Sunday, August 5, 2012

Russian Language Worries

Kristen says...

I think learning Russian is going to be harder than learning Spanish.

This is seemingly random thought has been going through my head a lot lately as I've been watching the Olympics and listening between the English commentators to try to catch the Russians talking to each other.

I took two years of Spanish in junior high/high school and knew the few special characters (ñ, anyone?) before we moved to Honduras, so I was able to skip the alphabet section of Rosetta Stone and move straight on to the "real" learning...I also had a basic understanding of the verb tenses and a pretty good smattering of vocabulary, so it wasn't too long before I picked up most of what I needed to know to survive.

Russian, on the other hand, looks to be harder.

The other day I did Rosetta Stone's free Russian demo, and, oh boy was my confidence shattered.

For one thing, much the alphabet is SO different! I took a semester of Japanese in college so I "get" the different characters thing, but the Japanese symbols were like pictures to me, and I could use them to remember what sound went with which "picture." Russian's Cyrillic doesn't look like pictures to me, at first glance it looks like my alphabet was put up to a mirror which is underwater and being projected onto a wavy white looks like something I should know but that just doesn't make sense in my brain...

Here is a link to the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. See what I mean? Some of the letters look "right", but then there are the ones that look so different. And I think it will be hard to remember how to pronounce the ones that look the same as our letters, but sound different...

I found this website with this image, something I think I will be referring to often:
I did not create this image. It is the property of:
A second thing that concerns me is the length of the words. Someone told us that we will pick up the alphabet in 3 days, but getting used to really long words will take longer. I have been noticing the penchant for length as I've been paying more attention to the Russian athletes in the Olympics, and many of their names are 4 syllables or will be a challenge.

Not that I'm not up for the challenge...quite the opposite, in fact.

I'm not teaching or subbing while I'm in DC, so I need something to fill my time (besides museum-hopping, of course!) I've been enrolled in a two-month Russian language course and as long as an actual employee doesn't need in, I am really looking forward to getting into the classroom. And of course, like we did in Honduras, we will probably get a tutor once we get to Russia...

Still. It's going to be tough.

But I am excited!

1 comment:

  1. hola,, saludos desde honduras,,, te dejo este link, como una herramienta para mejorar tu aprendizaje de ruso,,, yo igual estudio ruso es muy dificil,,,
    este es el link

    espero sirva..
    hasta pronto.


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