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If you people are going to treat the lack of a russian alphabet in your phones as an obstacle you're unable to overcome (when you really just need to change your phones settings), then I advice you to give up trying to learn russian alltogether. Cause it's gonna get a whole lot trickier than that...
To ldownload the Russian keyboard, if it's a Samsung device, you can do the following:
Go to: Settings > Language and Input > Samsung Keyboard > + Select input languages, and download Русский (Russian).
Once downloaded, you can swipe the spacebar on your keyboard to switch between English and other languages you've added.
Installing, activating, and learning the Russian keyboard:
(Note: I can only speak to how to install and use a Russian keyboard on Windows 10 since that's what I have and use)
(Note: The DuoLingo community also has a sticky thread addressing this issue here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11449014)
(1) Install the Russian language pack.
Go to "Settings "and find the section "Time Language"; click on it.
There should be 3 options presented in the column on the left: "Date Time", "Region Language", and "Speech"; click "Region Language".
Go to the section "Languages" and click the words "Add a language" next to a large "+" symbol.
A list of languages will be presented. You will have to scroll right to find and click:
- This should install the language pack onto your computer in a matter of seconds.
(2) Toggle your settings to switch to the Russian keyboard in 1 of 2 ways:
- (mouse method) In your toolbar, next to your clock, will be the acronym "ENG". Click it to see a drop-down menu with all the languages that you have installed. You should see the following as one of the choices:
- You should be able to switch back to English at any time by repeating the same step and choosing:
ENG English (United States)
- (keyboard shortcut method) Hold down "Shift" key and then tap "Alt" key once. This will automatically switch you to the next language that you have installed. You should see the acronym near your clock switch from "ENG" to "РУС" to indicate the change.
(This is the method I use for practice on DuoLingo since it allows me to rapidly switch between typing English and Russian responses as needed without having to take my hands off the keys.)
(3) Learn to actually use the Russian keyboard effectively:
Don't expect to automatically be able to type using the Russian keyboard layout right away. You can't hunt-and-peck since while the computer will now be mapped with a Cyrillic alphabet, your physical keyboard will still be written with the Latin one. You're going to have to learn (i) where "new" Cyrillic letters are on the keyboard and (ii) get used to having the shared letters be on a different place on the keyboard.
To learn how to touch-type in Cyrillic, I recommend two things:
(i) Practice regularly using the Russian keyboard layout on keybr.com by using the Russian setting. Start with the smallest alphabet size and lesson length possible and slowly work your way to using more of the Cyrillic alphabet as you get more confident.
(ii) Have a picture of the Russian keyboard readily available on your computer so you can have it as a visible reference for how your keys are mapped when you're typing on DuoLingo. (I've just made it part of my desktop background for quick, easy reference.)
BE PATIENT. In my case, I've only recently gotten to the point where I can successfully touch-type the first six letters (е, а, о, и, т, and н) for a full-length Keybr lesson without it being a frustrating mess. That took about a month and a half of almost daily practice, 10 lessons per day, to get to that point. It will definitely be frustrating at first, but I think it's proven to be really helpful in the long run by making my Russian practice on DuoLingo much more fluid.
I realize there's also virtual keyboards available online. However, I personally think that in the long run, learning to use the physical keyboard to type the Cyrillic alphabet will be much less frustrating.
(If anything above seems wrong or needs elaboration, please ask.)
For all the folks talking about how it's easy to get a Russian keyboard on a phone, I'd just like to point out that some of us use a desktop computer. Even though getting an OS to output Cyrillic instead of Latin is relatively simple if you know how, remembering which keys on your keyboard correspond to which Cyrillic characters might not be.
That is very true. I used to use Rosetta Stone for my foreign language in highschool and I used our pc to do it. That was the hardest part, remembering which english letters corresponded with each Russian letter. It always took me forever to type in Russian. Especially if I got it wrong and had to start over. I spent like two hours doing 15 lessons every night.