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  5. This course is really good!


This course is really good!

I've only made it down to the first checkpoint, but I can't wait till I finish the entire tree - reading all the discussions and answering questions here and there takes quite a lot of time.

I just want to say I really like this course and admire the effort the Russian team put into it. I am a native Russian speaker, and I was interested in participating in the Incubator myself, but alas... it would be too hard a work for a mom-to-be - and of course even harder with a baby.

I was afraid the team would not have enough tools to build the Russian tree from scratch rather than make it a mere translation of any staff-built course. Fortunately, they had more flexibility than with the English ← Russian course (which I, personally, found rather mediocre - and sadly so, because I knew this was not the fault of the course developers but rather the too-limited tools).

Special kudos to Shady_arc who - as far as I know - polished the course in spite of all the impatience for those waiting for Russian on Duolingo. And now he does an amazing job answering all those questions in discussions.

I'm happy to be part of this community and help English speakers to learn my native language :-) Happy learning everyone!

November 14, 2015



I'm really happy for all of the well-done grammar notes there are in each skill! Especially with a language like Russian, I don't think duolingo's approach of having grammar come naturally would be enough to give a proper understanding of a language like Russian. In general it just feels very natural the way the course is made, and it is really well planned. I'm really glad the Russian team took their time to make a good course!


Thank you! I think that Russian is a beautiful language an I'm already at (I think.) the second checkpoint. Well, I've actually got a few more lessons to g before I reach it, but I'm still really close! And It's great to hear a native speaker's opinion on the course, too! :D


I'm really impressed with the detailed grammar notes as well! And it really seems like Shady_arc put an ABSURD amount of effort into the course. Unfortunately there are a few rough areas further up on the tree so I hope the Russian team doesn't mind me sending in notes like a maniac. I know it's not easy to cover all the possible correct translations between two languages that are so different, forgive me :)


As you wish :) Just remember that when reading your reports we have NO idea what your answer was and who you are. People whose Russian AND English leave much to be desired are no less willing to give us advice than a person truly qualified to do so.


You can't see the answer that was given? I'm confused - if someone reports a problem and ticks the "my answer should have been correct" box, how do you decide if it's ok or not if you can't see the answer? Just curious.

And thanks for working so hard on the Russian course!


If you report it that way, sure. We just don't know who the hell wrote it.

For example, we have quite a number of reports suggesting translating "Извините, где туалет" as "Forgive me, where is a bathroom?"... Not sure what we should do. It is not that you are often begging people in the streets for forgiveness. But I am not a native speaker of English and may be wrong assuming that "Excuse me" or "Sorry" is the most natural choice (wheras you say "Forgive me" if it is already too late to look for a restroom...)

However, there are also freewrite reports. These are a different story: they are not linked to any specific asnwer and are just a way to suggest something that needs explanation. If you do this, you should not write something like "I am pretty sure my answer was OK"—because no one knows what your answer was.


Oh my. I guess I sent, like, hundreds of reports with "My answer should be accepted" and a comment in the "Other" field.


Yep, I've done the same, though I don't think I've reached the hundreds mark yet.


>I am not a native speaker of English and may be wrong assuming that "Excuse me" or "Sorry" is the most natural choice (wheras you say "Forgive me" if it is already too late to look for a restroom...)

Hahaha! That is too good :'D For what it's worth I would not even consider "excuse me, where is a bathroom" to be correct, only "where is THE bathroom" or a different sentence structure like "where can I find a bathroom". But are you saying the little box at the bottom here is not associated with any question? http://imgur.com/SDbYhON I'll keep it in mind.


I could see using "a bathroom" if this was worded as "Excuse me, where can I find a bathroom?" and the speaker had no idea if there was one in the area. I agree that it sounds really odd as just "where is a bathroom?" rather than "where is the bathroom?" Given all the variations in English around the world, I'm surprised people aren't suggesting"toilet" or "water closet" or "loo" instead of "bathroom" here though. "Forgive me" is not something I've heard used in this context by native English speakers from anywhere I've encountered.


Although "forgive me" doesn't sound exactly natural, I am inclined to think it means the same thing as "pardon me", which would be acceptable. As in, "forgive me for interrupting you, [insert question here]". I think the reason they don't sound natural is probably because "forgive me" and "pardon me" are kind of antiquated sounding.


If you tick both the "My answer should be accepted" box and the "Other" box, does it file as two separate reports, or as one with the info from both?


Thank you for the amusing example!


Forgive me, where is THE bathroom? is something an old lady might say.

But none of the permutations of excuse me/forgive me/sorry where is A bathroom are natural at all.


Thanks for the explanation! I've put in several "My answer should have been right" reports, but I've also clarified with some of the free form ones. I guess in the future, I'll make sure to assume that you have no other information other than the original question and whatever I write, if I write something in that box.


I wouldn't generally use "Sorry" in that context, either.


I have only just begun the Russian course, but I am extremely impressed with what I have encountered so far (even though it is still only in Beta). The lessons are organized well, explained clearly, and build upon each other naturally. So far, this is the best course I have taken on Duolingo - it was definitely worth the wait!

Many thanks to the Russian team for the thoughtful energy that they invested!


Agreed. I have picked up some russian from my inlaws and took some in college, but I'm finding that I'm really retaining a lot of the information. I'm also getting relatively good at typing on the russian keyboard and don't have to do much thinking or hunting/pecking anymore. I'm just past the first checkpoint, but I really think I'm going to be able to understand russian quite well when I'm done and keep everything gold, and eventually I'll be able to speak pretty well; I have a hard time remembering to conjugate to cases when I'm speaking, but I imagine I'd be understood anyway and eventually get it right.

срасибо to the team!


Yep massive thanks to the Russian team! Much appreciated and let's make this world a better place one word at the time.


I agree 100%... Great job! I'm past the second checkpoint and quite impressed with the quality of the lessons. Although I do suspect that the difficulty of the lessons ramps up rather quickly and many may find the course more challenging than most other popular languages.

My only complaint would be that it is not supported yet as an app and typing Cyrillic on an actual keyboard is painful for me so I've been doing most lessons on my phone browser. The problem there is that the mobile web version does not seem to allow reporting problems or participating in discussions, unless you go out of your way to use the full site on a mobile browser. Am I missing something? Will the app be supported anytime soon? Thanks!


Of course it will be on mobile, too. It just has to be tested on the web first.


Even though the app isn't actually supported, and it tries to tell you that when you open the app, it actually works 90% of the time (I just hit the back button when it tries to tell me to pick another language, and then it shows up fine). Sometimes it just won't load anything, but usually it does. I actually use the app more than the web version. Though I kind of feel like I'm cheating sometimes since my phone keyboard can autocorrect things I forget how to spell.


My mobile device won't let me do that, but I've been comforting myself that going through the tree where I don't have autocorrect and none of the 'too easy' questions on the mobile is probably a good thing in the long run. There will be plenty of time for revision on mobile after.


Im really enjoying the course as well. I was surprised as I thought Russian would be more difficult, however I am just getting started, so I might be in for a treat.

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.