YOU MUST learn the cursive alphabet
I have been doing some reading and I have to say that in conclusion you must learn the cursive alphabet, because Russians don't write in typeface.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBZbSiVCBCY Here is a good video on it!
And here is video on the alphabet explained
It's true, Russians are taught to write in cursive, but it's not that urgent for a beginner to learn it, unless they have to read handwritten documents in Russian or something... I'd say get the hang of the language first then learn cursive writing.
Although I'm not a fluent Russian speaker (not even at advanced level) I've been exposed to the cursive alphabet for quite some time and, after a while you just accept that the Russian letter "Т" can also appear written looking pretty much like the letter "M" (for example) but I would guess, like Antonio has said, it's an extra complication (in an already difficult language to learn) that most beginners should really not worry about/concern themselves with in the early stages.
Cursive is used a lot in everyday life and often in decorative fonts as well. But before learning it you should get used to the language itself. Because reading someone's handwriting often comes down to guessing. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it:
Here is a little tip. Some people write the letters ш and т (which in cursive looks like m) pretty much the same (they draw the line somewhere in the middle for both letters). To distinguish the letters they draw a line above the letter (if it is т) or below (for ш). This line doesn't do anything, just hints you which letter it is. Most people don't use it. For example, this is ´Паша´ - a male name:
lilies, [you are] fuming, [you are] breathing, [you will] lose [smth], [you] hear, chinchillas, ischemia (the last one I wasn't able to read myself)
And guess what?
We usually can not read cursive used by the doctors. It is completely alien and looks like an Arabic sometimes. Even for natives :)
Many of us create their own cursive after school just because of these identically looking letters. And sometime we are even are able to read it later ;)
I think, Boris, doctors writing notes in a scrawl that nobody else can read is a universal thing - in the UK there are many jokes/sayings about it: like saying a person's handwritten note was so impossible to decipher that I was able to present it to my local pharmacy and in return they gave me a free prescription to a "Class A" drug.....
If you can read a doctor's handwriting? RUN!
Yes, kidding, but I agree that this is universal.
And printed italics seem to be used quite a bit in books and especially magazines. A good number of the italic characters are similar to cursive.
Interestingly, when I started learning, the first thing I did was to learn the alphabet and writing in cursive. I've got these papers that Russian children use to learn writing that has 3 horizantal lines so that you will write proportionally, there were about 20 something pages, I finished them all. Then, I actually started learning. :)
As a Latin cursive and Cyrillic semi-cursive(1) writer I.... disagree. Of course one needs to keep an eye out for italics and get some feel for it, but if one is not planning on snail-mailing a native, why would one? If you're planning on a vacation or to even live there, then maybe to perhaps. But otherwise? No. Get some skill under your belt with the language first. There is a lot to learn without trying to figure out how to write a new language in a cursive unknown to you.
Also, try not to use 'MUST' in your learning. It's pressure for yourself, as well. Try to stay mellow, it makes it easier to conquer complex material and doesn't destroy motivation quite as quickly.
(1) It just grew due to writing out notes, yes. So it's weird and definitely not 'official' Cyrillic semi-cursive. But it's oddly pretty xD!
In fact we almost never use "official" cursive as taught in schools. Its counterintuitive and clumsy. We change some letters, use some printed letters and so on. Just to get rid of these "шишишиши"
Yeah, same here. Cursive is seen as kiddy, here, so people tend to make something themselves (whatever is faster to write). You base your personalised cursive on cursive and/ or mix it up with other types (like print, etc)? ( Whoops, I read over where you said you did, my bad!)
I wonder if mine would be readable. It's based on print and Latin cursive. xD
Definitely, and Russian cursive is so fun to write! Reading it takes a bit of getting used to, though.
People who speak Russian often write in cursive when interacting with one another: on holiday cards, when giving information like an address, etc.. It's usually an inconvenience for them if you ask them to write it in print. But if you're going to go to a Russian-speaking area or watching media in Russian like TV shows, then the signs and sentences will probably be in normal print. So whether you learn it or not depends on how you're planning to immerse yourself in the language. Sorry I'm a little late to the conversation :)
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