https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram

Russian is almost done!

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As some of might already have seen on the Russian for English speaker page in the incubator, the course will be released very soon! Ever since I once went to Saint Petersburg I'm very much looking forward to this course, and I want to thank all the contributors for their hard work and effort (and for enduring all the spam on their profile pages, just take a look on them, so many people were asking them when the course would be ready).

Anyways, with this in mind I would like to ask you Duolingo members this: will you be learning Russian? And if so, do you have a specific reason for doing so? Comment below!

3 years ago

128 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Asfodela
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I want to read Dostoyevski in Russian!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
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Wow, a high goal! :D Wish you the best in that, it's definitely awesome in Russian! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Asfodela
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I know!, thank you for your good wishes :) saludos desde Perú.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NerysGhemor

Bear in mind that Dostoyevsky wrote before a lot of spelling and other reforms, so you may be facing obstacles similar to reading Shakespearean English (not sure they would be quite as severe, but for a non-native, they could well be). Doable, I would expect, for someone who is competent with the language and has good footnotes to help them, but challenging.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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Good luck finding a 19th century copy of a book by Dostoyevsky. His works has been published in modern orthography (orthographies) countless times since the reforms.

The language itself is more like reading Dickens nowadays. Understandable, for the most part, but not quite the language people use these days:

On his answering with great concern, that he feared it would be impossible, but that their only chance would be to wait for morning, the captain lifted up his hands in silent and distressful ejaculation.


The completeness of his sympathy with her fancy for having a little John Harmon to protect and rear, he had shown in every act and word, and now that the kind fancy was disappointed, he treated it with a manly tenderness and respect for which she could hardly thank him enough.

All of the Russian literature a foreign learner aims at reading was written within the last 200 years. It is nowhere near as confusing as Shakespeare.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NerysGhemor

I guess I assumed since we in the English speaking world didn't get republished stuff when we established our spelling systems, things would've been left as-is in other languages as well. Redoing it was a smart move on your part.

Here you don't get the courtesy of an updated version until you go all the way back to Chaucer...and not everyone's teacher will allow them to use the updated version! (Beowulf, however, is a guaranteed translation unless you are studying Old English on purpose.)

Then again that may also be partly because our spelling systems even these days are a bit...chaotic compared to a lot of languages. ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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I am shure, hæd Inglish desaided to gou for a simplifaid ænd mor konsistent speling, moust popyular buks wud bee ripablished ivenchueali, if for nou ather reeson thæn litl dimand for nyue kopis thæt stik tu autdeited speling (ænd, sins buks tend tu not last forever, nyue kopis WILL hæv tu bee printed sam dei).

It is not exactly comfortable for a reader to suffer thru a text where nearly every word is spelt differently.

Russia had it much easier because back in the beginning of the 20th century common people were not as educated. Radically changing spelling NOW (for any major language) would require a lot more effort.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Hei, täts hau Finnis pepöl spiik än vrait Inglis! :-) (Vel, som Finnis pepöl...)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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Not going to lie, that was paaaainful to read.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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Come to think of it, the last major reform was rather moderate because the spelling system was not that bad in the first place. Imagine English:

  • always spelling the single "ee" sound the same, bee it "reed", "meet" or "seeson".
  • get rid of silent Es: have→hav, Pete→Peet, mine→myn
  • spell the vowel in "bad" as "ae" or "æ"
  • for God's sake, stop spelling "f" as "ph" in random words (who cares what language they come from?)

The text will surely change, but... Let's admit it, it would be a borderline compromise between completely reinventing the spelling—and adapting the current spelling to more recent (~500 years ago) trends in pronunciation.

I found a Chinese language textbook printed before the Revolution. It certainly takes a few minutes to get used to pre-reform orthography, but reading it is fairly easy.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NerysGhemor

Haha, trust me, we English speakers are well aware of how awkward our spelling is. What other language could you actually have a spelling bee for?? O_O

The funny thing is, Old English--the kind you see in Beowulf--was fairly systematic about its spelling from what I've seen. Middle English (Chaucer) starts to become a mess but there's none of this silent letter business. And of course we know where we are today. Russia is linguistically fortunate not to have had that degree of change forced on it, as Old English did by the Normans.

