Russian Study Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
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blaurebell
Blue Belt
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:21 am

MamaPata wrote:I was just wondering how you approach learning stress. I find that one of the biggest barriers in communicating at the moment is that I regularly misplace the stress in words and it renders them incomprehensible to Russians. Colloquial Russian has some exercises and rules about stress patterns, but I haven't found them very helpful. What have you done about this? Is it a problem you've had? Thanks!


I had this, to the extent that my mum couldn't understand a word I was trying to say, so frustrating! It actually went away by shadowing Assimil dialogues. Now at least when I read those to her, she understands me fine. I think one factor is that while reading new words without the stress you might subvocalise it wrong and then get used to the wrong stress pattern. I therefore only read with Learning with Texts where the dictionary is only a click away. For every new word I listen to the pronunciation and repeat it out loud several times. Lots of exposure of spoken content should also help, listening and watching a lot. I'm not quite at that stage though.

And my Russian learning is going well, I'm now almost at the point in Duolingo where I left it last time, and I'm reading graded readers right now to get up to speed for a proper novel with LWT. Still early days, but I'm getting there!
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reineke
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby reineke » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:00 pm

Why You'll Never Have Fun in Russian
By Richard Lourie and Aleksei Mikhalev
Published: June 18, 1989

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/18/books ... wanted=all
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Fortheo
Orange Belt
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Languages: English (N), French (?) Russian (beginner)
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Fortheo » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:24 am

I'm still studying a little bit of Russian each day, but my turtle pace seems to have reduced to a snail pace. I wanted to be done with all of michel thomas (foundation and advanced) by the end of February, but it seems like I'll barely finish the foundation course by then. Luckily, I fully accepted when starting this little side project that progress would be cruelly slow, but a few good things about taking it so slow is that I haven't had any real confusion with the language yet, and I never feel stressed with Russian. I'll be happy if I finish two courses by the end of the year—Michel Thomas and Hugo's.


Radioclare wrote:I'm studying a Memrise course of the Duolingo Russian vocabulary at the moment. It does have audio for all the words, but I guess it's more useful if you're using the Duolingo course too as it more or less introduces the same vocabulary in the same order.

I'm trying to create courses with audio for the vocab in TY Russian and TY Russian Grammar, but both are very much a work-in-progress right now :lol:


I really enjoy the Memrise companion course for Duolingo's Russian. It's so good that it almost feels like it's the essential part of the course and duolingo is the actual companion. It also helps me learn some vocabulary while I take my time with the Michel thomas course, which lacks a lot of vocab.
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Arnaud
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:10 am

Fortheo wrote: I wanted to be done with all of michel thomas (foundation and advanced) by the end of February, but it seems like I'll barely finish the foundation course by then .
Michel Thomas Russian features 3 levels, afaik: foundation, advanced and vocabulary. I warmly recommand the listening to Vocabulary, because contrary to its title, it's the grammar and its cases that are studied rather than simple vocab. More exactly the vocabulary proposed is calling for the use of the cases that are introduced one by one.
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Fortheo
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Fortheo » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:51 am

Arnaud wrote:
Fortheo wrote: I wanted to be done with all of michel thomas (foundation and advanced) by the end of February, but it seems like I'll barely finish the foundation course by then .
Michel Thomas Russian features 3 levels, afaik: foundation, advanced and vocabulary. I warmly recommand the listening to Vocabulary, because contrary to its title, it's the grammar and its cases that are studied rather than simple vocab. More exactly the vocabulary proposed is calling for the use of the cases that are introduced one by one.



Wow, thanks! I used Michel Thomas for french and Japanese (Japanese was my favorite Michel thomas course thus far), but I never used the vocab courses for those languages. It's nice to know that the Vocab course for Russian is useful. I'll add that on my to do list, thus making my Michel Thomas journey probably last another 2 weeks haha.
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MamaPata
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby MamaPata » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:13 pm

Slow and steady wins the race! Sounds like you're doing a really good job with it all - you're definitely motivating me!
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BOLIO
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby BOLIO » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:03 pm

Question about starting from scratch.

I have Russian for Beginners by Charles Duff and the Modern Russian 1 and 2 workbooks with the archived audio online. Would it be advisable to start my Russian Journey with these two sources in conjunction with each other?

I also have New Penguin, Berlitz Self Teacher and the Cortina (Russian in 20 Lessons). Since Modern Russian is so extensive, should I complete all these courses while working through Modern Russian 1 and 2.

Also, how does Modern Russian compare to FSI or the DLI Russian programs?

Thanks in advance

BOLIO
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Reminder to myself: Perfection is useless and harmful. Just keep moving forward.

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blaurebell
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:58 am

BOLIO wrote:I have Russian for Beginners by Charles Duff and the Modern Russian 1 and 2 workbooks with the archived audio online. Would it be advisable to start my Russian Journey with these two sources in conjunction with each other?


