Studying the Russian language

estraudi

Pelican
Gold Member
peterfoo22 said:
How long has it taken people on here to get to close to fluency in Russian?

It's taken me 700+ hours in about 1 year and I still have not mastered an ability to conversate other than "typical american greetings" whereby you exchange pleasantries, maybe a name, and then move on.

It doesn't help there are no russian people around me to conversate with.
I don't use internet outside of work(50+hrs wk) and download youtube russian music videos & subtitled russian movies to watch later and practice the language, so therefore I don't use skype or anything to reach out for more help, though I'm not in a rush to learn.
I also know spanish so that has really helped with piecing the words together with the right intonation. I also use music lyrics with a russian, transliterated russian, and english format to help learn the words as well.
It does require dedication that's for sure. Just keep at it and keep practicing, I even speak aloud the letters and phrases throughout my day. Whenever and wherever you can fit it in does help. Good luck!
 

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Tonio

 
Banned
Gopnik said:
Tonio said:
Both situations would never be possible in a "prime time" tv show in the West (with their quite hypocrite political correctness).

I dunno. I'm pretty sure you have similar scenes in game of thrones and other American productions. :confused:

I was talking about major (non exotic) police tv shows, like for example Columbo or Law and Order. GoT is a fantasy stuff too far from reality, not a bad serial thou, but it looks like anything goes there.
 

bucky

Hummingbird
Other Christian
estraudi said:
peterfoo22 said:
How long has it taken people on here to get to close to fluency in Russian?

It doesn't help there are no russian people around me to conversate with.

You might try getting an on-line tutor. I've got two on-line tutors who I found on www.preply.com who I talk to once or twice a week just to stay in practice with my Russian. One charges $3/hr, the other $4/hr.
 

estraudi

Pelican
Gold Member
bucky said:
estraudi said:
peterfoo22 said:
How long has it taken people on here to get to close to fluency in Russian?

It doesn't help there are no russian people around me to conversate with.

You might try getting an on-line tutor. I've got two on-line tutors who I found on www.preply.com who I talk to once or twice a week just to stay in practice with my Russian. One charges $3/hr, the other $4/hr.

I have a hard time transitioning between the 2 languages. Do they help with speaking in both languages so you're not just sitting there in limbo of language?
 
I think the best way to become fluent from what I have seen is

1st. They work directly with Russian people in their work, usually some type of volunteer project or teaching.

2nd. They have a girlfriend that does not speak english and have to learn as fast possible, putting tons of pressure on you to learn.

3rd. Taking classes continuously either through a private school/tutor or through an immersion program at a university.

I have noticed these three trends that it make possible for people to learn Russian the fastest and easiest. I think you might be able to become completely fluent in about 2-3 years time if you are in one of these scenarios.
 

Atticus

Robin
Finally enrolled in a Russian language course, after years spent self -learning. The teacher insists on us reading and writing in the cursive script. Whilst I understand that a native should be expected to do this, in the age of word processors, is this really necessary? Of course, there will be instances where it is useful, but I feel my time and effort are better spent mastering the language. Keen to hear other people's experiences.
 

Atticus

Robin
No, I can read and write it. Im specifically referring to the cursive script which is quite different to the standard printed letters. I assume you knew that already, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.
 

icrus

Robin
No, I just didn't understand your question.

I asked myself the same at the beginning and if you don't plan to be there for a longer period of time then you're right, it isn't really necessary. Also because especially mastering to read (or rather decipher) written Cyrillic is quite the pain. I'd say 8020 rule would be to be able to write a few basic things for filling out forms etc and that's good enough.
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
I tried writing cursive a few times but always gave up. I've never needed it.

However, it's useful to be able to read it, at least in the printed italic form that shows up frequently on signs, menus, footnotes, etc.
 

Gopnik

Woodpecker
Gold Member
It's just the way the language is handwritten. It's not super useful, as you'll rarely use it in real life but I don't think it's that challenging anyways.

I'd assume that chinese language learners practice regularly their calligraphy. In comparison writting in cyrillic cursive is a piece of cake.

If you assist a language course or take an official exam you'll be expected to complete stuff in writing. Unless you take your laptop to class, you'll also have to write down your notes.