Then again, if I wrote it off as all being the result of English being (in effect) a contact language, even that still doesn't excuse it. Just look at Maltese...same situation, huge linguistic collision between Arabic, Italian, and English, yet there's still pretty regular spelling there. Go figure. ;-)

But you're totally right about the cost of trying to change it all. The English sound system is such that it could even justify its own alphabet or at least heavy addition of diacritics. But I can imagine if Sts. Cyril and Methodius came here to try to fix it, they'd get their idea shot down in a long, droning, ultimately losing debate in the Budget Committee in the House of Representatives. Yeah, they had it easy in that regard.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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The main reason for inconsistency is a fairly old spelling system, reflecting the pronunciation of time long gone. The RP pronunciation most commonly associated with "British" accent (if you are not from UK) did not exist back then, and, moreover, had a few centuries to wait yet.

In good agreement with what Marxists say, there seem to be objective reasons both for creation of writing systems and spelling systems. :) In English, as far as I remember, the spelling became more consistent due to the spread of bookprinting. The conventions were first introduced by typesetters, not authors. After all, why would you even want consistent spelling if literate people are few? Literate people are smart: they can understand you anyway, as long as the spelling makes sense :)

By the way, ad-hoc spellings provide an insight into the inner workings of the evolving pronunciation. For example, it is because of spelling trying to follow pronunciation that we know when Russian got its Ё sound. Approximately in 13-14 century we see E replaced by O in some phonetic positions, for example "Petr" becoming "Potr" (Piotr)—apparently, the author tried to come up with a solution to reflect the change of accented E into O in such positions.

Hm... There is also the problem of transparency. A good writing system strikes a good balance between phonetic representation and stability. Consider words like vision, visible, national, native. If you spell them as vijen, vizible, naeshunal, neitiv, the relationship is obscured (even worse with nation/national, where it is painfully obvious where the word comes from). Besides, there is no way around the fact that English has a lot more vowel sounds that there are vowel letters in the Latin alphabet.

On the other hand, English does not have that many recognized consonants, so you can easily make their spelling consistent (and maybe even throw out the Q).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Haha, trust me, we English speakers are well aware of how awkward our spelling is. What other language could you actually have a spelling bee for?? O_O

There are spelling bees for other languages, too. Dutch speakers even show their main one on tv...: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Dictation_of_the_Dutch_Language

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gijira

>the captain lifted up his hands in silent and distressful ejaculation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoadedTrucker

Ok, you twisted my arm. I am going to look up the cyrillic alphabet this moment.

Russian is gonna be AWESOME!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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Try different fonts, too. Some learners find it hard to distinguish Л and П, so, given that they stem from the Greek Λ and Π, you may want to use a more geometric font or something old-fashioned with pointy Л and Д.

By the way, Duolingo uses your browser's default Sans Serif font to display every text that is not covered by the characters of Museo Sans. So you can make your Cyrillics in the lesson look any way you like.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Good advice! By the way, is there going to be cursive writing in the Russian course as well? I find that much harder to read for some reason, it looks quite different from the standard font.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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I tried to make sure I only italicize the Latin characters in my Tips. Failed a few times, but we now have all the time in the world to fix it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Well good to know you're avoiding it at least :P Then again, at least it's more readable than the real handwriting scribbling!

Duo

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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A good idea :)

lilii

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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Also, ask a Russian sometime to handwrite минимум or лишили лилии.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buenotc
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That's how I wrote in kindergarten.. True story!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alex_tv80
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Is it written by a doctor? The doctor's handwriting is hard to read even for natives )))

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GoColts6
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Lol :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Well that actually looks really nice! Then again my handwriting is horrible whether I write in Russian or English so mine will never look like that, but that's actually really pleasant to look at :) Maybe a bonus skill? :p

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

I found this too whilst learning Bulgarian. A proper font writing wasn't too hard to learn but looking at cursive adds a lot more confusing "false friends"! Writing a "d" as "g", "t" as "m", "i" as "u" etc. That's in addition to the usual ones like "r" as "p". Quite confusing at first :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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The alphabet is pretty close to the Latin alphabet, so it probably won't be too difficult for you!

However I think I read somewhere in the beginning of the course you will already learn the alphabet so I don't think you have to worry about that already :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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You may try THIS short set of reading exercises, going from easiest letters to hardest ones.

