation's language. Greek is the obvious choice in the sense that the phonetics and vocabulary are much more familiar to English-speakers; but the Greek-American church has many problems. I like Russian people better and would be more willing to converse with them, although the difficult consonants and phonology are really getting in the way. The sounds are more or less incomprehensible to me. And we aren't even talking about the grammar yet. This is a real Tower of Babel moment.
As a self-acknowledged language nerd who speaks Russian (and some others) and is in the process of learning NT Greek (called koine), I could add a few tips here. Modern Russian will NOT help you understand the liturgy much in a Russian Orthodox church, since Old Church Slavonic is used, and most native Russians barely understand it. OCS is closer to Bulgarian, honesty, so perhaps that might be something to consider, if just comprehension of liturgy is your goal. OCS grammars are hard to find in English, as well. Bulgarian has the added benefit of being the only Slavic language (that I know of) that has no noun case system, thus bypassing a huge hurdle for non-Slavic learners. NT Greek, while being more or less comprehensible by modern Greeks will NOT help you much on your next vacation to Mykonos, but it will allow you to read the NT and much of the OT Septuagint, if that is your goal. Beware that Greek verb conjugation systems are a beast to learn. Good luck!
 

Stoyan

 
Banned
Orthodox
As a self-acknowledged language nerd who speaks Russian (and some others) and is in the process of learning NT Greek (called koine), I could add a few tips here. Modern Russian will NOT help you understand the liturgy much in a Russian Orthodox church, since Old Church Slavonic is used, and most native Russians barely understand it. OCS is closer to Bulgarian, honesty, so perhaps that might be something to consider, if just comprehension of liturgy is your goal. OCS grammars are hard to find in English, as well. Bulgarian has the added benefit of being the only Slavic language (that I know of) that has no noun case system, thus bypassing a huge hurdle for non-Slavic learners. NT Greek, while being more or less comprehensible by modern Greeks will NOT help you much on your next vacation to Mykonos, but it will allow you to read the NT and much of the OT Septuagint, if that is your goal. Beware that Greek verb conjugation systems are a beast to learn. Good luck!
I have also been interested in learning Old Church Slavonic for quite some time now. Do you have any materials for learning Old Church Slavonic?
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Moderator
Orthodox
(Don't take this too seriously) I'm interested in learning an Orthodox nation's language. Greek is the obvious choice in the sense that the phonetics and vocabulary are much more familiar to English-speakers; but the Greek-American church has many problems. I like Russian people better and would be more willing to converse with them, although the difficult consonants and phonology are really getting in the way. The sounds are more or less incomprehensible to me. And we aren't even talking about the grammar yet. This is a real Tower of Babel moment.
I'm learning some Russian now for religious reasons and due to knowing quite a few Russians. I don't have much time to do so, I'm really busy, but still I'm making progress. I taught myself German to the point where I can read and hold conversations with Germans using Duolingo, books, and media, but I never really understood the grammar. To avoid that mistake with Russian I found a good course that teaches grammar along with vocabulary https://www.udemy.com/course/the-complete-russian-language-course/ . It seems to be frequently on sale so I wouldn't buy it at full price. Lots of content, clearly explains the grammar rules. Now I primarily use Duolingo for vocabulary.

At the end of the day, learning a language just requires that you put in the hours. With Russian for an English speaker, it takes around 1100 hours from what I've seen. For context that's several hundred hours longer than it takes for an English speaker to learn German or Spanish. It can definitely pay off - despite having no practical use for learning German, that's what got my wife to agree to date me, since we had that in common.
 

Pete345

Robin
Orthodox
I have also been interested in learning Old Church Slavonic for quite some time now. Do you have any materials for learning Old Church Slavonic?
Although I haven't personally bought them, there are currently 3 titles on Amazon.com for sale, but they are pricey. Perhaps you can buy a used copy on Amazon or eBay for less. Also, since this is a liturgical language, downloading a free ebook version from the internet might be a good choice. Being a "dead" language, even if it is an ebook from the 1800s, who cares. Same thing with NT Greek. Personally, my OCS grammar is written in German, which is my second language.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
(Don't take this too seriously) I'm interested in learning an Orthodox nation's language. Greek is the obvious choice in the sense that the phonetics and vocabulary are much more familiar to English-speakers; but the Greek-American church has many problems. I like Russian people better and would be more willing to converse with them, although the difficult consonants and phonology are really getting in the way. The sounds are more or less incomprehensible to me. And we aren't even talking about the grammar yet. This is a real Tower of Babel moment.

Be a true Chad and learn Georgian.

Christe Aghdga!
 

Pete345

Robin
Orthodox
I'm learning some Russian now for religious reasons and due to knowing quite a few Russians. I don't have much time to do so, I'm really busy, but still I'm making progress. I taught myself German to the point where I can read and hold conversations with Germans using Duolingo, books, and media, but I never really understood the grammar. To avoid that mistake with Russian I found a good course that teaches grammar along with vocabulary https://www.udemy.com/course/the-complete-russian-language-course/ . It seems to be frequently on sale so I wouldn't buy it at full price. Lots of content, clearly explains the grammar rules. Now I primarily use Duolingo for vocabulary.

At the end of the day, learning a language just requires that you put in the hours. With Russian for an English speaker, it takes around 1100 hours from what I've seen. For context that's several hundred hours longer than it takes for an English speaker to learn German or Spanish. It can definitely pay off - despite having no practical use for learning German, that's what got my wife to agree to date me, since we had that in common.
I can recommend taking advantage of the free online language courses from the US Foreign Service Institute. These are older courses that were retired, but you can download the materials in PDF and mp3 (digitised from old cassettes). The Russian course on there is excellent.

 

Stoyan

 
Banned
Orthodox
I can recommend taking advantage of the free online language courses from the US Foreign Service Institute. These are older courses that were retired, but you can download the materials in PDF and mp3 (digitised from old cassettes). The Russian course on there is excellent.

By the way it is not a bad idea to cross post all this information into the Russian language thread, as others could find it useful.

 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
@iop890 Would you be interested in starting a dedicated thread about Georgian culture, religion, and language? I would definitely read it.

I'd love to when I have the time to do a proper write-up, though I don't feel qualified to go too in-depth having only been here six months.

In the meantime here are a couple of articles written by a friend of mine here:
 
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