Studying the Russian language

sterling_archer

Hummingbird
I am Croat and that would probably help me. It's after all a Slavic language. But I agree with you, all these apps and websites are fine, but they will not make you ready for real eye to eye conversations.

For example, while I understood German since I was a kid, I didn't learn it in school for real and my understanding of words atrophied. Last year I started using Duolingo, Memrise, reading some websites and what not and while I got back understanding, I am still struggling with "thinking on German". You know what I am talking about?
While I am writing this post, I don't even think about English, I just spit out words. I cannot say same thing for German as there I must think what I am going to write and if I have spelled it correctly.
 
Yep agreed. It is different for different people but I am just speaking from my own personal experience. I was able to communicate with certain people for a while and have conversations about different topics even though my grammar and pronunciation was messy; because they got used to me.

However now I am having to go back to basic stuff, to iron out the creases.

I also recommend being careful with which teacher you get. I had two teachers for a short time, who were simply inadequate for teaching the language. Perhaps when it came to intermediate conversation or if you are at a high A2 level, they would be completely fine. But to really master the language, I recommend getting a genuine teacher with some university experience who can take you through it and even scold you if you make mistakes. As they tend to do in the FSU.

Either way, speaking Russian opens up the world for you, a very useful language to know. Second to that I would say Mandarin.
 

estraudi

Pelican
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.

I do not prefer pimsleur and I have a very slow methodical way to learning. I do use Duolingo though and found it ok. I have to switch keyboard language on my Mac every time I do lessons because even though I can type the transliteration or translation, Duo does ping me if its not the direct letters.
Included in my 700+ hrs of learning is writing out cyrillic and practicing all those complicated letters, so I don't think I'm pacing slowly, just at my own pace.
Just had a baby boy and between him & work I hardly have time for practicing my Russian. He's tying up alot of my funds so I don't plan on going to Russia and I'm not meeting to many people in my metro who are Russian either, as that would definitely help my proficiency increase.
 

sterlingarcher

 
Banned
For me, podcasts are really good. You can download them to your phone and it's a good way to use deadtime. Also, I find there's no point trying to learn Russian from books, as the pronounciation/written blows your mind and you learn it wrong nyway.

Here are some links;

https://russianpodcast.eu/
https://www.russianpod101.com/

Also online tutors. They're pretty cheap ($10)

www.italki.com

I find most online courses plateu out at beginner/intermediate level though. Can anyone make any good recommendations for intermediate+, as podcasts alone aren't enough)
 
sterlingarcher said:
For me, podcasts are really good. You can download them to your phone and it's a good way to use deadtime. Also, I find there's no point trying to learn Russian from books, as the pronounciation/written blows your mind and you learn it wrong nyway.

Here are some links;

https://russianpodcast.eu/
https://www.russianpod101.com/

Also online tutors. They're pretty cheap ($10)

www.italki.com

I find most online courses plateu out at beginner/intermediate level though. Can anyone make any good recommendations for intermediate+, as podcasts alone aren't enough)

Good advice, I'll be careful with the cheap ones though. Some of them really won't help you at all unless you are least high A2 level; or able to have regular conversation. Which of course takes time in Russian.

I had a couple of 'cheap' tutors before, and they ended up being a waste of money.
 

Arado

Pelican
Gold Member
Constitution45 said:
sterlingarcher said:
For me, podcasts are really good. You can download them to your phone and it's a good way to use deadtime. Also, I find there's no point trying to learn Russian from books, as the pronounciation/written blows your mind and you learn it wrong nyway.

Here are some links;

https://russianpodcast.eu/
https://www.russianpod101.com/

Also online tutors. They're pretty cheap ($10)

www.italki.com

I find most online courses plateu out at beginner/intermediate level though. Can anyone make any good recommendations for intermediate+, as podcasts alone aren't enough)

Good advice, I'll be careful with the cheap ones though. Some of them really won't help you at all unless you are least high A2 level; or able to have regular conversation. Which of course takes time in Russian.

I had a couple of 'cheap' tutors before, and they ended up being a waste of money.

My favorites so far are голос америки - it's a news podcast with video so you can follow along with the main news stories of the day. Another is and Australian podcast - SBS Russian radio - they have discussions on a wide variety of topics - from health, to culture, to politics. Just scroll through the episodes and listen to whatever you are interested in. For these you have to be at least intermediate level.
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
Arado said:
Constitution45 said:
sterlingarcher said:
For me, podcasts are really good. You can download them to your phone and it's a good way to use deadtime. Also, I find there's no point trying to learn Russian from books, as the pronounciation/written blows your mind and you learn it wrong nyway.

Here are some links;

https://russianpodcast.eu/
https://www.russianpod101.com/

Also online tutors. They're pretty cheap ($10)

www.italki.com

I find most online courses plateu out at beginner/intermediate level though. Can anyone make any good recommendations for intermediate+, as podcasts alone aren't enough)

Good advice, I'll be careful with the cheap ones though. Some of them really won't help you at all unless you are least high A2 level; or able to have regular conversation. Which of course takes time in Russian.