Also, as Edlefou has mentioned, you will see cursive script in many places and if you are not used to it you'll have a hard time reading it (I remember struggling with the t's and m's which look quite similar).

Overall, I don't see why you'd choose not to learn it unless you're only aiming to pick up the very basics.
 

OrthodoxExpatCol

Kingfisher
Gopnik said:
It's just the way the language is handwritten. It's not super useful, as you'll rarely use it in real life but I don't think it's that challenging anyways.

I'd assume that chinese language learners practice regularly their calligraphy. In comparison writting in cyrillic cursive is a piece of cake.

If you assist a language course or take an official exam you'll be expected to complete stuff in writing. Unless you take your laptop to class, you'll also have to write down your notes.

Also, as Edlefou has mentioned, you will see cursive script in many places and if you are not used to it you'll have a hard time reading it (I remember struggling with the t's and m's which look quite similar).

Overall, I don't see why you'd choose not to learn it unless you're only aiming to pick up the very basics.

You see cursive a lot - especially in Ukraine. I noticed it on menus, outside buildings and in some train stations. Handwriting is quite hard to read if you haven't practiced it - it's not like english; some letters look completely different.
 

Arado

Pelican
Gold Member
Russian women in the West don't seem particularly impressed when I speak to them in Russian (it's obvious looking at me that I'm not ethnic Russian, but I can hold a conversation easily). However, girls from other cultures are much more impressed by a foreigner speaking their language and are subsequently very friendly and open. What gives? What is a good way to use my language skills as a DHV without making it seem too try hard?
 

icrus

Robin
Not really sure I get the question.

You would never want to switch to Russian voluntarily if you find out she speaks it. That's like giving up homecourt advantage. Instead you want to be surprised and interested by the fact she's Russian, which shouldn't be a lie anyways cause that's why you learned it in the first place. At some point you'll have a chance to smoothly slip in the fact that you speak it and you'll be in like Flynn.

That's at least what I did when I swooped a Ukrainian in New York.
 

Bateman

Sparrow
I took 10 private lessons with an old school soviet teacher earlier this year. Total waste of money, didn´t even finish the alphabet. At least for me, learning russian the academic way with a lot of focus on grammar and hand writing is a serious motivation killer if your goal is to master A1-A2 level.

As a beginner I found "Teach yourself" books to be quite entertaining and would recommend that for people who are interested in the language, but have limited time (and energy) to go all inn.

Arado: Im my experience, speaking very little Russian, but with good pronunciation has given me a strong boost in building comfort with RU and UA girls in the west. Just rambling away for 20 seconds when you meet cute Russians on vacay in the west will get your foot in the door. They definitely appreciate your effort knowing its a language very few westerners speak.

As for Spanish, French or German chicks..they just don´t give a fuck, since it common for foreigners to speak their languages.
 

bucky

Hummingbird
Other Christian
icrus said:
Not really sure I get the question.

You would never want to switch to Russian voluntarily if you find out she speaks it. That's like giving up homecourt advantage.

I don't know. Back when I was single, I found that I got great responses by approaching Ukrainian and Russian girls in Russian. My first date after my ex-wife moved out was with a stunning little Russian cutie and I did the whole thing in Russian. I asked her if she wanted to call it a night after a few hours since we both had work the next morning and she said no, I'm having a great time, let's not.

My Russian is advanced though. I had a few girls tell me I was the only American they'd ever met with whom they could really have an adult-level conversation in Russian. Maybe that helped.
 

bucky

Hummingbird
Other Christian
estraudi said:
bucky said:
estraudi said:
peterfoo22 said:
How long has it taken people on here to get to close to fluency in Russian?

It doesn't help there are no russian people around me to conversate with.

You might try getting an on-line tutor. I've got two on-line tutors who I found on www.preply.com who I talk to once or twice a week just to stay in practice with my Russian. One charges $3/hr, the other $4/hr.

I have a hard time transitioning between the 2 languages. Do they help with speaking in both languages so you're not just sitting there in limbo of language?

Sorry, I just noticed your question. Do you mean can you get a tutor on Preply who also speaks English well so that he/she can explain things to you in English if needed? I'm almost sure you can, you'd just want to check out the tutor's profile and maybe message him/her to ask that. I never speak English with my tutors unless it's to ask how to say a word I can't remember, but my Russian is pretty advanced.
 
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