So you have finally made up your mind to start learning Russian. Absolutely from scratch. Would you like to be fluent in less than half a year and have lots of friends among the native speakers? Here are three easy tips for you which will make these daring goals achievable.
1. Master basic phonetics.
There are three basic things you need to know about the Russian phonetics at the very beginning and these are the stress, the soft and hard consonants and the sound “ы”. It will take you less than an hour to become aware of these aspects so please take your time and look into the matter before starting to learn any vocabulary or grammar.
Once you have an idea about the pronunciation basics you will feel comfortable with the language, find it much less difficult to understand native speakers and be more relaxed during a conversation.
If you would like to know more about this issue, please, visit my blog “Say it in Russian or Как это будет по-русски” at: http://thewayitgoesinrussian.blogspot.ru/2016/11/hithere-this-post-is-ab...
2. Learn phrases instead of words and don't cram the information from charts in the books.
Imagine you need to learn a new word like, for example, печéнье (cookie) and then you have to learn the paradigm with the cases: печéнье (Nom), печéнья (Gen), печéнье (Acc), печéнью (Dat), печéньем (Instr), печéнье (Prep).
Ok, and now imagine that you are actually talking to somebody and you need to say “We had tea with cookies” or Мы пи́ли чай с печéньем. Will you really have time to figure out in a split second before actually uttering it that your need the Instrumental case after the preposition with and that the Instrumental case for печéнье is печéньем?! Not to mention that you might be needing time to remember the word печéнье itself.
Of course, you need to know the rule, but in order to speak fluently you need those phrases to come out automatically. So wouldn't it be easier if you focused on learning phrases with identical patterns instead?
Once you have learned that you need the Instrumental case after the preposition с (with) try to make up, practise and remember as many phrases with this structure as you can.
Let's assume you know such words in Russian as: пирожки́ (pirozhki or Russian baked stuffed buns), мя́со (meat), пиро́г (pie), капýста (cabbage), суп (soup), кýрица (chicken), чaй (tea), печéнье (cookie), ко́фе (coffee) and моро́женное (ice-cream). Now think of the possible answer to the question: What did you have for dinner yesterday? - I had пирожки́ с мя́сом (pirozhki with meat), пиро́г с капýстой (a pie with cabbage), суп с кýрицей (soup with chicken), чáй с печéньем (tea with cookies), ко́фе с моро́женным (coffee with ice-cream). Don't worry if you can not say the whole sentence in Russian at this stage. Just practise the pattern. You will learn how to say I had something for breakfast / dinner a bit later. Take a little at a time!
Next time when you are speaking about tea with cookies it will just come out naturally. You won't probably even realize it was the Instrumental case!
3. Find a language partner and start practising ASAP.
Seriously, you can do it right after a couple of hours of studying. Not even days! There are plenty of opportunities to find a professional teacher or a language partner in the Internet and practice with a native speaker. Like http://pen4pals.com/, for example :-) Just learn some basic phrases, think of what you may want to tell your partner and ask him / her about and make a call via skype.
Communication is exciting and emotional. It provides the minor stress necessary for the major improvement of perception and memory. You will never forget the word or a phrase once you were in desperate need of it in real conversation. Moreover you will see how many things you can actually say and understand with quite limited vocabulary. And of course, talking to a positive and friendly person provokes the production of endorphins which also may improve the efficiency of the learning process:-)
When I said you could try talking to a native speaker in a couple of hours after opening your Russian student's book for the first time I wasn't joking. You don't want to learn to swim on the shore. Books and tutorials are good but they provide abstract language, not the real one. You will learn real Russian only in the real conversation with a real person. Don't wait for weeks. Just call your pal or teacher and see what will happen!
And of course while following the above mentioned tips, don't forget to learn the alphabet. That also might be of some importance:-)
Thank you so much for reading my post!
Good luck to you with your Russian! Hope you are learning it with pleasure and enjoy every moment of practising!
PS: I would really love to see your comments either on this site or in my blog.
What aspects of Russian do you find particularly difficult? I would really like to devote my next post to your problem and help you improve you Russian!
I would really like to help you improve your Russian!
I am a professional teacher and the blog project I have recently launched was virtually inspired by my students.
Please, visit my blog “Say it in Russian or Как это будет по-русски” at thewayitgoesinrussian.blogspot.com (the blog is in English) and leave your feedback there.
Every two weeks I will choose the most active participant of the discussion and give him or her a free professional lesson via skype!
If you are interested in professional lessons, feel free to contact me on my vk page: https://vk.com/speak_russian_say_it_in_russian or Skype: daria.eng.rus.tutor
Best wishes to you and CU soon!
Author: Daria Rusan