https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiamat156890

trouble with Russian

I...really don't want to be 'that person' but I am having a lot of trouble with the Russian course, I know it's mostly my methods of memorization but--

the Cyrillic can trip me up-- it's written so phonetically hard, but said rather softly?-- and it is so visually similar to roman letters (which isn't helpful) that my speech can get either jumbled, completely wrong, or I stutter too much.

I'd like to be able to put down if a word is fem/neu/mas but it isn't really specified?

Just like any foreign language the grammar is very strange to me (this is expected, of course, it's just not a fun issue to deal with while dealing with everything else)

These problems I have are (almost certainly) caused by myself, but they are very frustrating, and have lead to many problems, including dropping the course for a while, and wanting to quite permanently. does anyone have any suggestions for these issues?

June 24, 2019

25 Comments


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

Duolingo is severely limited and flawed. Keep it only as a practice tool.
I recommend these courses which teach actual grammar and use authentic human voices:
http://learnrussian.rt.com
https://pushkininstitute.ru/learn?locale=en

June 24, 2019

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

Concerning genders, it's a bit fuzzy, but let me try to break it down to a few rules of thumb.

Masculine: if a noun in nominative case ends in a consonant, it is most always masculine, ex.: "стол/table", "дом/house", "автомобиль/automobile", etc. Exceptions are most words ending in a hissing consonant with a soft sign, see below.

Feminine: if the ending is "А" or "Я", most of them will be feminine, ex.: "лампа/lamp", "буря/storm", with a few masculine exceptions, such as "папа/dad", "судья/judge". Hissing consonant endings with a soft sign, such as "ШЬ", "ЩЬ", "СЬ", "СТЬ" and some others - those nouns are usually also feminine, ex.: "мышь/mouse", "вещь/thing", "смесь/mixture", "радость/joy". There are some exceptions to this as well: "карась/crucian carp" or "гусь/goose" are masculine, for instance.

Neuter: this one is more rigid. If the ending is "О", "Е", or "Ё" then it's going to be neuter, ex.: "небо/sky", "событие/event", or some collective nouns such as "тряпьё/rags". The only exception to this I can think of is "кофе/coffee", which is considered masculine, but there are more than a few people disagreeing with this rule.

This is not the "official" grammar, but I think it's adequate for most cases.

As for other difficulties, keep at it. Russian is a complicated language with an arcane grammar full of rules and exceptions; many native speakers don't have all of them down, either. It does get easier the more you practice it, though. My advice would be to try to read some Russian literature, if you are at that level, or at least try to chat with some people online. I think a lot of them will be receptive and patient knowing that you're trying to learn this challenging language.

Cheers!

June 24, 2019

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

English (German, French, Spanish etc) is a complicated language with an arcane grammar full of rules and exceptions; many native speakers don't have all of them down, either. 8)

June 24, 2019

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

Well, yes, of course :) I didn't mean that Russian is somehow special in that regard, just that it's important to remember that learning a language, especially one not directly related to your native one isn't easy. No natural language is going to be simple, but some languages have simpler rules for some things than others: for example, in Spanish determining a noun's gender is more or less straightforward, unlike Russian or German. Russian pronunciation is fairly simple -- compare that with English -- until you get to trying to determine which syllable is stressed, that is. English, on the other hand, doesn't have noun cases or genders, which simplifies quite a lot. Each one has its own challenges :)

June 24, 2019

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

English, on the other hand, doesn't have noun cases or genders

And very little declensions.

How about adjective, participle, and numeral cases or genders? :D

June 24, 2019

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

Oh, I know. But hey, don't scare off beginners :)

June 24, 2019

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

Волков бояться, в лес не ходить. :)

June 24, 2019

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

You might try alternate courses (as has already been suggested). The Pushkin Institute course will give you plenty of work on pronunciation to start with. Russian World also looks good, and there are many more available, and Auburn University has good reference material as well.

June 24, 2019

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

the Cyrillic can trip me up-- it is so visually similar to roman letters

Try to learn Greek. ;) Both Latin and Cyrillic are its sons.

I'd like to be able to put down if a word is fem/neu/mas but it isn't really specified?

If you study German you should be ready.

Think about problems Russian speakers have with English. :)

Do you like 'Tiamat'?

June 24, 2019

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

Being a Greek native I can assure you that the resemblance of the cyrillic alphabet to both the greek AND the latin is utterly confusing (if you know both). And don't even get me started on the resemblances of the cursive letters...

June 24, 2019

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

Cyril and Methodius are guilty! :)

June 24, 2019

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

I know! I have cursed at them vigorously during the past three years... :-D :-D :-D

June 24, 2019

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

Мне тоже трудно читать даже знакомые греческие слова, вроде δημοκρατίας. Но это намного проще, чем арабский или китайский. :)

June 24, 2019

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

Ну, конечно. Но хотя я теперь читаю по-русски легко, до сих пор иногда путаю "н" с "и", "п" с "л" "п" с "р" и т. д. )))))

June 24, 2019

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

иногда путаю "н" с "и"

Когда-то давно они писались почти одинаково, приблизительно так: N и Н. :)

June 24, 2019

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

Cyril and Methodius are guilty!

It may not have been them, but one of their disciples if, as sometimes is said, they first devised the Glagolitic script and the Cyrillic script was developed later. Using the Glagolitic would be a nightmare, so thank heavens for Cyrillic!

OT: Hi, mortificator! Hope you're well and happy.

June 24, 2019

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

Да, глаголица - это кошмар! :) Толком неизвестно, кто из них появился раньше, но переход на греческие, в целом, символы имел позитивное значение. В результате мы имеет мёртвые руны и глаголицу и латинизированный греческий алфавит all over the world. 8)

Hi. I also hope I'm happy.

June 24, 2019

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

How's that? I don't speak Greek but I learnt a bit of it in primary school. I found learning the Cyrillic alphabet really easy because of that.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiamat156890

try to learn greek-- sounds like a real pain, I salute you

Unfortunately, most implied things go far above my head, (such as the gender/use of a word) and, it's not the biggest problem? Mostly just...frustration on top of frustration

Yeeah, I've seen some a bit of it? Honestly learning a second (or more, as the case may be) language can be grizzly, and I salute people who figure it out :)

And I've gone by tia so long it's a little strange to hear my full name? Thank you for responding to this as well

(If this reads weird, it's probably because it's 3 AM, on a mobil device...rip)

June 24, 2019

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

Stick with it, it'll get easier

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiamat156890

I really hope so...

thank you for responding, it makes me feel a bit better!

June 24, 2019

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

Restart the tree from scratch.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiamat156890

I'll look into that, thank you

June 24, 2019

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

hi I have a Youtube channel called Russian with Dasha. There's a couple of videos (the oldest videos) about the Russian alphabet and pronunciation. there's also an awesome website that might help you http://www.russianforeveryone.com

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tiamat156890

Thank you very much!

When it's not 3 AM I'll look into those sources!

June 24, 2019
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