Russian alphabet exercise sheet

Then, a few hours later maybe try this video. Which you might find a little fast paced ;).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buenotc
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Thanks, saved it as a cheat sheet. Do you have another one with more syllable combinations such as consonants and vowels? Eg. Ва та ча ха фа да?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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I can make one. It just did not fit on this particular page—and I think you should not try reading any more syllables and words without checking with the audio of a native speaker reading the same material. After all, the contents of this page are an approximation. It does not tell you how to read the unstressed syllables and certain consonant combinations.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GoColts6
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I want to learn Russian because my piano teacher is Russian, and I want to be able to see music and piano in a more Russian perspective. Also, if I learn to speak really well, it would sure save her a lot of energy talking in English all the time. :) I also heard that Russian is a really beautiful language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_JavierP_
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Jajaja, mi profesora de piano también era rusa, ¡qué coincidencia ! =)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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I hope you and your piano teacher will soon be able to speak fluent Russian with each other :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GoColts6
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Thanks! :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nanab2001
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Yes!My reason is kind of silly,it's because I watched "Masha and the Bear" and I just thought russian sounded really pretty.There's also this russian boy in my 1st period,and I want to be able to say more than "Привет,как дела?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jvdn.aze
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In Azerbaijan, if you say you don't know Russian, they look at you like you are idiot. So my aim is to fully learn Russian

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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I studied Russian at uni and I'm really out of practice, so I'm looking forward to learning and relearning and revising :) I love Slavic languages, and Russian is gorgeous <3

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Nice, at least you have a good basis then so it'll be easier for you :) Do you like Russian most of the Slavic languages or is there another you prefer more?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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Oooh now there's a question... I have a huge soft spot for Russian, as it was the first Slavic language I ever tried, and I do think it's a beautiful language. I actually think it's at least as beautiful as Ukrainian!

Is it my very favourite?? I don't know. I do think Croatian is really pretty; I also find Polish kind of adorable, for want of a better way of putting it. (Though I know v little Polish and I've never properly studied it.)

I don't know if I have a favourite, really, because so far I haven't come across a Slavic language I disliked or didn't want to learn, but Russian was the first and definitely the one I know best, so if you twisted my arm, it might just edge out the others...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Haha yes Ukrainian has a reputation for being a very beautiful language, but I can understand your point!

Croatian also has a special place in my heart, I've been in the country so often that I'm ashamed I don't speak it better! Polish less so to be honest, they have some really hard letter combinations (prsz or sczc for example).

And well it is the most spoken one so that's not really surprising :) So how did your interest in Slavic languages start? Why do you think it's more interesting than Germanic or Latin languages? ^^

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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True story: by accident. No, really. I was planning to apply for French/Spanish at uni (Spanish would've been ab initio for me), but when trying to narrow down the list of universities (in the UK one typically applies to 6 through UCAS), there were so. many. universities. that offered that combination and I was overwhelmed. Then I read an article somewhere about Russian. I knew very little about it - when I was a child I always enjoyed the Russian folktales I read in translation, but that was about it - but it sounded different and interesting. I figured I already spoke a Germanic language (English) and a Romance language (French) so why not try a Slavic language, and when I looked at the unis which offered French + ab initio Russian, the number of possibilities reduced dramatically.

Then, when I got to uni, I realised I had got to the point with French where I was maybe as good as I was ever going to get at it, and the French department was big and impersonal, whereas the Russian department was small, friendly, and a bit nuts, and I also fell in love with how Russian looked and sounded and worked, so I dropped French in favour of concentrating on Russian. (Though at the start I wasn't actually very good, I had to retake my prelims because I failed first time round! My French profs thought it was... singular of me to drop the language where I'd passed the exams, but I was adamant.)

The rest, as they say, is history ;D

I've never been to Croatia, so colour me jealous - the Balkans are a beautiful part of the world!

Polish always seems to me like it's a Slavic language that almost has a lisp - there are so many shs and zhs and ws which in related languages are much harder sounds, so it always just seems cute to me heheheh. Like related words such as милость in Russian and miłość in Polish (though they don't mean exactly the same there's an obvious relation) - miłość sounds kind of adorable heheheh.

I think Ukrainian is beautiful, but I don't find it more beautiful than Russian!

When Ukrainian is touted as being as beautiful as French or Italian I always think to myself that IMO, Slavic languages are much prettier than either of those two. I may be biased...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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@Berggie1:

I'm fairly proficient in Czech, so doing Russian as opposed to Chinese is like having a vacation and makes me feel smart.