I had a couple of 'cheap' tutors before, and they ended up being a waste of money.

My favorites so far are голос америки - it's a news podcast with video so you can follow along with the main news stories of the day. Another is and Australian podcast - SBS Russian radio - they have discussions on a wide variety of topics - from health, to culture, to politics. Just scroll through the episodes and listen to whatever you are interested in. For these you have to be at least intermediate level.

I've posted about https://russianpodcast.eu/ before and I love it. She speaks slowly and goes over the new vocabulary and everything is in Russian. Good for cultural insight as well.

голос америки is great with the subtitles. Otherwise it's waaay too fast for me to understand anything more than the general gist. I'd say it's native level, not intermediate.
 

sterlingarcher

 
Banned
'голос америки is great with the subtitles. Otherwise it's waaay too fast for me to understand anything more than the general gist. I'd say it's native level, not intermediate.'

Yep, it seems pretty fast. Great tip though)

I like watching native Russian shows on YT, because you can slow it right down to 50%. 'Кухня' is a great show anyway, and there are about 7 seasons for free on YT.
 

TigerMandingo

 
Banned
One thing I like about Russian, that many languages don't have, is the fact that it's unified. There are no MAJOR regional differences or accents in Russian. The language spoken in Moscow is the exact same as the one spoken in Vladivostok, 8 time zones away. Makes it somewhat easier to learn.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
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.

I looked into the Russian lessons at the universities and they were pretty expensive. For around the same amount, maybe less, you can hire your own private Russian tutor. The benefits of this should be obvious :angel:

https://preply.com/en/vladivostok/tutors

Though it's best to do a web search:

[site:preply.com vladivostok]
 

ElFlaco

Kingfisher
Gold Member
gework said:
I looked into the Russian lessons at the universities and they were pretty expensive. For around the same amount, maybe less, you can hire your own private Russian tutor. The benefits of this should be obvious :angel:

Well-designed group courses can be superior to private lessons. Courses tend to have better sequencing and materials, plus the social/interactive aspect can be a plus for language learning. Overall hours of contact with the language tends to be higher. Many group courses suck, but the ones offered by top universities are usually among the good ones, despite being a bit academic.

Private teachers, on the other hand, are often untrained and think that being an educated native speaker is all it takes. Good private tutors charge an arm and a leg.
 

Lika

Kingfisher
My favorite way of learning Russian is to watch TV series in Russian with English or Russian subtitles (with Russian subtitles I often have to stop to translate some part. Sometimes the audio does not coincide with the subtitles but it doesn't really matter). When needed, I use Google translate on my phone with camera mode that translates the subtitles instantly into English, when it doesn't bug.

Here are some of my favorite series: I download torrents for instance on kinozal.tv with subtitles in English and Russian:

Fargo
Twin Peaks
Gomorra
Dark
Breaking bad
True detective (first season only)
GOT
Stranger things
Daredevil
Narcos
Dexter
Sherlock

I only know two tv series where the Russian subtitles coincide exactly with the Russian audio (torrents downloaded including the subtitles) but I don't like the series much:

Big little lies
The night of
 
I am finding Tandem to be a great app to interact with Russians as I try and learn their language. Plenty of them will gladly talk, write and correct your writing and pronunciations.
 

Matt Forney

Woodpecker
Catholic
I'm considering enrolling in Minsk State Linguistic University's Russian summer course due to the price (less than $1,000 for three months and 20 academic hours a week) and because it's an easy way to live in Belarus:

https://www.mslu.by/summer-course-of-russian

Does anyone else have any experience studying at MSLU or another university in Minsk? Also, with regards to the letter of invitation/student visa requirements, can anyone recommend:

a) a service where I can get a notarized Russian translation of my passport (for the letter of invitation; I'm looking for a local place in Budapest but I'm willing to do it over the Internet)
b) a service where I can get an notarized copy/apostille and notarized Russian translation of my high school/college degrees (that appears to be a requirement for the visa; they also seem to accept the original degree in lieu of an apostille and translation, but that would require me to have my degree mailed to where I live in Budapest)

Appreciate any and all help.
 

TigerMandingo

 
Banned
For those of you wishing to pick up some "street Russian" or everyday Russian, I would highly recommend watching Yuriy Dud (Юрий Дудь) YouTube channel. He's a sports blogger who also interviews high-profile Russian celebrities and rappers.
 
Lately, I have been watching videos of a russian-speaking ukrainian blogger that I enjoy quite a bit. The guy is kind of redpill and gives his opinion on a wide variety of subjects. The content is often interesting and a good exercise for advanced russian learners.

I've especially enjoyed this well filmed recent video about the neighbourhood where he grew up in Odessa. It's a good example of a typical ordinary and poor soviet-style neighbourhood in a former soviet republic where the majority of inhabitants still live.

 
Top