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  1. Learning Russian

    #382982012-09-06 10:38:33 *Ecstasy said:

    Ever thought about learning Russian? Want your material to be understandable? Need some help to get started? Welcome to this thread then.

    If you need any of the topics explained/have any questions on the current lesson - feel free to leave your requests.

    The thread idea was originally suggested by @Konran in Russian Thread.


    Lesson 1 (+Bonus)

    Lesson 2 (+Bonus)

    The thread is locked, but you can always pm me questions or/and suggestions.

  2. #382992012-09-06 10:38:40 *Ecstasy said:

    Lesson 1

    We will start with Russian alphabet, be sure you print it out and hang it in most visited places of your home (in your toilet, fridge and at the ceiling under your bed) - this will make you stare at it from time to time and remember it better. You can also tattoo it on your arms or legs, just not on your ass or you won't be able to read it.

    The alphabet has 33 letters (see, not that difficult). You can now try and attempt to pronounce them as well. Try to pronounce all words and letters as loud as possible, this will help you to get used to russian expressiveness.

    (the fist letter is in caps - this is how all the bosses write their Russian in a normal discussion, the second letter is uncapsed- usually used by pussies)

    Аа - the same as in English, pronounced as the middle letter in a word bloodbath

    Бб - the letter is similiar to the letter b in English, as in bitch

    Вв - this one sounds like v, just like the one in vodka

    Гг - similar to g in a word gore

    Дд - letter d, as in dick

    Ее - pronounced as je, like in yee pee kaye motherfucker

    Ёё - this one is pronounces as jo, like in yo

    Жж - this one is close to j, as in pleasure

    Зз - z, as in zoophilia

    Ии - I guess it's close to i, like in bitchslap

    Йй - a short sound, like in yes

    Кк - this one is for @kosukechan, sounds like the one in kitten

    Лл - l, like the one in luv

    Мм - m, like the one in molest

    Нн - n, like the one in a forbidden word

    Оо - o, like in moar

    Пп - p, pussay

    Рр - this is r, but it sounds like you are trying to sound a bit spanish, example word is rape (try to sound like an amigo)

    Сс - s, sex

    Тт - t, titties

    Уу - u, boobs

    Фф - f, fuck

    Хх - h, ha-ha-ha (an important letter, one of the most expressive russian words begins with it, follow the lessons to learn the word or ask me directly)

    Цц - ts, you don't really have it in English, but it somewhat close to selfcest when you try to pronounce it as hard as possible

    Чч - ch, as in chopper

    Шш - sh, shit and shut up

    Щщ - it's close to sh, but a bit harder (you can try sounding like an amigo again, it might work), shet

    Ъъ - you don't pronounce this one, it only makes any preceding consonant hard, if you know what I mean.

    Ыы - then again it's sounds harder then normal English letters (amigo time), silly

    Ьь - the same as with Ъъ - but this one softens the preceding consonant.

    Ээ - e, like in hey, I just met you

    Юю - ju, abuse

    Яя - and ja, as in yaoi (this is one of the most important letters too, don't look at it standing at the very end of the alphabet, this one letter is actually a word, and the word means "I")

    And that's about it. Try to practice it and if you feel like getting used to how the language sounds, try listening to russian music and watch russian movies (if it's hard for you to decide - you can PM me preferable genres and I can try to suggest something).

    I might add here a couple of other lessons if I get some likes/responses/requests and won't get this closed/banned.


    I'm just a simple russian girl

    I've got vodka in my blood

    So I dance with brown bears

    And my soul is torn apart

    Lesson 1 Bonus

  3. #383192012-09-06 13:43:09schmidt said:

    Good job with the sounds there, but I wouldn't recommend going with the music. I mean, in every language a sung word sounds nothing like a spoken word ('spoken' as in 'used in a regular conversation').

    And, yeah, this thread is awesome, don't stop educating us. ;D

  4. #383262012-09-06 16:41:25TokoyamiSenshi said:

    @schmidt: That is very untrue; singing gives you a deeper insight into how words are formed, if you can make something of it.

    @Ecstasy: I-I-I won't mind reading your thread from time to time, b-but it's not like I'm interested or anything, baaaka.

  5. #383282012-09-06 17:01:32Polnareff said:

    ?? - the same as in English, pronounced as the middle letter in a word bloodbath

    ?? - the letter is similiar to the letter b in English, as in bitch

    What Tomfoolery is this "??" Business? Is my browser not encoding it properly?

  6. #383422012-09-06 21:25:28 *Ecstasy said:

    First of all I decided to spell the nicknames of all the users, who replied to this, in russian as a small lesson bonus.

    @kosukechan косукетян or косукечан. (that japanese chan thing might sound diffrently in russian)

    @schmidt шмидт, I'm pretty sure you are russian though. It's true that people adjust lyrics to music and rythm, but it still gives quite a good feeling of the language in my opinnion.

    @Trisak Трисак ♥

    @TokoyamiSenshi ТокуямиСенши Lesson 2 will be out soon then.

    @Polnareff Полнарефф, yes, your browser probably doesn't recognise Cyrillic alphabet.

