Thursday, September 6, 2012

Russian Class Days 1 & 2

9/6/12
Kristen says...

Ух! (pron. "ookh", means wow!) Russian is tough!

I have had just two days of class and I can tell you, there has been more than one time in the past two days that I have wished I was back in Spanish class!

Part of the difficulty is that I am learning an entirely new alphabet...well, actually two, if you count the cursive...

Yes, cursive.

Did You Know: most Russians over the age of six write almost entirely in cursive??

Me either, until my teacher shared that interesting tidbit...

So not only am I learning how to pronounce letters like this:
Щ ж д ф б ю

but I am also learning to read those same letters in cursive... And they don't always look the same..

For example, the letter д, pronounced like our letter "d", is written in upper case as a cursive "D", but in the lower case as a cursive "g"...


Also the Russian letter н is pronounced like our letter "N", so even when you recognize the letter it doesn't always sound the same.

Also, due to an interesting scheduling fluke, I was placed in a class with two people with actual experience in the language...one who took Russian 10 years ago and one who lived in Ugoslavia, a country that uses the Cyrillic Alphabet and houses many Russian-speakers...so instead of going through the 3-week introductory course, we went straight to the basic course...so I am learning Cyrillic and (attempting to) read(ing) long Russian words all at once...thank goodness my classmates and teacher are patient!!!

Although it is stressful and time consuming, (we have 5 hours of in-class time, one hour of computer lab time, and are expected to study for at least two hours more on our own EVERY DAY) I think it is going to be ok...

I do feel like I am learning something, although after only two days I don't think I have gained much practical application (I can't say "happy birthday" or even the formal version of "hello" (привет -pron. preev-yet- is the informal).

Mostly I feel a little overwhelmed and VERY BUSY! But I know it will all be worth it when I can read signs and talk to people in Vladivostok!!

Hopefully I will be able to update the blog even while I work hard at my Russian... I am writing this on my iPhone, hopefully I can use this to update "on the go" whenever I have time/something to write about.

I will leave you with another fun factoid my teacher told me:

Did You Know: learning and using the Russian language uses a different part of the brain than English...so not only am I learning something new, I am also fighting Alzheimer's! Ах! (interjection standing for delight, pron. "aakh!")

:)

KF

1 comment:

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