This was exactly how I felt when Ukrainian came out. I'd been attempting to learn Turkish, but as well as just not really having much in the way of personal motivation, it was making me feel like an idiot who maybe wasn't as good at languages as I was 'supposed' to be.

Having Ukrainian appear and being able to romp through the tree for fun reminded me I actually like languages, and that I wasn't completely stupid!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Berggie1
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love your story. I'm fairly proficient in Czech, so doing Russian as opposed to Chinese is like having a vacation and makes me feel smart. I'm excited about being able to move forward with the Duolingo style of language learning.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Berggie1
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"romp through the tree for fun..." Language monkey - a new species. Exists only in the world of Duolingo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Medard
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chrząszcz :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
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You mean Chrząszczyżewoszyce powiat Łękołody :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User
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@Ictram If you can handle Russian pronunciation, you can handle Polish as well. Mostly its actually the same, but where Russian uses different letters for the sounds, Polish just uses letter combinations such as "szcz", "rz", and"cz". Or if you find a good guide to Polish pronunciation, it will show examples of places where the sound is actually used in English as well. For instance, "rz" is just like the "s" in words such as "measure" or "pleasure".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Oh no, I can already feel my brain melting :(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
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This is actually from legendary Polish comedy trilogy from 1970s called "How I Unleashed World War II" (Jak rozpętałem drugą wojnę światową) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065908/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The scene with "Chrząszczyżewoszyce" is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlOoSsfU6cM

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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Hahaha ok that is absolutely hilarious xD Thank you for sharing that, it really made me laugh! But yeah I like the way Polish sounds but I have absolutely no illusion that I will ever be able to pronounce anything I would learn of it properly :p

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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The guy's face right at the end of the clip is brilliant ;D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NerysGhemor

I know some people don't like the sound of Polish for whatever reason, but it actually sounds kind of "English-like" to me in terms of the hardness of its sounds. Poles don't seem to run their sounds together as Russians do, and for someone whose ear is tuned to the harder consonants and choppier speech of a Germanic language, it does have its advantages.

3 years ago

[deactivated user]

    I don't have a good reason. I just like the way Russian sounds.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
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    I'm so happy for it! I already speak Russian, but my cousin needs to learn it, and I see Duolingo as a great tool for learning languages, so I advised her to wait until Russian gets released here. :) Now it's finally coming out! Hurrah! You will often see me in the discussions on Russian page, I will subscribe to it. ;) Well done all contributors and moderators! :)

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrankKool
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    I want to learn Russian first and foremost because it's simply a beautiful language. Secondary reasons are: 1) right now, I only speak Germanic (Dutch, English, German) and Romanic languages (Spanish, and a bit of French) and I want to move beyond that, 2) Russia has a fascinating history an culture, 3) there's a lot of commotion about Russian politics in the news nowaydays, and I want to get more of an insiders perspective.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Psittacosis
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    I second the point about Russia in the news. There is a lot of perspective about Russia in western media (and I would argue, misinformation) - would like to see if I can start understanding some news in Russian to get the perspective of someone living there.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrankKool
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    True. I spoke with some Russians at busuu.com (another learning site), and they all said that the reports on Ukraine they see on Western news outlets are different from the news they are getting at home.

    Of course it's difficult, if not impossible, to determine who to believe here.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

    i am so excited. it has been in 99% for like the past 2 weeks!

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/frankenstein724
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    or two months, or more.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

    I guess I might be willing to give Russian a try whilst I wait for (hope) that they add a Bulgarian course. I have a slight preference for how Bulgarian sounds over Russian but we'll see :)

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/fr224
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    Have you seen the guy who's been posting Bulgarian lessons?

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

    Oh yes, I've been enjoying his lessons but I know I'll fall over once he starts doing sentences. Bulgarian has a relatively free word order (I imagine Russian will too) and that makes it more difficult for a native English speaker with an engrained, strict word order to follow ;)

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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    I can say that at least for Russian the word order is not free, it is flexible. There is a concept of "neutral" word order, which is the most generic an common, and also the order depends on your message.

