Studying the Russian language

JimBobsCooters

Woodpecker
Atticus said:
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.

Russians still write a lot and reading Cyrillic typed and hand written is completely different.

Your teacher is doing you a massive solid, I can read Cyrillic typed (I don't understand a lot of it but I can sound it out) but I haven't got a clue what handwritten notes say half the time, the letters are so different it just looks like hieroglyphics to me.

You need to be able to write it to fill out basically all forms and while you can write in "text" you'll look as stupid as I do when I do it and it's a blatant give away that you're not fluent.

And yeah, they use it occasionally on signs and the like (same as English I guess on this front) so it's handy to have an understanding. In fairness, it shouldn't take long to learn if you already know the alphabet and everything.
 

Davidovich

Sparrow
Gold Member
I learned Russian in JFK's Army in Monterey, CA. It was such a good school, I could pass for native Russian at Russian parties. So could some of my classmates. After getting out and going to college, I took some courses in Russian lit, always writing my exams in cursive cyrillic, like a Russian would. Then I studied civil engineering. Constantly printing English, I somehow lost the ability to write cursive in any language but Russian. My penmanship is terrible, except in Russian cursive. Once you learn Russian cursive, it will probably stay with you like riding a bicycle. Mine did.
 

Arado

Pelican
Gold Member
bucky said:
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.

I've tried approaching only in English and also using Russian and have had mixed results and I know there has to be a way to use it to DHV without coming across as try-hard.

I'm not white, so I know that's a huge no-go for many Russian women - I don't make this complaint about other women so I'm not being a race troll. Because they make decisions soon after the approach, I need to bust out the Russian quickly to use the advantage before they eliminate me on race alone. Therefore it would be waiting far too long if I casually dropped a Russian phrase into the conversation 15 minutes after the approach. Has anyone found a specific technique that gives them the best bang for the buck in terms of using Russian as a DHV?
 
Went to pick up some jewelry in a Kay's the other day, and the counter girl greeted me in a strong Russian accent. I asked her, "otkuda vi?" and she said, "Vladivostok." As she's wrapping the jewelry, we are commenting back and forth, I'm tossing in all the Russian I can (aint as much as Id like to, but hey). After a few minutes, she turns to me and asks, "So, how do you know Russian?"

It's on. :cool:

Five minutes later, had the number.
 

Filbert

Robin
Arado said:
bucky said:
icrus said:
I'm not white, so I know that's a huge no-go for many Russian women -

Many Russian (and Russian-speaking FSU) women like Turks, so if you have a Mediterranean look (look like a Turk, Greek or Italian), you could be ok. Many Russian/Ukrainian chicks go on vacation to Turkey specifically to hook up with Turks, and many marry them. There are Russian women's blogs dedicated to Turks.
 

Road_Less_Taken

Woodpecker
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.

The Preply tutors seem cheap not sure about the quality though.

I started my lessons on ITalki and had my 3 trial lessons which costed a few dollars total. I was very impressed with my third teacher and thinking of going with her.

If anyone wants to join Italki send me a Pm so we can both get a $10 bonus.
 

JimBobsCooters

Woodpecker
Russians in Russia will love you for speaking their language but you want to demonstrate your value as a foreigner before then further demonstrating the value of speaking the language.

Many of the Russians that I've met overseas have left Russia because they don't like the place and do not speak of it favourably so it wouldn't shock me that for a lot of them speaking in Russian could have negative results. There are certainly plenty who left for other reasons that will really appreciate it but if you get the ones who don't like Russia and have moved away because of that then the language probably doesn't get you any points. Think of it if you leave your tiny little town you're from because you hated the place and it only has bad memories and you meet someone who has traveled there for some reason and all they want to do is talk about it, not a great experience generally.
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
I find that Russians who have emigrated may hate the country because of lack of opportunities for them, but they still love their culture and language.

If you speak Russian, they'll be impressed and curious why you decided to do it.

I tried Italki on skype a few years ago and didn't like it. I prefer in person conversation, but if that's not possible it's an alternative.
 

JimBobsCooters

Woodpecker
Heightcel said:
Has anyone taken official language classes in university in Moscow / Saint Petersburg? I'm thinking of doing this for a few months to become fluent.

Haven't done it but have looked into it. If money isn't an issue those cities are good, if you'd like to save some money doing it in either the 2nd tier Russian cities or somewhere like Belarus will save a lot of money for the same basic thing.

edlefou said:
I find that Russians who have emigrated may hate the country because of lack of opportunities for them, but they still love their culture and language.

If you speak Russian, they'll be impressed and curious why you decided to do it.

I tried Italki on skype a few years ago and didn't like it. I prefer in person conversation, but if that's not possible it's an alternative.

This is another part that you want to have a strong answer for when it comes up.

It totally comes down to why they emigrated for sure, you'll pick up pretty quick how they feel about the country in a conversation from my experience and can gauge where to go from there.
 
I think regardless of why they are living in the west. Most Russians will be impressed even if you speak at an A2 level.

Russian immigrants are a mixed bag, quite a lot of them will still love their country. They just feel like it’s a better life for them. For the women that is probably mostly true.

This has changed over the years now, there are a lot of videos in Russian. Where Russian expats are explaining why they want to leave America.

From my experience it seems to be more of a youth thing.
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
JimBobsCooters said:
edlefou said:
If you speak Russian, they'll be impressed and curious why you decided to do it.

This is another part that you want to have a strong answer for when it comes up.

I think as long as you don't say you're only learning it to bang Russian lizards your answer will be strong enough. In fact, with the right swagger you can probably say that.

I'm open about the fact that I prefer a woman who is sexy and feminine and not brainwashed by feminism. It's important to signal that you're the man, not some Westernized pussy. Imagine what a Russian guy from Siberia would say.
 

AkiKinnunen

 
Banned
edlefou said:
I find that Russians who have emigrated may hate the country because of lack of opportunities for them, but they still love their culture and language.

Lack of opportunities is not the only reason for all Russians who left the Motherland. Anyone knows that the political situation is not that easy at the moment (actually for some years now for that matter). Many left for political reasons, like Chodorkowski. Some Olis left to Londongrad.
Others, like some former politicians, left to avoid been caught in bribes / tax cases. Specially now that the top Krisha fell (the ex Federal Economy Minister) is in jail because of corruption, there is an air of panic among the crooks)))
And, last but not least, a growing number of refugees from Russia are coming to the West. When I was in France last year for example, I talked to a Russian man who is homosexual, he applied for asylum status for being a oppressed person in Russia because of his "sexual orientation". And he got the right to stay in the EU.
 

demolition

Woodpecker
estraudi said:
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.

Are you using Pimsleur? If you are not, you should be. 700 hrs in a year is almost 1/10th of the year. If your proficiency is this low after 700 hours you are doing something wrong in your practice.

Speak out loud with all the lessons. Mastering a language is a physical act as well as a mental act.
 

Rocha

Ostrich
Gold Member
demolition said:
estraudi said:
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.

Are you using Pimsleur? If you are not, you should be. 700 hrs in a year is almost 1/10th of the year. If your proficiency is this low after 700 hours you are doing something wrong in your practice.

Speak out loud with all the lessons. Mastering a language is a physical act as well as a mental act.

Or you live in a russian speaking country or you can forget about fluency.

I speak russian on a daily basis and I get complimented by russian speakers for my skills and accentuation, but I still don't get 50% of the stuff they say.
 
If you are serious about learning Russian, I would find a real Russian teacher. Things like accent and pronunciation can really mess you up further down the line and interfere with your most basic communication.
 
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