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Spencer Burris

President/Lead Developer at the Quaternion Institute. Math student, programmer, and guitarist.

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[Part 1] Learning Russian: Strategy and Cyrillic

Calendar icon September 11, 2020

Clock icon 2 min read

Folder icon #russian #alphabet #cyrillic #learning #anki in language

Advice

I’ve done some research into how to actually learn Russian, and have heard some surprising things. The most surprising is the advice to almost completely ignore Russian grammar and focus on vocabulary. Some say that even native speakers can barely manage proper Russian grammar and that most misunderstandings don’t come from grammar problems, but rather lack of vocabulary or mispronunciation.

Progress

So far, I can pronounce most of the letters in the Russian alphabet. Learning Greek letters from math and physics has helped me learn several letters that are not derived from the Latin alphabet. I’ve watched a few videos on the language’s history as well as the history of Russian for a bit more context. From these videos I’ve learned that word order is flexible and that there are six cases (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental, Prepositional).

Strategy

I will start by learning the remaining Russian letters and then trying RT’s Russian course. As I learn words, I will add them to an Anki deck as spaced repetition is one of the most effective ways to memorise. I’ll plan ahead more when I’m better oriented within the language, but for now I plan on finding a book such as Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata or Gerta Malaperdis (esperanto) to start reading easy Russian as soon as I can. These books start out simple in their target language, intending to be accessible to monoglot English speakers and teach the language as each chapter progresses in linguistic complexity.