    So, whereas translating from English gives you a wide range of possibilities (English word order does not give you much information about the message of the sentence), that's not how it works IRL. When you make your own sentences in speech or writing, naturally, you know what you want to say and why, so your choices are rather limited. The study I read suggested that Russian features a rather predictable relative positions of words—yes, it has some variation, but 60–90% of choices are standard.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
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    The same is common to all slavic languages. My native Czech is also very flexible, you can stress different parts of the sentence by simply changing word order.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

    Interesting, thanks for your reply! I'll certainly give your course a shot, and see how I get on.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ptoro
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    English word order does not give you much information about the message of the sentence

    Perhaps that's true of English relative to Russian. But word order can change the meaning quite a bit in English. Consider:

    1. The boy made cookies for his friends at school.

    2. At school the boy made cookies for his friends.

    In 1, we don't know where the boy made the cookies. But in 2, we know he made them at school. In 1, "at school" was a part of the indirect object but by moving it to the front of the sentence, it's now a prepositional phrase.

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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    That is quite understandable. Different interpretations of the sentence's structure are certainly possible in languages. I was talking specifically about the situation when the objective meaning is the same.

    To get a hang of what's behind the curtains, consider this: a sentence produced IRL always exists in some context. The listener knows something and you—you give them some info so that they understand your point better.

    English mostly relies on intonation here. Follow what Bob says in my sample sentences:

    Alice: Please read "The Tempest" by Monday.

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    .

    Dorothy: Pleeeeze read me someting before bed! "The Tempest" is the best bok eevar!

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    .

    Alice: You had a good time?

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    .

    Alice: For god's sake, stop whining. You'll never finish that book.

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    .

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    Alice: And I was listening to the music.

    Bob: What was it?

    Alice: Rick Wakeman—you probably don't know him.

    Bob: Nay, he is cool?

    .

    Clara: I finally finished my project.

    Alice: Thanks god. And you Bob?

    Bob: I read "The Tempest" yesterday.

    Now, I am not saying that in Russian all of them are different (probably not).

    Still, many languages with particles and/or flexible word order may start doing their stuff here—namely, flex their word order and insert particles. Why? Well, why wouldn' they? By emphasizing certain parts of your utterance you make your speech more predictable, which allows the listener to be prepared for each word that follows and, consequently, to better comprehend the message. It lets the listener get a better idea of what your point is.

    By the way, you might have heard that Russian is characterized by a rather bland intonation... :)

    3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ptoro
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    А, спасибо. I see what you're saying now. Definitely appreciate the thorough explanation!

    3 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      But both sentences tell us that he made the cookies at school.

      3 years ago

      [deactivated user]

        I don't understand. How is the word order not free when you have conjugation and declension to clear everything up?

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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        Человек человеку волк.

        А пони пони пони.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/alex_tv80
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        "Добро побеждает зло" and "Зло побеждает добро" have actually different meanings )

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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        Haha well I don't know how closely related the languages are, but Russian might help you understand some of the Bulgarian language, who knows! :)

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/alex_tv80
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        I have been in Bulgaria and it was quite easy to understand them (I am Russian native speaker)

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Berggie1
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        When I lived in Czech, a Russian friend once forgot to speak Czech to me and we had the conversation with her speaking Russian and me speaking Czech. It was so similar that I understood what she was saying.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

        I've heard some common words between the two, but I'm not sure they're so close. I already know a little Bulgarian but Duolingo adds a nice fun-ness to learning!

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
        Plus
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        Just for interest's sake - I sent an email entirely in Russian to a BG friend and she pretty much understood it all. Fine detail she missed a little, and she is a good linguist who already speaks several languages (though her native BG is the only Slavic language), plus she has dipped her toe into a little Russian, but her understanding was significantly better than if she didn't speak Bulgarian. They are only distantly related, as Slavic languages go, but if you're looking for similarities, they're decidedly there.

        (I usually can follow if she sends me simple emails in Bulgarian, though since I have already studied more than one Slavic language (though am native in none), that is a bit different.)

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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        True, I think Bulgarian had more influences from their neighbours and it's a South Slavic language so there are probably some major differences. To be honest I've never even thought about learning or speaking Bulgarian, I think tomorrow I'll check those lessons in the discussion to see what it's like :p

        By the way do you know if the person writing the lessons is willing to sign up as a contributor for a potential course?

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
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        Actually from what I know Bulgarian is the most distinct of all slavic languages, because it lacks e.g. declension.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

        @Annie18010 It's presented in first person singular, and I think you also get the second person "ending" so you know which type of verb it is. E.g. Speak will probably just show as "говоря/ -и" or something to that effect. This lets you know that the endings in other person use the "и" form: говоря, говориш, говори etc.