Personally I would not do those together, because that's 1960s grammar torture x2. Although super effective, hardly anyone can bear that much old fashioned grammar study! I myself tried front-loading grammar and vocabulary with Russian and ran my first attempt with Russian right into the wall with that approach. Russian just has way too much complicated grammar to get it all out of the way up-front before starting to have fun with the language. Russian grammar tends to feel like an unsurmountable mountain, better approached slowly and iteratively rather than trying to push through every aspect of it fast. Basically the way not to do it in my experience is to only use old-fashioned grammar heavy courses / books and expect to get to native materials that way in 3 months. Ain't going to happen, Russian grammar is too complicated for that and the grammar heavy courses and books waste too much time on drilling all of it. You will want to get it right before moving on to a new grammar aspect and that will just slow you down a lot where it comes to understanding native materials. I tried that approach with Russian World on Youtube which is based on Russian for Everybody and was still unable to decipher even the simplest Children's books with a dictionary after 3 months of torturing myself with grammar + anki every day!

I myself am using Assimil + Duolingo this time round and it's working really well for me. Assimil is more modern and rather amusing at times, doesn't slow you down with drilling the grammar it introduces and it's still not too fast paced either. Duolingo is basically gamified passive grammar study that you can cover as fast as you like too. You don't have to produce much Russian and it gives you lots of exposure to example sentences with different grammar points. I found that half the Duolingo Russian tree covers enough grammar to start deciphering Russian native material with a dictionary without getting too lost over who's killing whom with what. So after 4 weeks of Assimil and half the Duolingo tree I'm now doing intensive reading as well. If I had continued with the heavy grammar drilling it probably would have taken a year or more to get to the same point with understanding, because you basically need all of the grammar to understand even the simplest Children's books! Intensive reading is tough going still, but now I have some fun with the language at least and I find that intensive reading is great to get my vocabulary up to speed, much less boring than Anki! It also reinforces all the grammar seen in the other two approaches and it all starts to lift each other up to the point that Assimil becomes super easy and I don't make as many mistakes when trying to produce Russian sentences in Duolingo. Assimil + Duolingo + intensive reading worked also really well for me with French in the past, so I can really recommend that approach. For Russian you just have to use something else to learn the alphabet though, both don't really teach that properly at all. Russian World maybe, but be careful not to get sucked into it, although nice, comfortable and reassuring it's just super slow paced to the extent that it becomes a waste of time.

Where do your 1960s grammar torture materials fit in? Well, if you want to actually produce at least somewhat correct Russian - super difficult -, that kind of study just has to happen at some point, but it can happen later and over time when you're already having fun with the language. I think those really heavy grammar courses like Modern Russian and Penguin work really well to solidify the grammar and get you producing correct Russian actively. Assimil and Duolingo can't do that, Russian is just too complicated to pick it up without drilling the grammar properly. They can jumpstart you into getting to native materials quickly though. So, my plan was Assimil + Duolingo + intensive reading - I'm right on track with that - and then after I finish Assimil I wanted to do the New Penguin while reading and watching native materials. I have done maybe 2 chapters of the New Penguin to test it and it seems excellent. However, after having a look at Modern Russian I think I might actually go with that instead, because New Penguin doesn't have audio. It's a really good course, but audio drilling is just so much better if you want to speak in the end.

In any case, that's of course only my opinion. I don't know, maybe you're more patient with grammar heavy approaches and less discouraged by slow progress, you seem to have done a lot of FSI with Spanish! However, if you only use those kinds of materials with Russian, expect to see no progress at all in understanding Russian for a very long time. Similarly, don't expect to be produce correct Russian after going through Assimil and Duolingo. The actual language in use is just ridiculously complex in comparison to other languages.
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Arnaud
Blue Belt
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:13 am

I've read an article on Italki about the aspect. Nothing new under the sun, except something interesting I had never seen before.
выйдут - They’ll have gone out...
куплю - I’ll have bought...
доплывет - He’ll have swam up (to expected something).
посчитаем - We’ll have count up...

Note the kind of future the author used to translate from russian to english. First time I see that, because usually in the courses, you see a simple futur (I will go out, I will buy, etc). And in fact, I find that very intelligent from his part, because you can easily see the difference between a "буд-" + imperfective form and a perfective form. In french it's called a "futur antérieur" (anterior future ? in english, I don't know, sorry) and it really gives the feeling that the action will be completed in the future.
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Voxel
Yellow Belt
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Location: France
Languages: French (N), English (I), Russian (?), Japanese (?)
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Voxel » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:15 am

Arnaud wrote:I've read an article on Italki about the aspect. Nothing new under the sun, except something interesting I had never seen before.
выйдут - They’ll have gone out...
куплю - I’ll have bought...
доплывет - He’ll have swam up (to expected something).
посчитаем - We’ll have count up...

Note the kind of future the author used to translate from russian to english. First time I see that, because usually in the courses, you see a simple futur (I will go out, I will buy, etc). And in fact, I find that very intelligent from his part, because you can easily see the difference between a "буд-" + imperfective form and a perfective form. In french it's called a "futur antérieur" (anterior future ? in english, I don't know, sorry) and it really gives the feeling that the action will be completed in the future.

It is called the future perfect in English.
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