RT’s Learn Russian
RT’s Russian course does not have working audio anymore. I wrote to their support email address to ask if it would be fixed and was told that the project is no longer maintained and will not be updated. As a result, I have decided to go with the RussianLessons.net website instead.
I’ve become comfortable with most of the alphabet and can sound out Russian words written in Cyrillic, albeit slowly. So far, emphasis and stress has been the hardest part of pronouncing words for me. The letter ‘o’ always gets me as it is pronounced like the English ‘a’ when it is not stressed. I am not comfortable with the hard and soft sign characters yet. Otherwise, listening to Russian speech should help me find the rhythm of words.
I can now count to ten, and have learned a few words such as Спасибо (thank you), Привет (informal greeting), хорошо (good). Before I began studying, I really only knew да (yes), нет (no), and товарищ (comrade, thanks Hogan’s Heroes). I recognized the word спасибо (thanks) in a Батюшка (I can now pronounce that) song, but noticed that it sounds more like “спасубо” and I wonder if it’s just the manner of singing or if the word is slightly different in Old Church Slavonic.
- Though many letters are shared within English and Russian, only the letter ‘c’ is in the same place on both keyboards.
- Zipf’s law of abbreviation doesn’t seem to apply as much to Russian as English. The law states that common words tend to be shorter, and Russian seems to have some very long common words such as Здравствуйте (hello). I get the feeling that the language may have been shaped more by writers than speakers comparatively. Alexander Pushkin, a poet/playwright/novelist credited with much of the development of Russian literature and had a large influence on the language as a whole.
- Russian cursive is scary.