https://www.duolingo.com/jsiehler

Золотое дерево! All finished, all golden

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I was so excited when the Russian course went into Beta! What's amazing is that the course is so well-made that my enthusiasm never flagged all the way to the end of the tree. It's not just the best experience I've had on Duolingo, but one of the best language-learning experiences I've had, period, and it was a pleasure every day.

The content stood out for coherence, usefulness, and frequent well-judged humor (the section on History and Fantasy was a favorite). I always had the impression of good judgment behind all the choices that were made, and I was frequently astonished at how flexible the system was at accepting the myriad possible translations for a given Russian phrase. Any time I discovered a gap and reported it, I got a nearly immediate response from one of the Russian team saying they'd accepted the suggestion.

I have few real criticisms. I came to this course with a reasonably solid background in Russian grammar and skipped the early sections by my score on the placement test. I suspect it would be a much more difficult and frustrating course for someone starting the language from scratch here, but I also suspect that's almost unavoidable. One thing I will say is that it may be easy to underestimate the difficulty that typing in Russian can present. Even though I had a good bit of past practice typing in Russian, some of the longer sentences - and there were a lot of those - felt like a tough slog to get through because I still type at about 1/3 of my usual speed and sometimes I felt I was losing focus on the words and sentences while trying to get my fingers to hit the right letters. Stupid typos (like the difficulty that the placement of Latin a, f and Russian а, ф causes me) slowed things down, too, although - hey, my own fault for not proofreading carefully. I wish a little bit that Duo incorporated sentence completion - putting in place a significant part of the sentence rather than typing the whole sentence - and ideally would graduate to the student providing a greater fraction and ultimately the whole sentence. But that is a dream. Still, it's nice to be able to focus sharply on the skill that's being taught in a lesson.

Overall, though: a pleasure, and an inspiration. I'm really grateful for the work that went into this course. If anyone's wavering about whether to take the plunge: Do it! Absolutely!

3 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Wistin
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Do you know the athem of Russia? Try to learn it!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/prosto_max

We do not know it ourselves :-) Some Soviet music with new weird words.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ixoyzzz
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Lol I did not expect the music to be reused like that. Is that the prominent attitude in Russia?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/prosto_max

Many Russian people watch propaganda and live by past. "Great Soviet Union, First man in space (but not on the Moon), nuclear weapons, Stalin's industrialisation (but without mention prisoners who did it), glory of WWII (only from Soviet side), glorious deeds of grandfathers" and so on. Such people lack all of it in reality, that's why they dream about past.

It is very important to understand this situation. Modern Russia is not only Pushkin and Dostoevsky :-(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01
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Мои поздравления! Можно поинтересоваться историей вашего изучения русского?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jsiehler
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Конечно! Но извините, что я отвечаю по-анклийски. Хотя я довольно хорошо читаю по-русски, мне ещё трудно писать и говорить свободно. There is not a lot to tell! When I was in college I picked up a book at the public library that started off teaching how to write the alphabet - it was a little bit old-fashioned book from maybe the 1960s - and strangely enough I think it was just the beauty of the pen-strokes that they used in the illustrations, and the idea of learning to write so beautifully, that drew me in. Anyway, I studied on my own out of that book, and got a lot out of it, and later I tested into an intermediate-level conversational course, which was OK, and from there I took a literature course which I really enjoyed. We read tons of good stuff: Lermontov, Pushkin, Gogol, Kharms... it pushed me pretty hard, but I loved it. I was a math student at the time and auditing the Russian course so it was kind of an escape from my more "serious" studies. But that was some time ago and since then I've only made time to do a little reading here and there. The duo course gave me a very nicely structured way to brush up again.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01
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That's a lovely story! I hope you don't mind me answering in Russian (as I thought you might benefit from it). Замечательно, что вы увлеклись русским! Это очень напоминает мне мое собственное увлечение немецким, разве что, я никогда не изучал его оффициально. Тем не менее, могу понять энтузиазм изучения иностранного языка. К слову, я также изучал математику в университете, правда, в итоге стал программистом. Если бы материальная составляющая не играла бы роли в выборе профессии - я однозначно стал бы лингвистом. Но, увы и ах, не едиными знаниями сыт человек :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
Plus
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The history and fantasy section was one of my favourites!

Поздравляю! It was a very enjoyable tree, I also appreciated the tips and notes; something I am reeeeeally missing in Polish.

My tree was so close to being entirely, solidly, gilded, and then Polish came out 8-o so it's now falling into disrepair again, with me periodically going back to file a skill here and there. The end of the Polish tree is in sight, so a gold Russian tree (and more practice...) is my next trick...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius
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Congratulations!

3 years ago
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