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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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:30 am

I have used 3 textbooks so far:

Russisch mit System - This is a German textbook which is of very high quality, but pretty much undoable for a beginner. I found the texts well structured, the sound good, the exercises sensible and the vocabulary is not too idiotic either. On the other hand, it sometimes introduces 2 or even 3 grammatical concepts in one chapter, which is way too much, especially since you need to understand *all* the introduced concepts before you can do the exercises properly. I guess it would be a good book if you had any prior knowledge, to practice the grammar and catch up after a longer break, but as a beginner it was terrible. I felt completely overwhelmed by it.

Russian for Everybody - This was the textbook used for the very good course Russian World on Youtube. The course is meant for high school students and it goes very slow, covers all the basics and the teacher is very encouraging. Added plus: funny 90s hairdos and clothes as well as additional cultural knowledge. Southern American twang with a Russian accent is just hilarious. The textbook on the other hand is one of those very traditional grammar heavy text books with teaching texts that are so boring that you want to pull your hair out. It's well paced, the exercises are ok and useful, never too complicated. However, they don't have solutions in the book, so you have to use lang8 for corrections. If you're immune to boring traditional teaching texts, this is a good one since the pacing is just perfect for beginners.

Assimil - I'm just starting to use it, since I used Assimil for my French and found it fantastic. The method is really strange and I have no idea how it works, but it somehow does! It goes like this: Listen to the dialogue *without the text* and repeat everything you hear, speaking over the recording in the same speed. Try to match it as closely as possible. Even if you don't understand the words, do it anyway. Usually you can already guess what the text is about even when you don't understand half the words said. Once you managed to say every single sentence at the same speed as the recording, open the book. You listen one more time with the Russian text, reading it as you listen to it. Now you can match the spelling to what you heard. Sometimes you realise that you misheard and suddenly the whole text becomes clear in a flash. Then listen to the recording one more time and look at the translation while you're listening. There is a word for word translation provided so every last problem will become clear at this point. Only then go ahead and read the notes - not too detailed grammar explanations -, and finally do the exercises. As I said it's strange how this one works. It kind of carves the right pronunciation into your brain and the repetition starts to make things clear by itself. And usually the repetition alone is enough to figure out how to do the exercises. I'm not sure how well this works if you don't have any prior knowledge of the language since it usually works best for closely related languages - Russian and English (or in my case French, I'm using Le Russe) aren't close at all, but with my previous experience in Russian it's not even a struggle. Also, it doesn't come with any proper training for the alphabet. Russian World on Youtube is great for that. What's definitely fantastic is to do the shadowing for pronunciation, because it will highlight the subtle differences between what you're saying and what the person in the recording is saying. For French Assimil was the only textbook I used before starting to read with a dictionary after 10 days. After 3 months of Assimil and intensive reading I could read books without a dictionary and watch series and I didn't know a word of French before I started! It was kind of amazing. This is how I'm doing it this time as well, only that I had 3 months of grammar torture already on the last attempt with Russian. I'm curious to see whether it works just as well with Russian as with French, as Russian is a lot more complex than French. I'll keep you updated on that.
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knudvaneeden
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:16 am
Languages: speaking: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
learning (Duolingo, Flashcards deLuxe, ...): Esperanto, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Turkish
planning: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby knudvaneeden » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:45 pm

Fortheo wrote:Do any of you know a decent vocab deck in Anki or Memrise (with audio) for beginners? I'm trying to find an easy way to pick up some extra vocabulary while I work through Michel Thomas. Thanks everyone!


1. There are many (Russian) courses to choose from on Memrise:
http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/russian/

2. In Quizlet there are also many (Russian) courses:
https://quizlet.com/subject/russian/

3. Optionally one could export lists from Anki to Quizlet.

4. A currently superior method for me personally to study word lists (e.g. Russian) I have found
by doing handwriting the word lists on my mobile telephone together with an app.
A. By using the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 mobile telephone (which has default a very good handwriting pen)
together with
B. The Flashcards deLuxe app (paid version) .
http://flashcardsdeluxe.com/flashcards/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ards&hl=en (app for Android)
https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/flashca ... ?l=en&mt=8 (app for iOS)
You can download (your self-made or made by other people) (Russian) word lists from Quizlet into that Flashcards deLuxe app
and then doing flash card learning with that words or sentences.
You can hand write the (Russian) words with a pen, so no need for an extra keyboard to exercise.
You get many text to speech natural languages (e.g. Russian) so you hear the words or sentences pronounced while learning and writing.
You can also register your own spoken into a (mobile telephone) microphone words together with it.

5. Further using the Duolingo app (free) is also a very easy and very good way to learn, hand write using Google handwriting, hear the words using text to speech or by speaking yourself (any of its available natural languages (e.g. Russian)).

with friendly greetings,
Knud van Eeden

Language: Natural: Linguistics: Polyglot: About how to master many natural languages? Overview
https://goo.gl/5wFnzd
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Elsa Maria
Yellow Belt
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:20 am
Location: USA
Languages: English (N), Danish (intermediate), Russian (absolute beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6009
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Elsa Maria » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:00 pm

Hi. I have just started learning Russian, and I signed up for the six week challenge.

Why am I studying Russian?

