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Finished Russian tree


So, not so long after the Czech tree, today I finished the Russian one. I have wanted to learn Russian since I had to choose my 2nd foreign language at school (chose German because it was more likely that I would be able to carry on learning it at high school) about six years ago. I started learning it with Memrise about three years ago so I was able to skip several skills here when I started the Duolingo course last spring. Of course, getting the Golden Owl is just a step, but at least I think I can feel the Russian spelling much better than before (so that I make fewer and fewer typos over time), and that I can say or read some simple stuff without much problem (it was actually much fun to find myself able to read a longer text in Russian being able to not only guess it, like any Slavic language, but understand it and understand its very structure). I think that now I can also understand spoken Russian to some small extent, but that will require further practice, watching videos, listening to broadcast etc.

Of course, pronunciation is as tough as possible, so I will probably abandon any hope of at least decreasing the strength of my accent over time - Is there any vowel that Russian doesn't have? xD Maybe visiting and reading this article carefully will help, I'll try: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_phonology

Although this course is quite fun and could be almost compared to the Czech one (it's not as perfect, though, mainly because the sentences seem a bit more stiff, at least to me, but they're still cool), I'd like to point out that as a non-native speaker of English I had some real difficulties progressing through the tree - usually, the sentences are very strict about the articles or tenses, which starts getting irritable when I don't get the full score on timed practice another time just because I used "the" where there should be no article at all or vice versa. I don't know if this is just me, but I think that there's not so much problem with that in the other courses. Also, the sentence about not being allowed to write anything at the wall of the museum... I don't think I will ever get it right in English. And yes, usually while practising I have had more problems with English than Russian.

Another question is - are the moderators even active? I know everything is based on voluntary contribution, but hey, if there's nobody doing anything, there's a serious problem here. What I mean are for example sentences which have been reported repeatedly (which is highlighted in the comment sections) that haven't been fixed for years. Sometimes they are just overlooked translations, the lack of which is however still unreasonable. It's a problem especially if the course is out of beta so it's kind of official. Hopefully that's not the case, correct me if I'm wrong :)

Nevertheless, I'd like to thank the creators of the course and people who participate in the discussions (whose answers to my questions had usually already been posted), I think that even despite some flaws it was a big step forward in my Russian skills)))

Now, it's probably time to move on to the courses for Russian!

February 6, 2018



Can you read this now?

"По морям, играя, носится

с миноносцем миноносица."


If only I knew what миноносец is without checking it in the dictionary :)

After checking it in GT:

Would "Along the seas, playing, /two ships/ are moving (floating?)" work? xD

Is it from a poem or a song?

EDIT: Ah, wait! The ethymology of "миноносец" is "мина" + "носить" "the one carrying mines", right?


The ethymology of "миноносец" is "мина" + "носить" "the one carrying mines", right?

Absolutely. And the ending "-a" makes one of them female.


right. It is a very good but underrated poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (Владимир Маяковский)

"Легко представить можете

жителя Японии:

если мы - как лошади,

то они -

как пони."


я думаю, хватило бы "зеленеет зелёная зелень"))) если уж и это поймёт, пора изучать всё разнообразие русского мата)


That's not a big deal for a native speaker of Polish :p "The green green (of herbs?) becomes (or shines?) green", "zielenieje zielona zieleń" (or "zieleni się zielona zieleń", not sure about the exact meaning of the verb).


"травка зеленеет, солнышко блестит..." - "the 12 months" (1956)


msgur, it means you're a cruel man )))))))


Hey, JB, that's coolissimo! :)

What about trying and writing this whole thing in Russian as you graduation work, eh?

Is there any vowel that Russian doesn't have?

Yes, there is. Quite a number, actually. I remember someone said that there is not a single pair of exactly identical sounds between English and Russian; it's all about a degree of similarity.

E.g. the wikipedia article you're referring to states that there is the [æ] sound in the word пять [pʲætʲ]. But the [æ] symbol also is also used for the sound in can [kæn], and if we compare the audio records of these two words, I bet we'll think that these [æ] sounds are definitely not identical, though similar.

And that's about consonants as well as vowels.

So in fact a better question would be whether there is a sound that Russian does have when compared to English. :)

are the moderators even active?

Yes, they are. I've seen 2 of them posting in discussions just the other day, and a third mod about a week or two ago. So, yes, they're there.

Good luck with your further studies! And don't hesitate to come back to this forum in case you have any questions about your Russian - even if it is not Duo-related. ;)


> What about trying and writing this whole thing in Russian as you graduation work, eh?

Написать весь это по-русски? Это кажется сложным и я не уверен, если я умею это сделать. Мне нужно ещё очень много научиться.

> I remember someone said that there is not a single pair of exactly identical sounds between English and Russian; it's all about a degree of similarity.

It's both cool and scary that you're right. By that I mean I am not confident with either my English or Russian pronunciation so... ugh. I should be able to put much more dedication into that.

> Yes, they are. I've seen 2 of them posting in discussions just the other day, and a third mod about a week or two ago. So, yes, they're there.

Great to hear :)


Написать весь [1] это по-русски? Это кажется сложным и я не уверен, если [2] я умею [3] это сделать. Мне нужно ещё очень много [4] научиться.

Four mistakes. Of them one is a poor choice of word [2], and other three are about word forms (gender inconsistency [1], perfective/imperfective verbs [3], case [4]). Not bad at all for only half a year! Keep it up and you'll manage it soon.


Maybe it's a better approach to search for phonetic similarities between Russian and you native language? You find there the closest thing to your target sound, and then try and chisel it with your tongue until you're happy with what you get?