        @Michal_90 it still has other declension though, it's just dropped (mostly) the use of grammatical case.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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        Annie18010: Japanese does not have an infinitive too, and is fine with that. Which made me think that many languages may behave the same if they do not have one. If Japanese people are comfortable with using the "common", non-polite present tense form as a dictionary entry, other languages might too.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Michal_90
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        Wikipedia says this:

        Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language (collectively forming the East South Slavic languages), has several characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages: changes include the elimination of case declension, the development of a suffixed definite article (see Balkan language area), and the lack of a verb infinitive, but it retains and has further developed the Proto-Slavic verb system.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

        It does have declension, doesn't it? Adjectives etc change based on the noun in use...

        3 years ago

        [deactivated user]

          No infinitive? That's crazy! So when the verb is in the dictionary, what form do they presented in?

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Nikos-
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          I'm Bulgarian and I have to ask, what makes Bulgarian sound better than Russian to you? I know Bulgarian has harder sounds than the normally soft Slavic languages.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/karlbbb

          I don't think it's possible to describe it. Yes it is harder but there's something preferable in the sounds compared to Russian :)

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Captain000

          I am only here for Russian. I only played around with how duolingo works with Spanish a couple of years ago, but I have been waiting since then for Russian. Glad to see that soon it should be released in beta. I am learning Russian, as I believe it to be an extremely useful language for business, I am also currently living in Russia :)

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/elinjah

          Yes!! I am here on Duolingo for Russian actually. I just love the language and country :) So excited.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/EriktheSwede

          Yes. I am incredibly excited to start. I've been using Duolingo 2 years, and have been on and off with the languages, finally I will learn Russian!

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/kevinmclarke
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          I want to read Russian Orthodox theology.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/sophiabit
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          I can't wait for Russian to be released! I started learning it last year on my own, but then stopped it to focus on my French. However, I think the language and the country is beautiful so I can't wait to start learning it again =)

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
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          I have waited this for so long. Russian will be the first language in a long time which I will study here excluding immersion. Haven't done exercises from the tree for ages.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/jarcher77
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          I'm going to give it a shot. My grandfather was born in Russia, and it was his first language, even though he was German. My aunt has been trying to search about his family history in Russia, and it's not easy. Knowing some Russian may help.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Pikkelade

          My reason is none other than I love Russia. I want to live there, and I want to probably also die there. Everything about Russia is perfect for me. I know that this is just a stupid reason, but it is my reason. Sorry. Ahaha.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/amoslihuang

          Yes. I love learning new languages, especially it helps to make traveling interesting and more fun.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/painai2
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          Here in Thailand, we have many Russian tourists (along with Chinese). At least I could get lots of practice with Russians everyday.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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          Iam quite excited to learn Russian actually, but now. I have Spanish and Dutch first while golding my german tree so I am not ready yet. Maybe next year, starting in January.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
          Plus
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          Well, by then the course should hopefully be much more stable and lots of people will have done it before you, so it might even work it better in the long run! :D

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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          Yes ! I prefer to do a course out of beta which is almost perfect ! + I will have more time and more pleasure to do it :)

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
          Plus
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          I don't have that kind of patience ;) but it's kind of nice to know that those of us who dive in straight away make the course better for future users :D

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/blue_basket_girl

          I have quite a few Russian pen pals. Some of them struggle with English. So I'm gonna help them out! They are really eager. Please someone tell me when it's coming!!!!!!!

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Psittacosis
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          Just for fun! I know nothing about any Slavic languages, so its going to be very very interesting. I cant wait to try. Since I live in Sweden now I will try to make it over to St. Petersburg or Moscow for a visit in a few years.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Parham3679srsr
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          Yeah I want to learn it. I do not know my reason really but generally I like to learn the languages which have different alphabets. This also explains why I will learn Hebrew, Greek, Hindi and etc...

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Vitaly.Bredun

          >will you be learning Russian? And if so, do you have a specific reason for doing so? Thank you for your question and hi from Saint-Petersburg! I was born here. So my lingot for you:) I see here a subject about russian literature! I must to read something russian too someday when i will finish to start to practice english.:)

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Isrianth
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          Before I started learning German and French. I had considered to learn Russian, but at that time I realised that I wasn't really much interested in it. The Russian language got my attention again with the AMA and now with this I am going to give it a try. Learning languages is never a waste of time.

