https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sens44

Accidentally learning Russian

So this might be a strange case but I've found myself accidentally learning Russian. I've been curious about it for a long time but I never thought I could learn it because it seems almost impossibly difficult. My girlfriend is a native speaker and she's always asking me to learn it, so I tried to learn the alphabet but I could only remember about half the letters and some of them I couldn't pronounce so I kind of just...quit?

Fast forward a few months and I've actually started learning Russian by accident. I'm very serious about French and Italian and devote all my learning time to them, but I work the late shift and being bored out of my mind with nothing else to do, I've started looking up basic words and phrases in Russian and trying to write them out and remember how to say them. It's very entertaining for me. I learn new words and then text my girlfriend a bunch of random stuff in Russian while I'm at work just to see her reaction lol. But this has actually helped me start to learn without really meaning to. Now I can greet her in Russian and ask how she's doing and I can answer certain general questions she asks me. And she says she can understand what I'm saying so at least I'm not butchering the pronunciation too badly hahaha.

Sorry, I'm rambling...my question is, how difficult is the Russian tree on here? Because I'm thinking about doing it, but it's still really intimidating. I have to mumble to myself like a hundred times when I learn a new word trying to figure out how to make my mouth pronounce it. Just the idea of it is kind of overwhelming. But I also kind of want to learn it now. And I have someone to speak with all the time.

Advice?

May 30, 2019

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/he_47

Hi Sens44, do it. You are not the only one who has problems with remembering words. Some are very easy because they are similar to English ones (такси, интересный) and some are easy because they are so short (а, и, но,....). of course there are many difficult ones because they "don't end" and when you see such a word first your first thought is always "What the hell???". But in my opinion it is worth doing it. I started in July last year and I have never regret it. Well, I have good weeks and bad ones and sometimes I have to force myself to learn just a little bit not to lose my streak again. Sometimes I forget it too because I also work in a shift system (but my shifts change). To put it in a nutshell, let's do it DL explains everything you need to know and you definitely can master this tree.

Hannah

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Outlaw_fox_1

The Russian tree is actually not too hard. You can pick up basic phrases quite easily, but as I am learning several languages at once and levelling them all up (My Klingon tree and my Russian tree is now at level 6). Just pick up the language as you go. Sure, there are some nonsense sentences, (like I want bread and milk), but you can easily pick up and learn on Duolingo.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortificator

how difficult is the Russian tree on here?

It is not more difficult than others. The main problems with this course are incorrect translation and pronounciation that come across too often. :(

Of course a language that is similar to your native is much easier to learn.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

It definitely is more difficult than others, but it's certainly worth doing.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortificator

It definitely is more difficult than others

Is it more difficult for Russian speakers to learn English, for instance? And what benefits will you get?

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

I wouldn't know whether Russians learning English have a harder task. English spelling and pronunciation is harder for sure, but we basically don't have cases, and definitely don't have grammatical gender.

I mean that it's easier for English speakers to learn Esperanto, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Dutch or Norwegian than it is for them to learn Russian, with no doubt whatsoever.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortificator

https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/sls/c78549.htm

we basically don't have cases, and definitely don't have grammatical gender

But you have a lot of others. We don't have 16 tenses, phrasal verbs and so many synonyms.

Here are languages that are much more dificult than Russian for English speakers: Arabic, Chinese – Cantonese, Chinese – Mandarin, Japanese, Korean. You are familiar with two of them.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortificator

You said that Russian "is not more difficult than others", which isn't true

Более 200 миллионов человек смогли выучить его безо всяких учебников в возрасте до 8 лет. 8)

he other languages that Duolingo offers to English speakers - perhaps even most of them - are easier than Russian.

The only reason is that Duo offers many Roman and German languages. Try to learn other Slavic languages, or Hungarian, or Finnish, or Greek...

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

Three of them, actually - I've studied Mandarin outside of Duolingo. But that's immaterial. You said that Russian "is not more difficult than others", which isn't true, as many of the other languages that Duolingo offers to English speakers - perhaps even most of them - are easier than Russian.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tio_Hector

Более 200 миллионов человек смогли выучить его безо всяких учебников в возрасте до 8 лет. 8)

Do you really say that to prove that Russian is not that hard, seriously? All natural languages must be equally easy then. Nonsense.

Russian is hard. Much, much harder than English.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortificator

Russian is hard. Much, much harder than English.

200 миллионов человек выучили русский, но не могут выучить английский...

Russian is not harder than any other language.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hubinou

Maybe you could start with the very good podcasts from Mark Thomson in

https://russianmadeeasy.com/

This guy has a talent to really make russian look easy.

You can download the audio files and the pdf transcripts.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/45ejbuoS

Hi!

In my experience, the "basic phrases" part is quite hard, since the greetings are fixed expressions with long and hard words to memorize (but it's an issue in many languages when you start learning them). After that the tree gets easier, the lessons progression is ok.

For me it got hard again around the third checkpoint, since there are some grammar points (motion verbs for ex.) that need some time to master, and the end of the tree felt easier again.

I used this deck on memrise https://decks.memrise.com/course/872951/duolingo-russian/ to help me with the vocabulary.

I would advise though, unlike this deck and unlike the duolingo tree, to learn from the start imperfective and perfective verbs as pairs all the time. Even if you don't know what this means at first, it will save you some time later. That's like, hum... learning vocabulary in french every time with its gender, you don't want to learn that separately or associate the gender afterwards in your memory.

You can find the pairs on many sites, for example this one : http://masterrussian.com/vocabulary/common_verbs.htm under the column "aspectual pairs".

Apart from duolingo/memrise, these lessons http://learnrussian.rt.com/ have good grammar explanations, which help in case the duolingo grammar hints are not enough.

Good luck in your learning russian journey! :)

May 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sens44

Спаси́бо, this is very helpful. I think I'll be okay as long as there aren't a lot of mistakes in the course. I don't want to learn things the wrong way and develop bad habits and then have to unlearn them. Russian already seems hard enough lol. One thing I've noticed is the Cyrillic is a lot easier to learn in context. It was really hard to remember what sounds they make when I was trying to learn them one at a time but now that I know some words in Russian it helps me remember them a lot better. And I can even read short words and pronounce them more or less correctly without hearing them first. Thank you for the heads up about perfective and imperfective verbs because I never would have even considered that.

May 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PantsleLonika

I do not know any Russians, sadly, so all of learning has been self-taught, up until Duolingo! I learned soooooo many words, and if you pay attention, the grammar starts to make (some) sense soon enough, so I would definitely recommend going for it! It's a tough one on Duo if you don't care about learning, but if you do, it's not so bad :) My German is abysmal, and some could for sure argue it's WAY easier, but it is what you make it!

My only warning is you'll get spoiled - 'The' and 'A' don't exist, which is amazing, but it's also why learning even Spanish is a nightmare for me now :P

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sens44

Hi, is it tough mainly because of the language itself or is there something wrong with the course (like mortificator above said there are problems with some translations, etc.)? I only have the French tree to compare (which is excellent, by the way), and the Italian tree which to my knowledge is okay but could be more detailed. I suppose if I run into issues I could always ask my girlfriend but then again I'd rather not harass her with questions every single day haha.

May 30, 2019
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