[1] Wasn't sure if it should've been всё or весь (thought всё can't be used as an adjectival pronoun)

[2] Should it be я не уверен, (с)умею-ли это сделать?
[3] Can't we use an imperfective here if I mean that I generally don't have enough skill to do it?
[4] Umm... многого? I thought it was an adverb and as such it doesn't undergo declension! or did you mean I should've said больше?

And, well, it's probably more fair to consider it three years, so... not that good, either :P


[1] Why not? "Это" is neuter anyway, so "all" in the "all that" thing shall inherit its gender and number:

  • всё это
  • весь этот
  • вся эта
  • все эти
  • etc.

[2], [3] Right, "я не уверен, сумею ли это сделать" is good. The other variant (which I was thinking about) is "я не уверен, что сумею это сделать".

[3] For the main part it's about consistency between the two verbs there. They have to be either both perfective (сумею сделать) or both imperfective (умею делать). Regarding usage, the former is for a particular task, and the latter is for the general skill. E.g.:

A: Ты умеешь варить макароны?
В: Конечно!
А: А сумеешь сварить без воды? :Р

[4] Многому.


That's a bias coming from my mother tongue, it seems :)

I thought that "если" is a straightforward equivalent of "if" ("czy" or "jeśli", depending on the context), was wrong apparently and "czy" is better translated as "ли" in all contexts (or maybe it's not? xD).

And in Polish modals don't have perfective versions so it'd be "nie jestem pewien, czy umiem to zrobić", maybe better: "... czy umiałbym to zrobić", but the first version wouldn't be seen as wrong.

[4] Интересно, я не думал что это так работает (yup, I'm not giving up :) )

And again, "uczyć się" requires Genitive in Polish, Dative is... surprising. Still so much to learn!


I thought that "если" is a straightforward equivalent of "if" ("czy" or "jeśli", depending on the context), was wrong apparently and "czy" is better translated as "ли" in all contexts (or maybe it's not?)

I don't know nearly enough about "czy" to judge (although I recognize Ukrainian "чи" in it, which makes me think about "или" in Russian)...

Anyway, I think the key word there is "уверен". That one has a lot to do with верить - believe, trust, and is a prefective participle. So it is like I am not convinced that I can... or I don't believe that I can... - so it is Я не уверен, что смогу.

Интересно, я не думал, что это так работает.

This one is flawless! ;)

"uczyć się" requires Genitive in Polish, Dative is... surprising.

Think of it as of introducing the student to what's being studied, and leading them towards the knowledge and skill, and that requires Dative ;)


I am so jealous of you.

I just started Russian. Few weeks ago and I'm hooked! It's an amazing language and it is so fun to learn. But, the lessons are super long and it is quite difficult.

How long did it take you to finish your tree? And congrats on finishing!

( ◠‿◠ ) Отличная работа!


Oh, FrenchCamille, you did? That's great!! Good luck to you:)


(^ν^)thank you


Since May-June it was about 8-9 months, but I didn't really work on it really hard until, say, August, so let's count this as half a year (6 months). It was slowed down by doing German and Hungarian (later replaced with Czech) at the same time, though, but sped up a little by skipping the first one or two checkpoints.

Also, good luck with your learning and have fun with the course :)


Huge congratulations to you!! You must have worked so hard to keep it gold! Way to go, comrade! Russian is great. Honestly I'm hurting a little as I read your post, haha, because I would have with calculations finished my tree last week…:) Right now I work on vocabulary though:). Are you planning to take a trip to Russia to immerse?


There's no need to hurry :) I ended up with 6 skills left several weeks ago, only today I did the last one.

No, I'm not planning on going to Russia any time soon... maybe at some point... who knows :)


молодец! Well done. (i m almost there, but still, i dont) Repeat and repeat, music helps a lot.




Is there any interesting music you'd like to recommend? :)


I was thinking more of something with lyrics but Tchaikovsky is always on point :)


This channel is quite weird but maybe you would like it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skz-qya0dq0


Hmm. I don't know if I like it yet, but it's quite interesting. Subbed just in case.

I saw you sent the children's songs first (got that as an email notification) first. Do you have any idea why they were so heavily downvoted?

And... wow, I clicked on the yellow point there, and landed at the song from ну, погоди I really enjoyed years ago: Ах, почему, почему, почему был светофор зелёный? :D


I don't know who can downvote these cartoons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRdGSXPmn2s


WoW, that’s hard. Congratulations!


Hello! And congrats!! I have finished the Russian tree not too long ago myself after about 1 year of on-and-off studies, but even now I still have to revisit or even redo some of the courses. The Political and the Participles skills, specifically, I still feel like I've never really learned them...

Some mods are working. I can recall being notified that "a reported answer was added" once or maybe twice during this time.

Yes, the strictness of English on this Russian course is quite unbearable. In some cases, they were crafted as very unusual sentences as well, maybe because they wanted to use a preferred English word (even if it isn't normally used in that context), or a certain past / present tense that matches the Russian counterpart. But often, things don't work that way in real life. Throughout this course I just had to learn how to "speak English like Duo". )))) Is Russian the only course with this issue?



Hungarian. It has so, so many problems with complicated sentences with only one translation into English when there are about 10 possible, and now they are drowning in reports.

Czech is quite good in that matter, there are only few sentences which were hard to translate into English for me there, and they are still adding new translations.

German has a lot of alternatives, but many words lack context so it doesn't really matter because as much as this course is forgiving, you have to visit some additional sources to learn the meanings of the words. On the other hand, there are some idiomatic phrases I find very difficult to translate into English.

As far as I know, they also add many alternatives in the Polish course, but I didn't really graduate from it so I can't tell.


Congratulations!!! I'm on the last part of the tree myself and eager to finish it.

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