Russian is hard but, very exciting
Others sound pretty pessimistic. It hasn't been that difficult for me
so far. My guess is that it depends on which languages you already are proficient in. My native is Turkish and the sounds were quite easy for me. For instance, the letter
ы has an exactly corresponding letter in Turkish
ı. The only little difficulty I had was learning the difference between ш and щ and that took me around 10 minutes.(A single video)
The conjugations are complex, no previous language can help you with it, unless it is Ukrainian or something. :-)
I've got some methods to learn a new language that I've discovered while I was learning English. I'm gonna apply them to Russian as soon as I finish the basics because these methods are only applicable after you know the basic grammar and some vocabulary of a few hundred words.
I'm not pessimistic when I say it's a hard language to learn. I actually enjoy it more due to it being a challenge. ( I'm probably just weird, maybe. )
I also found that certain letters, sounds, concepts, etc seem to be easier to learn for me due to having a Dutch background.
( Blast, now I want to learn Turkish, too.... )
Hi, Myrrael.. as a former native speaker of Russian, (and I also did university studies in Russian while living in Russia) I can verify that Russian is one of the hardest European languages to learn ..and to teach.. it is so rich and so complex in many ways to express things and has so many grammatical forms that often there isn't an equivalent of an adequate translation into other languages from Russian. I feel often that Russians have a unique way of describing reality ,a mindset that can only be understood by being immersed.. Even though I think in English for many years ,and i recover my French and Italian now ,as my own ancestry is 100% towards those, i still find easier to think about certain ideas in Russian and I often find to my amazement , that no French or Italian ,or English word can express same..
Are there "former native speakers" at all?! Alas, your own "testimony" proves there are not! Even after you have mastered a lot of other languages... As to me, I happen to have 2 native languages which I learned simultaneously as a child, Russian among them, and I totally share your impression about the weird uniqueness of the Russian-speakers' perception and reflection of reality
@springenbet You made me laugh really hard..you did not believe that I am a former Russian speaker , because of my italian/french username..?? Or maybe I misunderstood your comment ? If so I apologize, it wasn't clear what you meant from your wording..
I am actually half French and half Italian, but I was born and grew up in Russia, so I am a native speaker 100%- Oh yeah , there is actually such thing as a "former russian speaker"; by saying that, I meant that I have not used it actively for a long time and I was thinking predominantly in English or other languages however I am fully fluent..And I use it now on Duo and elsewhere..there are a lot of people like me in Canada and US..so..Do not be so quick to judge.. Once again I am sorry if I maybe misunderstood your comment :-)
Oh I never wanted to offend anybody... didn't have the slightest doubt that you ARE a native speaker, just wanted to point out that since you are one, you remain it forever, no matter how many additional languages you master... Alas, that caused a misunderstanding... just allow me to be an old-fashioned gentleman, thus receive both my apology and lingot ... as I see it, "weird" is not necessarily negative, just something different from what we are used to; I myself am regularly nicknamed "weird person" or like that :)
@springenbet..No worries at all , and your very thoughtful and tactful response is very much appreciated.. No offence taken ,as I maentioned above, I might've misunderstood your post.. You really are a gentleman.. As for the word "weird" in discussed context, now that you have explained, I totally understand what you meant by that.. Although for many English speakers "weird" often carries negativity or some hue of fear , I personally agree with you -and many people will-that it is NOT always so.. Example proving that you are quite right is an expression "weird and wonderful" etc.. And I also think that many people nicknamed "weird" are often just "different" and very unique and interesting,creative openminded people..:-) Here is a lingot back as a sign of respect..:-) what is your other native language (besides Russian)?
My another (first, if spoken mentality-oriented) native language is Yiddish. Russian has been compelled on our family by the Communist dictatorship, it predominated at school/university... the good thing is that had I not mastered Russian in childhood, I would face major difficulty while attempting to learn in as an adult... In fact, it is more difficult than other Slavic languages (maybe only Polish is equally sophisticated)
@springenbet Yiddish..wow that is really unique..very rare language to meet nowadays.. I am glad that you have such an interesting and diverse background and yes there is a reason for everything, now you appreciate knowledge of Russian as an adult.. wishing you all the best!:-) did you study Hebrew as well..?it is a very beautiful and expressive language with an amazing history..
"Russian reality" in literature, movies, songs, even the Pushkin Institute мультфильмы, seems multi layered to me, more dimensional. Is that how you would describe the weird uniqueness? I'd really love to hear about it from a native.
I do not know what exactly @springbet means by calling Russian language mentality weird, but if you reread my comment above ,that is not what I meant.It is simply unique, not weird..but so is very unique Chinese or Korean, or Vietnamese..different perceptions of reality create different cultures and different language patterns..that is all that there is to it.. By the way ,I really like your definition of Russian language mentality as multilayered and multidimensional ..very true..I do not know what else to add to it! Said by me as a native speaker..:-))Cheers..
I find that creating the Russian head-space ( to be able think in Russian, to no longer translate ) is quite tricky, so, yes, much agreed. I also find that I indeed change way of thinking when actively entering the Russian head-space ( unfortunately, I am not yet able to have it active the whole time, I'm simply not good enough yet and lack active vocabulary, and grammar). And... I LOVE it? It's going excruciatingly slow for me, obviously, but it's wonderful. Like you said, rich and complex. And it's turning my brain upside down! But I'm getting somewhere. ♥
Myrrael, you are doing everything right! It just takes a long time,which is NORMAL Consider, that every adult in any country studied and practiced his/her native language for over 20 + years before they became so charmingly and nonchalantly fluent..:-) Also you are absolutely spot-on about the head-space, great term.. I am recovering /improving French, which is natural language to me and still I have to force myself to switch into thinking in French each time..mais c'est normal ..on adapte et continue avant..:-)) продолжай и не сдавайся , потому что твоё подсознание работает над твоим русским языком даже когда ты об этом и не задумываешься..секрет успеха заключается в настойчивости и повторении..:-))
Большое спасибо! I admit, I sometimes do get down due to it going so slow ( and other people seem to pick up much faster, but I shouldn't compare, yet I do, 'cause, human nature...). And so true! I actually picked up a new word recently, didn't study it yet 'cause I dump into my subconscious first before attempting to move it to active, and found I could understand it perfectly when I encountered it in a Russian series I was watching.
Thank you for your encouragement. I won't give up and will wave the French flag for you while cheering you on, too!
Myrrael, Merci beaucoup , vraiment.!!...:-))) that is so awesome what you said about how you learnt that new word intuitively..! keep doing that:-))
As far as conjugations go, I have noticed that the process is actually very similar to Spanish. In Spanish, verbs end in -ar, -er, or -ir, as compared to the Russian -ат, -ет, and -ит. Though the alphabet is different, the same process tends to apply (at least in the present tense) of conjugating the verbs for different pronouns.
I find Russian a very good language to learn with its complicated grammar to grasp many language constructions.
Wow, it's nice to see when foreigners is learning your native launguge; and in fact sometimes when i think about russian launguge as a non-slavic native speaker, i get scary too.
didn't quite understand your comment..is Russian your native language or isn't?
It will be great if they can include an introduction to Cyrillic for those who are not familiar with its alphabet
Read Russian in 2 hours - Tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIi05c5lbbk
Russian Alphabet http://learnrussian.rt.com/alphabet/
Russian Alphabet http://www.russianforfree.com/lessons-how-to-read-in-russian-01.php
Russian Alphabet http://www.languageguide.org/russian/alphabet/