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To the Russian Course Developers

I have been doing the course very slowly: two "strengthen skills" and one new lesson each day. As a result, I have only just finished "Accusative".

However, I must say that the course is wonderful. I spend about two hours a day on Russian and use different resources each day, but I always start with your course. It is so clear and so helpful.

I know I have thanked you before, but sometimes I think that being a course developer is a thankless job: people complaining about translations, the TTS, etc. So I want everyone who worked on the course to know how much this means to me:

This is not just another language. This is the chance to speak to my wife in her native language, to speak to my in-laws who don't speak English, and to converse with my son in both of his native tongues. I am eternally grateful.

Большое спасибо

November 28, 2015



So you have a Russian wife, and your son speaks a language you don't? I wonder how the latter feels :) I must join your thanks for the team - they've done a great job!


Well my son is six months old at the moment, so he is not speaking Russian or English, rather he is speaking по-ребёнок!!! I'm just planning ahead.


A non-Russian speaker friend of mine actually also has a Russian wife, so he insists that she'll speak Russian to the child, and learns Russian himself. I think it is always good to give your child as many languages as possible right from the start - that's like one of the best presents you can give him. And it's for free :)


Thank you so much for your kind words. It is a great honour to see the positive affect this course has on individual lives. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you all the best in your quest to learn Russian. Спасибо!


I agree. The developers have done a fabbo job, especially considering it's a free resource.


What a refreshingly positive and lovely post! Shut up and take my lingots! (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. But still. Lovely post!)


Nice words! I must say thank you too. I learn Russian course and I enjoy it


That's pretty cool, OP, that you are learning it to converse with them! You're awesome.


It is a very helpful course, I have tried to study Russian before but couldn't get past the alphabet, and now I can turn the normal Russian and the roman letters on and off to practice reading Russian as well as learn words more effectively! I am going to learn at least one new Russian word each day from now on, and I already see improvement in my understanding of the alphabet! Doulingo helps a lot on language comprehension and learning.


I don't have the same poignant story ClarkStephen has, but I want to chime in and thank the Russian team, as well.

You all have done an amazing job at forcing learners to actually learn. I suspect some people don't like it, but I like the amount of listening and typing exercises here. They make you think about the details of the language you're learning. Even your point and click questions can be tough sometimes - which is a good thing! You're not just letting us cheap out, letting us look for the one word and click that answer. You're challenging us.

More than that, you're not going the easy route "Oh well technically that makes sense but would NEVER be used in conversation but... ok, accepted answer." For the most part you all seem to be teaching us real sentence structures (I'm obviously basing this on the comments - I have no way of knowing).

But, in addition to Shady_arc and the incubator team who have done such an amazing job and continue to be extremely active in discussions, I'd say that some props need to go to Olimo and szeraja_zhaba who have been providing amazingly detailed and useful information in the discussion pages.

Thank you all!


This is easily the most beautiful and classy thing that has ever been posted on the Duolingo discussion board. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!


I was sufficiently interested in (and a real fan of) Duolingo's approach to language acquisition that when the "Russian for English speakers" wasn't available I did the "English for Russian speakers" (despite knowing little more than "Da" at the time) and it still worked remarkably well (I was cracking good at the English bits, anyway). What I don't quite get after about 12 lessons of the new course is when the Cyrillic is going to be introduced, because I really dislike transliteration and find it actually inhibits learning after the first few lessons. Am I missing something?


Looks like you do. There is a little switch on the left top side, where you can toggle between "Aa" and "Яя". The latter would turn Russian into Cyrillic.


Thanks Leonig. Funny how one can't see the obvious. Let me also join the chorus of approval for the work that has gone into creating this exceptionally useful course and thank the developers for all their efforts.


Yes! i join you in this t hanks!! SO MANY THANKS TO ANYONE INVOLVED!! Its being an amazing ride to do this course!! Much love, forces, inspiration and health to all!! happy learning!!


First of all Thank you!!! My husband is learning Russian for same reason! I am Russian! And he sees that my french lessons has an option to slow down the speech, he asks me to repeat some of his questions, but slower... we really need this option for Russian students.


I'm not sure what you mean. In the listening exercises there is the turtle mode.

I've dabbled a bit in the French and I don't know that I've seen turtle mode in more places than the Russian course. Though, I admit, I've not kept track.

Besides, why is your husband complaining!? He has access to you which is more than many of us have :-P Lucky him!


Oh! We try this way too.... but he complans that my voice is too soft and too high, so he has no chance repeat anything after me )


I was comforted by your request for a slower speech option because when I expressed that idea commenters told me I just had to get used to it, it wasn't that fast, it was authentic, etc. I would like to be able to hear the words.


I took Russian in school 40+ years ago, but lost most of it in the ensuing years. I've always wanted to try and get it back. Finding Duolingo has been a godsend. Большое спасибо действительно.


There does not seem to be anywhere to make suggestions for improvement of the online experience - or if there is, my apologies, I have not found it!

Why can you not copy and paste from the Discussion forums whereas you can from the lessons?

I make notes in an open text document as I do the lessons for things that are new (or I've forgotten). There are REALLY useful bits of info (Thank you Shady_Arc and others) but I would be so much more efficient if I could copy and paste them instead of going back and forth either copy typing (and switching keyboard language repeatedly) or taking a screen grab to edit using other software later.

The course is really good and I'm enjoying it.


Wanted to join this thread to thank you guys for the awesome work done. My wife and her family are Russians and, although all of them are able to speak in Brazilian Portuguese (my native language), they constantly talk in Russian among themselves because it is easier for them (especially for my inlaws), so my wife constantly needs to translate it back to me. I started this course because I want to be able to speak with them in their native language and you are making this possible, so many thanks to you! :)


Hey ClarkStephen, are you still following this thread?

Do you use Discord by any chance? I would like to practice Russian with you there! A big surprise is waiting too!

If you are interested, drop me a line.


Hey! I'm not ClarkStephen (obviously), but I do spend a lot of time on Discord. I didn't know there was a Russian practice resource there, though I do know a few native Russian speakers via my roleplaying. Any chance I could have the link? Pretty please? :-)


Agreed 100%. I have a lot of other resources for Russian, but - despite the minor quirks and inconsistencies - Duolingo is absolutely the one I enjoy most. It's giving me a really solid base line. I find I'm not needing to make flash cards, because there's enough repetition of the vocabulary to absorb it naturally. Thank you all!


Yup ... I will chime in as well (although a little late!). My goal is to be able to read a Russian newspaper by the time I am 60 (5 yrs from now). Whilst I am in no way a proficient Russian speaker I could probably survive if I materialised in St Petersburg (much more classy than Moscow TIC ). However, it will take me time BUT even though I am profoundly deaf I am managing the course work relatively well.

Again ... THANKS to the developers & the tireless hours you put in.

ClarkStephen ... I hope it's working out for you & your family. :)

Cheers ...



I find this course incredibly useful and well constructed . My only suggestion to make it even better, is to enable users to give you feedback on the complexity of questions ; sometimes. for example , the translations from Russian to English are just two words long and far too easy and then the next minute you ask for about 10 words to be translated from English into Russian . As I am sure you realise, it is far easier to translate into your native language than the other way round, so these two-word translations can seem annoying - but maybe others find them difficult and that is why, it would be good to allow feedback from users (say a score of 1-5 for difficulty level) . Keep up the good work !


To the course developers--i know this is a voluntary effort, but if you look at the comments, corrections have gone unaddressed for up to two years. wouldn't it be worth it to pay someone to address all of these and update the course?

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