Yes, a long time ago. I also have 10 skills left in the "English for Russian Speakers" course.
Having learned almost only on Duolingo (+ some additional vocabulary I stumble upon from time to time), I've been able to have several longer conversations entirely in Russian with my friend. Written conversations. Spoken would be a lot more difficult ;)
I have people speaking Czech sitting right next to me at work. I understand almost nothing ;) Although I don't really try much.
I have a Ukrainian friend living in Poland. I practice my Polish with her. We're both native Russian speakers and we make fun of Ukrainian. It's practically not a language. It's a mixture of Russian and Polish. Have you tried Ukrainian on Duolingo? It will be easier for you than Russian, except Ukrainian Г and Х are like Czech H and Ch, not G.
As a czech I can tell you that pronouns are just the beginning of how weird and difficult our language is... If I remember correctly that course here uses quite difficult names when it comes to pronunciation (both Kateřina and František use one the the hardest letters ř and ť - even a lot of czech people don't know how to pronounce them). I have great admiration for everyone who attempts to learn these languages (including polish) and I can tell you that we are generally very pleased when someone wants to talk our language in our country.
Why is the genative case used here?
To me it would make more sense to use it with some noun that the mother possesses for example, Jadę do dom mojej mamy
Initially I thought it was locative, but that would be "mojej mamie."
Is "dom" implied by the context and simply dropped or is there a specific rule about the genative case following the preposition "do?"
Thanks in advance :)
I dont think ie99's initial question was answered. Would it be possible (or even more natural) to use 'u mamy' in this situation? Or is it generally understood that you mean 'to your mum's house' as opposed to 'to your mum, who's just standing in a field somewhere'
It's generally understood as "The destination OF my jadę is […]" – really, „do” just requires genitive and that's it. The fact that your mum can be in the middle of the field is not changing that, and it can mean "to my mum's place" when your mum happens to be at home.
As for „u mamy”, you can of course say it to mean 'mum's place'(„jestem u mamy” almost guarantees that meaning, unless she is residing semi-permanently somewhere else than her home, for example in a hospital), but if you would use it with „jechać”, it would produce a bit nonsensical "I am riding at my mum's place", like you are driving a go-kart around her living room, or something. ;)
I don't believe cases work exactly the same way between languages. Even a Slavic language like Russian does it the way you describe, "Еду к моей маме", with Dative. But Polish does not.
I mean, we actually have "ku" + Dative, but that construction is... dated :D Plus I wouldn't interpret it even as "to my mom's" but rather "in the direction of my mom".
That's funny, because in Russian, Еду до моей мамы, jedu do mojej mamy, means "I'm going all the way up to, as far as my mother, and stopping," but not actually encountering her or going inside her house ha ha. We use "to go" + до + genitive to denote an "as far as" point but not entering the destination.