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https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10

Russian in Latin Alphabet

Tamuna10
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I don't really like this thing. First they started with Ukrainian and now the Russian course has the same Latin alphabet option. I think there shouldn't even be an option for it! Russian and Ukrainian use unique Cyrillic alphabet, that has its beauty and importance. Nobody in Russia will bother to write you in Latin alphabet (I found it out by my own experience), and they won't appreciate to read Russian words in Latin alphabet either. I think Duo should remove this feature for both Ukrainian and Russian. I know it's hard to learn another alphabet, but it is achievable.

Thanks for reading.

50
2 years ago
12

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/drowssapp

It's not just me then! I've gotten so used to using Cyrillic I find the latin transliteration very confusing.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yeah, me too, I always use Cyrillic when writing in Russian. My cousin who has just started has got very surprised too, at first she didn't even know how to change it into Cyrillic. At least they should have an option that gives you Russian and Ukrainian first in Cyrillic and then you can switch to Latin if you want (if they want this feature so badly).

15
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HartzHandia
HartzHandia
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I agree, this is a quite unfortunate and regrettable design decision on Duolingo's part. Not only the language is presented to the users in an alphabet completely foreign to it, to add insult to injury, this is the default option. I think, at very least, this should be the other way around. If one is really worried about the lack of Cyrillic keyboard available at the average user's computer, that's fine, and it can be addressed by doing the transliteration for the input only. The presentation of the Russian content must be in Cyrillic.

15
Reply62 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/etieffen
etieffen
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Exactly my thoughts. At least it should not be default.

9
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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I think they should add the option of latin alphabet at the beginning (until the first checkpoint) and then you need to deal with the cyrillic alphabet. Because learning Russian is also learning its alphabet

10
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sojinjung
sojinjung
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I was hoping that was the case when I started, but I only got to the first lesson so I couldn't see if they did that later on or not. But I second this.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ctype.h
ctype.h
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I agree completely; it is utterly absurd to use the Latin alphabet by default for the Russian course.

The Cyrillic alphabet looks really neat; it is a significant part of what gives the Russian language its appeal (and it was what got me interested in Russian in the first place). Most of the other languages on here use the boring old Latin alphabet. Besides, in my opinion, it is easier to learn a language with a different alphabet because of not having sounds already associated with the letters. (In my attempts to learn Spanish, my pronunciation almost invariably falls apart when I encounter a word that looks like an English word.) One thing I particularly like about the Russian alphabet is that it looks different enough to not be confusing, with the exception of a few letters, but not so different that it looks out of place among Latin letters.

While I understand the desire to appease people who are afraid that learning another alphabet is too difficult, I think that it is ultimately doing learners a disservice by delaying exposure to the alphabet—they should have to opt in if they want it. While it is possible to switch, most users will simply use default settings.

Additionally, when I was looking for online resources for learning Russian in the past, if Russian was presented in the Latin alphabet I would immediately leave the page and dismiss it as useless, low-quality material. I would not want others with similar thinking who are not familiar with Duolingo to dismiss this course, thinking it must be like all of those "traveler's Russian" courses out there. (Admittedly, they might be sufficient for people going on short business trips; but they are not at all suitable for people who actually want to become fluent.)

10
Reply52 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RennDimmick
RennDimmick
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I grew up being able to read and write Ukrainian Cyrillic, but I like having the option of using the Latin alphabet. It makes it easier to type on an English keyboard.

5
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yeah, well, that is a good thing it has. :) But I think option should be to turn from Cyrillic to Latin, not first start in Latin and then change to Cyrillic.

11
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline
remoonline
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For English speakers, the keyboard is usually expected to be English. That may be the reason why Latin alphabet option is the default.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Balaur
Balaur
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Another problem I noticed with having the Latin transliteration as the default is that every time you return to the course (after, say, switching to and from another language), it's in the Latin alphabet again, and all the vocabulary in the lesson preview is as well. This was a problem for me today when I wanted to go back to the skills I'd completed yesterday to quickly scan the vocabulary from the lessons and test myself so see if I remembered the meaning. I can figure out the word from the transliteration, but that's not the kind of practice I want, and it's super annoying going into a lesson just to switch to the proper alphabet, then exiting to review and preview the vocabulary. If they want to provide a toggle, it should at least remain on the most recently selected setting until the user decides to switch it again. From what I understand, this the Duolingo team's doing, and the Russian course creators can't fix this themselves, but I hope they can request that the course they worked so hard to create not default to the bastardized version every time.