          Apart from Russian, I am very keen to learn some Asian languages. Chinese, Japanese and Korean are on my list.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Belevity

          (I took one course in Russian, and have had years of listening to Russian.) I want to be able to speak to my Russian friends in their native language (and secretly comprehend their discussions in front of me when they think I still don't know Russian). But even if I never have the confidence to speak in front of them, I am deeply drawn to the subtleties of Russian culture and would like to be able to read Russian articles/literature. Russian culture kind of mystifies...just like the sound of Russian language. The course can't come fast enough!

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/szadora

          Yes, I will and I am very excited to start with Russian language. I would like to work at an institute where Russian is required. I found the Duolingo method as the best one to learn a language.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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          Do you mean you wish to enroll into a Russian educational institution, or just a place where people want you to know Russian, too?

          I think that to apply to a Russian university or insitute, you have to be B1. They take int from there.

          3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/mesachie

          I spent every Saturday in my childhood in Russian school. I fought it well and did not learn it very well at all. I even took it in high school. I have forgotten most but some declensions and the alphabet. My father was from Kharkov, but my mother was from France. English was the home language, but my mother spoke French with us. I can get by in France without many difficulties. Russian is another story. I am unable to communicate in it. But I now teach in a private school, and we have Russian students. I would like to be able to speak with them and practice what I am learning.

          3 years ago

          [deactivated user]

            I am originally from Russia and was adopted by American parents. While living in America for the past 10 years or so, I have not had much chance to use the language and have therefore lost most of it, so when the course comes out, I will definitely take it to relearn my lost native language!

            3 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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            Nice to hear you are still interested in your mother tongue! Good luck with learning it :) Now I'm curious, where are you originally from in Russia?

            3 years ago

            [deactivated user]

              Do you want me to write it in Cyrillic or in Latin?

              3 years ago

              https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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              Whichever you prefer, I can read both ^^

              3 years ago

              [deactivated user]

                Ижевск.

                3 years ago

                https://www.duolingo.com/buenotc
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                Putin said Americans steal Russian babies and banned the practice. I don't think it's just Russia though because they're many shady adoption agencies all over the world.

                3 years ago

                https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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                Sorry but I actually had to look up that one :p But that's quite central! Have you ever been back there since you started living in America?

                3 years ago

                https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
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                Haha it's not as well known as Moscow or St. Petersburg, that's for sure :p But ah ok, it sounds like you do want to go back there though? :)

                3 years ago

                [deactivated user]

                  I do, whenever it becomes safer. My parents don't exactly want me to go back because they are afraid that they will just take me, and that I would not be able to make it to America again.

                  3 years ago

                  https://www.duolingo.com/RomanRussian

                  The city where they are manufacturing AK rifles ))

                  3 years ago

                  [deactivated user]

                    Yes exactly! My dad also says that he is glad that I have never been able to physically see the town because it apparently looks that horrible!

                    3 years ago

                    [deactivated user]

                      Yeah, most people don't know where that is. In fact, during the Soviet union, that town wasn't even on the map! No, unfortunately, I have not been back there cents.

                      3 years ago

                      https://www.duolingo.com/CounterVeto

                      To buenotc: I'm not invalidating you, but I don't think we should talk about political ideas on Duo.

                      2 years ago

                      https://www.duolingo.com/gijira

                      relearn my lost native language

                      damn dude...

                      3 years ago

                      https://www.duolingo.com/-Irshad-

                      You mean you don't have real parents? What happened to them?

                      3 years ago

                      [deactivated user]

                        I'd rather not put that information on the Internet.

                        3 years ago

                        https://www.duolingo.com/Flowita
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                        Yes I will!!! I have recently been back in touch with a dear native Russian friend and I am motivated to practice. I have started learning Russian as a child for 6 years but due to life experiences I have not been able to motivate myself to practice until this year (2015)! so I definitely will give it a go on duolingo. I hope one day to go back to Russia too :) Спасибо for efforts to put the beautiful Russian language on the site. :)

                        3 years ago

                        [deactivated user]

                          While I do not mind sharing this with some people in person, I do not want the entire world to know.

                          3 years ago

                          https://www.duolingo.com/unknownmystery67

                          I hope to learn Russian... honestly. I wanna go back to Russia later in life and, it is actually my native language, so yee

                          1 year ago
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