Russian Noun Declension
I looked all over the internet for a noun declension chart or information with cases, and I found a mix of random sites that had a bunch of information about animation, hard and soft, and really confusing information. Can anyone point me to or give the information here? It would help so much.
Probably you know that because you learn Polish, German and Esperanto. Polish and German have strong and weak declension too. Basically declension is a feature that gives nouns a grammatical role in a sentence. English has static word order instead but in Russian the word order is relatively free (there are some rules though). Historically grown, there are different noun endings, the declension patterns. In English you can find cases to. He gave me a book (me - to whom something is done). He asked me (with whom something is done), his (whose is it?).
Russian differs between noun endings for animated and not animated nouns. In the past the nouns followed the strong declension rule. It means the case was indicated by a change of the stem. Later, weak nouns developed and for some nouns the original pattern was replaced. Only very rarely a weak noun turned into a strong noun, usually it was not stable. However, there are originally weak nouns that became mixed declensions.
You see weak and strong verbs in English. Sing, sang, sung is not irregular. It is strongly conjugated. It should be class two of the strong verbs if I remember correctly. Mixed verbs often follow the weak conjugation but have a strong participle.
My advise for you is to do not focus on remembering the endings. Try to figure out the meaning yourself. Begin with thinking about how the different cases affect the meaning of the sentence. (To whom is it done? With what is it done?) Try to find prepositions in English and match them with the meaning. Then you can go on and discover which Russian preposition stands with which case.
Don't bother memorising endings in an isolated form. Find interesting texts. Learn the cases in context of sentences which you find in a text.
The grammar charts are important to notice the grammar but not to memorise the grammar.
I made my own declension tables for nouns and other grammar points out of different sources I could give them to you if you want :) I think them to be quite complete