4
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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I sortof get having the switch, but it should by no means be the default. It should always default to Cyrillic.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Maybe it's there to not turn away early learners. I have no strong opinion about that option, one way or the other, but I do agree learners will have to learn and use the Cyrillic alphabet at some point, better sooner than later. On the other hand, I wouldn't want someone interested in learning Russian to quit so early on for such a silly reason.

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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The issue is, replacing all text written in Russian with its transliteration into Latin character set is not an effective frameform for learning Cyrillic characters if you want to. I mean, you do not see the Cyrillics—how are you supposed to learn it?

Basically, it is only a formal temporary solution to the problem of some people wishing to learn Russian without knowing the alphabet. It still does not solve the problem of teaching the Alphabet, only puts it off a little farther into the future.

7
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Of course, but the questions remain in Cyrillic, don't they? So even someone putting this off as far as possible would eventually have some of it stick, unless they were really stubborn.

I only did the first lesson (I have absolutely no prior knowledge of any language using the Cyrillic alphabet), and I was glad that was an option, until I figure out a way to type Cyrillic letters efficiently. I already tried to write mostly in Cyrillic, though it was a bit painful typing them in the Windows key map and copying them to the input box. I know all the options, it's just a matter of choosing the one I like best. Although if anyone wants to write suggestions, I'm sure others could benefit from them.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ontalor
Ontalor
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No, the questions revert to Latin as well, so someone could go through the entire Russian course and be able to understand a bit of spoken Russian without ever having to look at Cyrillic.

5
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Well, that's bad then.

4
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisatillerman

The toggle does not work half the time! Please please please at least put the Cyrillic by default, if you don't get rid of the latin altogether.

It is soooo annoying to be stuck with a transliteration that make no sense : really you are investing hours, months to learn a language to stay illiterate!!! (not able to read and write!)

(And don't tell me it's too hard, it you can learn hundreds of words, you can learn twenty something letters...)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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Use the switch.

1
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
Tamuna10
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Yeah, at least we have a switch. :) I told that to my cousin. Thank you. :)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JB_The_Tireman
JB_The_Tireman
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Where is the switch? Im on mobile

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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It is probably only on the website. But you should have cyrillic at least, not the crazy latin version.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JB_The_Tireman
JB_The_Tireman
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It was at first and i got on again and then its in latin i prefer cyrillic

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JB_The_Tireman
JB_The_Tireman
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Nevermind, i had to see the full website to see the switch lol, but thanks for your help

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
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I wanted to try out Russian, but I don't want to install a cyrillic keyboard for it. So I like this option. And you can switch between alphabets during lesson, so I can practice reading in cyrillic, and still get my latin typing accepted.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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It was always... sort of.. accepted. Duolingo has played around with transliteration for quite some time. I remember transliterated answers being accepted in the English course (for Russian speakers_ as early as before the Russian course even started.

There are Google Input Tools if you want to try different character without actually installing them into your system. I do not use it myself but it sure seems like an interesting idea.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JB_The_Tireman
JB_The_Tireman
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Thanks for all your hard work and everyone else that made this course, i'm really enjoying it. Best late birthday gift ever!!!

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
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Thank you!

However, when I do for example a Russian to English translation, if I start typing, then switch to see the latin script too, all that I typed disappears. (So I should remember, first use the switch then start typing)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FreeDebreu

I think it's a good idea to have the latin alphabet to start, but absolutely good to 'wean ourselves off' so to speak as we progress.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sophia.oo
sophia.oo
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I really like it and I found it very ingenious. Maybe you don't see the point to it because you already know Russian, but for someone who is just starting, even if they already know the Cyrillic alphabet, it can be very useful.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeydeg
Zeydeg
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I want to learn basic russian speaking, and I do not have to learn cyrillic alphabet.... There is a switch at very first of the course , So either latin or cyrillic you can continue. Why do you think Duoling should remove this option?...

Its really helpful for me , and Russian language can reach more people! Consider thinking other people, It might be easy and achievable , yes, but I do Not need to learn writing or reading.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cadencegar1

I feel you

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeBurns0
GeorgeBurns0
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attn : Tamuna10 . тгьиук (number). The Russian course does not really teach cursive (script/italicized) Cyrillic, correct? So if a person wanted to read/write italicized Cyrillic, they would have to do it completely apart from this Duolingo course. Who is really using Duolingo with nothing else anyway (other courses, methods,etc)? The point is a person could easily do the romanized version here, and just learn Cyrillic elsewhere, at the same time.

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Reply6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyb3rNuX

It would be great if Russian keyboard could be implemented so we can click on letters we need. Personally for me it's confusing using Russian language on my English keyboard as I don't know where are letters I need..

0
Reply1 month ago