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
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:07 pm

Arnaud wrote:
blaurebell wrote:I hope there are many sentences about spies at least to lighten things up!
You're going to be disappointed ;)


Nooooooo!!! :lol:

Although I have to say that the sentence you mentioned in your log "The students have many knives" gives me some measure of hope :D I'm glad you found it helpful at least for your genitive plural. I probably still have more to drill than you, so I'm hopeful that it's not a waste of time!
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Radioclare
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Radioclare » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:28 pm

blaurebell wrote:With Duolingo I'm down to the last 9 skills and I've been swearing so much, I think it's become useless! Understanding the Russian is no problem at all, only the damned English translations are. They either make no sense at all or have too few alternative correct answers! For someone mostly used to British English the last stretch of this course is such a pain in the neck. I had to guess both the American vocabulary as well as the strange way of translating whatever weird Russian construction is being practiced! Besides, Russian and English is so far apart that translating from one into the other is just a grim exercise for longer sentences. It's really not a good language combination for Duolingo in general. I think German and Russian would be much easier, but there isn't such a course yet. I'm going to consider Duolingo as finished after the last two grammar skills which I will do today. I have no interest in the final 7 vocabulary skills: It's the kind of vocabulary I will either pick up from reading or not at all. No interest in prolonging this useless suffering!


As someone who seems to have spent the entire week stuck on "Science" (the 6th final skill) so I definitely feel your pain :lol: I feel like I've invested so much time in Duolingo that I want to be able to say I've finally got to the end, but on the other hand I don't feel like I'm actually learning anything from this final bit :(
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blaurebell
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:10 am

Radioclare wrote:As someone who seems to have spent the entire week stuck on "Science" (the 6th final skill) so I definitely feel your pain I feel like I've invested so much time in Duolingo that I want to be able to say I've finally got to the end, but on the other hand I don't feel like I'm actually learning anything from this final bit


Yeah, the last skill that I found useful was participles, because they appear a lot in novels. Having to swear my way through the "Measure" skill to get there was no fun though and utterly useless in itself. Also, there are mistakes in the English in the last stretch precisely because it's a pain. Hardly anyone seems to reach this stretch, so mistakes don't get reported much. I also feel like you about leaving things unfinished, but a waste of time remains a waste of time! If I'd continue like before I'd actually spend another 5h on this stuff and it's useless! And it's even more of a waste of time because it makes me procrastinate to avoid it at all cost! Maybe I do 10XP worth a day from now on and no more strengthening. That way I'll reach the end eventually, but I'll skip most of the swearing. Also, I want to know what the "Nothing" skill is about :lol: However, I will consider this done even if I don't finish it, since I've definitely learned all the useful stuff in it! As my PhD supervisor said to me many years ago "Have the courage to leave gaps!" I still struggle with that one!
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Arnaud
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:26 am

neofight78 wrote:When thinking about aspect beware! Here are some lies told to learners of Russian about aspect:

  • Verbs come in pairs, one imperfective and one perfective.
  • Imperfective is about process, and perfective is about result.
  • Conjugated perfective verbs are either past tense or future tense.

They might do as approximations to the truth in the very beginning, but stick with them for too long and it'll harm your Russian. Perhaps there will be some additions to the list before I get to C2...

Do you have a good book or online ressources to recommand to master that aspect (sic!) of the language ?
Personaly, I've used the 3rd Vol of the french course "Le russe à votre rythme" that is mainly dedicated to verbs of motion and to the aspect, but I'm far from mastering anything concerning both subjects.
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neofight78
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby neofight78 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:38 am

Arnaud wrote:Do you have a good book or online ressources to recommand to master that aspect (sic!) of the language ?


I wish! These are all notions of which I have disabused myself of thanks to various clues from books, Russians and my own observations. However, this does not mean that I have mastered the subject by a long shot. Unfortunately my experience of advanced textbooks for Russian leaves a lot to be desired. I've had Russians show me some their textbooks for Advanced English, and they tend to be woeful as well. I think at B2 it becomes a case of scavenging what scraps of useful stuff you can find amongst all the junk. I too would welcome any recommendations for good material on aspect or anything else that is both high quality and for more advanced learners. Unfortunately economics and the law of diminishing returns is against us :cry:

Here's another myth that you see in textbooks and hear from even experienced teachers: "Participles are used only in the written language and not in everyday speech". Total nonsense, people use participles all the time when speaking!
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Arnaud
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:14 am

neofight78 wrote: I think at B2 it becomes a case of scavenging what scraps of useful stuff you can find amongst all the junk.
Yeah, I have the exact same feeling. Thanks, anyway.
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blaurebell
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:40 am

Arnaud wrote:Do you have a good book or online ressources to recommand to master that aspect (sic!) of the language ?
Personaly, I've used the 3rd Vol of the french course "Le russe à votre rythme" that is mainly dedicated to verbs of motion and to the aspect, but I'm far from mastering anything concerning both subjects.


Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely look into the french course! Maybe between all my different languages I can amass enough courses on verbs of motion and aspect to get there! So, we've got a French one, a German one, A Grammar of Aspect in English and in Spanish there is Practicando los aspectos verbales rusos, but it's out of print and can't really be found used either. There must be more in Russian produced for foreigners, right? It's an advanced subject after all.

Not sure these kinds of books make a big enough dent in the grand scheme of things though. My dad said to me yesterday that the only way to really master aspect is to get a lot of exposure. Learning the rules won't really work, because they're just approximations and don't reflect actual usage very well. He says he doesn't really know why in some situations one aspect is used rather than the other, but "it just sounds wrong". He learned Russian as a teenager, lived in Kiev for 3 years as a student and then spoke Russian with my mum every day for 10 years. He's also read gazillions of books in Russian. Very helpful ... not! :lol: :cry:

neofight78 wrote:Here's another myth that you see in textbooks and hear from even experienced teachers: "Participles are used only in the written language and not in everyday speech". Total nonsense, people use participles all the time when speaking!


So true! With knowledge in German, participles are not that difficult as a concept, but the word order with participles in Russian is just madness. I can deal with them just fine in written language by now, but in spoken language they throw me every single time. Too many verbs in one go and I miss who is doing what.
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MamaPata
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby MamaPata » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:21 pm

I have a Russian textbook called Я люблю русские глаголы. It's divided into verbs of motion (my faves! :roll: ) and aspect, and seems to be mostly concentrated on exercises. I haven't got too far with it yet, but will try and come up with a more thorough review when I eventually get there. But until then, it might interest some people!
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neofight78
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby neofight78 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:51 pm

"Я люблю русские глаголы" - said nobody ever :P :lol:

More seriously though do report back if there is anything good on aspect.
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Arnaud
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:01 pm

A little search in Google gives also several russian books like Виды русского глагола: Значение и употребление by Караванов that seems rather interesting. It gives 70 rules and 2 or 3 exercises for each rule. Unfortunately, there are no keys for the exercises... :roll:
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