Why not start with alphabets?

Hello, I'm new here, I started using Duolingo a few days ago, and I am here to learn as many languages as possible. I started with Russian and I found that we need pre-requisite knowledge of the Russian alphabet and their pronunciations. I would not have been able to read anything if I hadn't checked other websites for the Alphabets before that, and still, that's not enough to know the right way they are pronounced. I think it's a very good idea if there is an option for 'absolute beginners', like start with alphabets and pronunciation and small words (like the famous 'A for apple' in Kindergarten), and then sentence structures (I mean, like where the verb or noun or other stuff should be placed,etc),because,it is difficult for most normal people to catch up if you are taught translation of some sentences right away instead of learning sentence structures and words first. I hope I made my point clear. Thanks.

9 months ago

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This website is extremely useful to remember the alphabets. Hope it works!

9 months ago

I originally learned Russian at the U.S. Army Language School in Monterey.

We never really dealt with the alphabet (at the time its repute was as the best language school in the U.S.).

We started by learning short words where the context helped, such as “там”, “это”, and of course “и”. It was very organic and allowed the course to skip a lot of memorialization homework and get right into the language.

I thought it worked very well.

9 months ago

Yeah, I studied Russian in university 30 years ago, and my professor said that Russians don't learn the Cyrillic alphabet as kids like we do the Roman alphabet. No real emphasis on "alphabetic order".

Starting out I thought Cyrillic was the most intimidating part about learning Russian, but within a couple of weeks my first year, starting with the basic letters that match (a, k, m, o, etc.) then the letters that look Roman but sound like other letters (p, н, с, у...) followed by new letters with familar sounds (д, л, ф...) and finally new letters and new sounds (ц, ж, щ, and of course the dreaded ы) we had the letters down pat. We learned cursive too, as at the time there wasn't much keyboarding, personal computers were quite new, and cursive was how Russians write.

It surprised me how naturally it came, and by the end of the first year, if I heard a "Russian sounding" word, I automatically pictured it in Cyrillic in my head.

8 months ago

I agree that it is kind of strange not to begin with the alphabet, considering the course "Russian for English speakers" is intended for people who will be unfamiliar with the Cyrillic alphabet.

However, there are some great resources online for learning the alphabet. I spent several weeks practicing letters before I even attempted to learn anything more complex.

The RussianPod101 videos were SUPER helpful for me. Each video covers just a few letters and shows both how to write them (print and cursive) and how to pronounce them. Be aware that this video series stops abruptly, mid-alphabet, and you have to go to their website to see the rest. Still, they were so helpful to me that I recommend the videos in spite of that!

Then, I watched this video for more help on writing the cursive letters. I wanted to see a real human writing the letters in real-time, instead of just seeing the finished version or a pretty computerized version. She pronounces them as she goes and I found the pace good.

9 months ago

I used Memrise to memorize Cyrillic, then I came back here for Duo's structure. You're right, they should have started with the alphabet.

9 months ago
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See this post regarding the alphabet and the keyboard:

Learning the alphabet should absolutely be the first thing, but unfortunately Duo is just not very well suited to teaching it. The tree does start with an Alphabet skill which begins with very simple phrases - "это Тим", "это Том", "это дом", "Тим, Том там". As for pronunciation, if you have your speakers on you do have the TTS for every sentence

9 months ago

I see quite a few people have helped you here, which is good, but I believe its because they need to screen out people who're not devoted to learning in some way or the other. Alphabets and the absolutely novice level basics can be learned if one is really inclined towards the language, and these guys think the person will take off from there.

9 months ago
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