The thing that got me started was my son. He is in high school, and taking it as his foreign language. He is homeschooled, and has a Skype tutor. He is so enthusiastic, and I think having him as a study buddy is a win-win. He is far enough along to help me out, and that will in turn be good for him. As a homeschool mom, I know there is no better way to learn something than to have to teach it :)

But I wouldn't learn Russian just because my son is learning it. He was the spark, yes, but here are my reasons:

I think I will travel there within the next five years.
I would like to see how I do with learning a language on my own from the very beginning. The only other foreign language that I can claim started with me in a classroom.
Writing in cursive is my idea of fun.
Lots of resources available, including many free resources. Cost is important right now.

My overarching interests in life are literature and current events. Certainly no shortage of either in Russian.

My first goal is to be able to read fairy tales and watch animated films.

I have ordered the Penguin textbook, and I have a Russianpod101 subscription for a month. I am not sure how useful my son's textbooks would be without a teacher as they are completely in Russian.
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Expugnator
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:45 pm
Location: Belo Horizonte
Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian#just started Greek (Modern)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5221
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Expugnator » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:13 pm

Hey team! Two questions:

1. Am I still eligible for this Russian World course or is a B1+ level too late for it? Does it use Russian all along or is it mostly English?

2. I'm looking for a list of good non fiction audio books in Russian. I just want to browse a catalog, I can search for the actual book on my own lately. It can be just a section or a list of sections of an online bookstore (either with a main non fiction section or with categories such as economy, technology, business, personal development etc). For example I got Stephen Covey's audio book but it's old and has mostly cliches I believe. I'm more on the line of Black Swan, The Long Tail, Freakonomics.
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Corrections welcome for any language.

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blaurebell
Blue Belt
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:08 pm

Expugnator wrote:1. Am I still eligible for this Russian World course or is a B1+ level too late for it? Does it use Russian all along or is it mostly English?


It's mostly English and the level is very basic. You're way beyond it. You can just look at one of the Russian World 2 lessons and see whether you get everything. If yes, forget about it. I just found it useful for learning the alphabet and the very basics to start to get the structure of the language straight.
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tuckamore
Yellow Belt
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (beginner-intermediate), Thai (beginner)
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby tuckamore » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:36 pm

Teango wrote:
blaurebell wrote:In soviet times it was just some dude speaking for all the voices and usually in the most monotonous drone.

I remember that guy! The fact that he did ALL the voices in the same weary monotone voice was somewhat jarring and utterly confusing: "Коламбия Пикчерз представляет...".

I think I know the same guy! When I was in Russia in the late 90s, I was very surprised to see a documentary on TV about Knight Rider. I listened to it for about 10-15 minutes before I realized, "Hey! This isn't a documentary! It's just one dull voice reading all the lines." I don't know any Russian, so I had believed it was a documentary because I thought the 'sole voice' was a narrator talking about Knight Rider. I finally clued in that I was actually watching an episode of Knight Rider when there were no cuts to other episodes, a narrator's deck, etc.
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Arnaud
Blue Belt
Posts: 613
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:57 am
Location: France
Languages: French (N), Russian (int)
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Arnaud » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:57 pm

An extract I found amusing: why the great Vladimir Vladimirovitch doesn't need facebook.

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Pilikku
White Belt
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:15 am
Languages: Finnish Native
English B2/C1
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Inari Sami A2
Russian A1
Czech A0/A1
Chinese beginner
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby Pilikku » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:53 pm

Why would I say свою собаку instead of мою собаку?
Is there is a reason why I would use свою, when speaking about doing something with my dog.
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blaurebell
Blue Belt
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby blaurebell » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:37 am

Pilikku wrote:Is there is a reason why I would use свою, when speaking about doing something with my dog.


From the Duolingo I got this explanation just now. It's in the skill Family:

"Unlike English, Russians rarely say "my mother", "my grandfather"; usually they omit "my".

СВОЙ ~ ONE'S OWN

...And when they don't, it is more natural to use reflexive "свой" (one's own). English does not have anything quite like that. Essentially, it is a substitute for my, your, his, her etc. that you use when it refers to the person (or thing) that is the subject of the sentence or, at least, the clause you are in. A few typical examples:

Кошка ест из своей миски = The cat is eating out of its bowl.
Мы у (своих) родителей = We are at our parents' place. (here you can omit "своих")
Я думаю, он у своих родителей = I think he's at his parents' place.
Forms of «свой» follow the same mostly-adjectival pattern that «мой»,«твой», «ваш», «наш» and «этот» use: свой, своя, своё, свои → своего, свою, своих...

Since «свой» describes something belonging to the subject of the sentence, it cannot be used with the subject of the sentence itself. The exception is made when you are making generalisations, e.g. "One's (own) reputation is always more important"~«Своя репутация всегда важнее».

Pay attention to what the grammatical subject is. Sentences like «Мне нравится у своей сестры» are sort-of-OK sometimes, but you are really treading on thin ice here. This one sounds almost normal, while some others would immediately look unnatural."
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: 12 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Владычица магии
: 8020 / 35000 LWT Known

: 16 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 22 / 116 GdUdE B

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MamaPata
Green Belt
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:25 am
Location: Moscow
Languages: English (N), French (B1), Spanish (A2), Russian (low B1), Latin (A2 once upon a time!), Arabic (abandoned)
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Re: Russian Study Group

Postby MamaPata » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:47 am

How are you all? How is the Russian going?

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!
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SC Russian Hours: 70 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1223 / 5000
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