Hello fellow Russian learners,
I started duolingo a few days ago and immediately I started the Russian course. Though I'm in level 5 now I've only come so far as to finish basics 2. However, I already feel like one of the things that makes it hard for me to make progress is that I cannot type using the cyrillic alphabet. For me, it's pretty confusing to try to learn which letter is which & how they sound, while at the same time I have to concentrate on which latin letter combination counts as which cyrillic letter. How do you guys cope with that? Is there a possibility to write in cyrillic using my keyboard? Any advice will be appreciated! спасибо!
You should learn to read the letters first. There was a meme "Learn Russian alphabet in 15 minutes", that's how I memorised Cyrillic alphabets. Keyboard stickers are a good idea.
There are Cyrillic keyboards in other languages that follow the order the English keyboard has - for example, Serbian Cyrillic keyboard does this. You could, for example, enable this, so that you can get used to the words, BUT since Russian has special characters other languages don't, my suggestion for you is to simply try and memorize the layout of the Russian Cyrillic keyboard. It might take you some time, but if you are serious about learning a language, you already have the will power, and it should not take you that much effort. And just like VickColdice suggested, you can try and get some stickers and put them on your keyboard - it's great for beginners. Happy learning!
It's great, there's something so peaceful and calming in the simple act of slowly moving a mouse cursor from letter to letter and clicking each one, after you've made your millionth typo and threw the real keyboard across the room.
Very helpful for people with anger problems. And for people who can touch type I guess.
I know your feel :D when I was a kid I learned it in school but since I knew I would stop learning Russian in school and switch to Latin I never really cared that much. Now I wish I did! What's helpful for me with some letters is to try to see what they remind me of that has something to do with their sound. For example ф looks somewhat like a p and an upside-down h to me and so it makes the sound of a ph as in philosophy. Hang in there! It is (hopefully) worth it!
1) To learn Cyrillic pronunciation, go here: http://www.russianlessons.net/lessons/lesson1_main.php It should clarify how similar-looking characters sound different, especially Ш and Щ. They even have a video for the pronunciations. 2a) To write in Cyrillic, simply go to your computer's settings and download the keyboard! It should be in the category 'time and language'. Here's the positioning: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UKuQ93lvE7c/T_EjkoYXTRI/AAAAAAAAAJM/V3Cqg9_FxJg/s1600/Screen+Shot+2012-06-27+at+5.55.44+PM.png 2b) To switch between English and Russian, press Alt+Shift. You should see the keyboard's current set language on your task-bar.
You already got some good replies and something that seems to work good for you as well but, I wanted to add the solution I found as a way to give people other options. I opted to use DuoLingos phone app as my Android phone allows me to install multiple character sets to its keyboard and change from one to the other with a sideways swipe of the space bar. This way I am able to quickly switch between answering in English and Russian as each need arises.
There are plenty of posts about this on Duo--two or three discussions just in the last day. Start with this older discussion, look back at a couple of the recent discussion, determine which keyboard you want to (or must) use, and don't hesitate to ask questions if you need some more help.
Just help you to know which letter to press. You have to install/set up a russian keyboard in your settings first. I don't use stickers. On my mac I can have a virtual keyboard showing me which key is which letter, so I do not really need to have stickers on my physical keyboard right now.