    @Gargron Гаргрон, I have finished university for language and culture, studied lingustics and basics of pedagogy, don't you worry and nevermind my poor English, I'm sure it will still be enough for me to be understandable.

  7. #383862012-09-07 10:06:05Konran said:

    @Ecstasy Постоянно забываю, что для иностранцев их ник, написанный на русском - это что-то экзотическое))

  8. #384152012-09-07 22:16:26TokoyamiSenshi said:

    Hihihi, I'm cheating a little here. My native language is slavic too so I understand some words and a lot of grammar. Not used to reading Russian cyrillic though.

    I like it how there are two 'sh' sounds. In Croatian, we only have one 'sh', but we have two of 'ch' and 'dz'.

  9. #384472012-09-08 11:56:17TokoyamiSenshi said:

    @Ecstasy: Funny how nobody has problems with dž and đ, but even Croats have problems with č and ć.

    So I've been watching some videos in Russian on youtube and I noticed that reading is not really straightforward. In Croatian, you can always read phonetically without thinking, but I've noticed that in Russian, not everything can be read exactly as it's phonetically written.

    Can I ask you to explain a little bit about that?

  10. #385452012-09-10 09:33:21 *Ecstasy said:

    Lesson 1 Bonus

    The Russian alphabet is traditionally listed in the order from A to Я as shown in the Lesson 1. To help you learn the alphabet faster, you can group the letters by look and sound and compare them with their English counterparts. You will have 4 groups:

    Group 1: Same look and sound as in English

    There are six Russian letters that match their English counterparts by both pronunciation and form - A, E, K, M, O and T.

    Group 2: Sound-alikes but different look

    There are sixteen Russian letters that do not exist in English but have familiar pronunciation. They include Б, Г, Д, ё, Ж, П, Ф, И, й, Л, Ц, Ш, Щ, Э, Ю and Я.

    Group 3: Look-alikes but different sound

    The following eight Russian letters look like their English counterparts (or even digits) but have different pronunciation -- В, З, Н, Р, С, У, Ч, Х.

    Group 4: New look and sound (or no sound)

    The last group includes letters that do not exist in English and either represent unfamiliar sounds or have no sound value (Ы, Ъ, Ь).

    As a challenge you can try and spell the nicknames of your CL friends using the Russian alphabet

    Lesson 2

  11. #385462012-09-10 09:33:25 *Ecstasy said:

    Lesson 2


    Now, when you are familiar with the alphabet (assuming you did put some effort and tried to remember a couple of letters), let's learn to read. If the first lesson didn't help, here is a small bonus which can help you to remember the alphabet faster.

    Reading is important. And believe me, it’s a huge step. Here’s why:

    • You will become more confident in your ability to learn Russian.
    • You will never be totally lost since you’ll be able to read street signs.
    • You will be able to check your restaurant bill and avoid getting ripped off.
    • You will be able to impress a lot of folks with your new skill.
    • You will be able to learn the lyrics to some of the most awful Russian pop tunes (don’t worry if you don’t understand a word; many of these songs make no sense anyway).

    Most importantly, since Russian has so many words borrowed from other languages (most notably French, German, and English), you will actually understand quite a few words – шоппинг (shopping), компьютер (computer), инвестиция (investment), менеджер (manager), коттедж (cottage), журнал (journal), ресторан (restaurant), пляж (beach, but in French it sounds just the same la plage), картофель (potato, which sounds just like the German, Kartoffel), etc.

    And those are just everyday words. As you read more specialized texts, such as financial or science news, you will encounter even more familiar-sounding words.

    As you remember from the Lesson 1 - there are 33 letters in the modern Russian alphabet, but you will only have to memorize the pronunciation for 31 of them (the other two are silent). The good news is that there are no bi- and trivocals in Russian (unlike in English with its “th”, “ae”, etc). Plus you don’t need to worry about which sounds not to pronounce (unlike in French). Don’t worry about sounding just right since your main goal right now is to start reading.

    Now, keeping the guide to letters and sounds handy try reading some shorter words.













    You should understand these words without translation once you read them since when read correctly they should sound the same or nearly the same as they do in English. Now you are ready to move on to longer words with a less favorable consonants-to-vowels ratio.

    Now, here is a couple of things why @TokoyamiSenshi assumed that reading is not really straightforward and not everything can be read exactly as it's phonetically written (which is not true).

    Reading and Stressed vowels

    If you join the sounds of individual letters together you will be able to read the majority of words in Russian.

    One vowel in each word is always emphasized greater than the rest– it is called the stressed vowel and marked with the acute accent ´ (in textbooks for the begginers usually and never in normal literature of course). While stressed vowels are pronounced rather distinctly, unstressed vowels undergo reduction and changes. For example, the vowels 'A' and 'O' are reduced to the "u"-sound as in "under" when they occur in unstressed positions.

    Placing the stress correctly is important when speaking Russian. Improper word stress not only makes you sound unnatural (imagine yourself saying "computer" with the letter "o" stressed) but it can also change the meaning of a word. The stressing is also not fixed, it can fall to any vowel in the word.

    Consonants and Vowels

    There are 21 consonant letters in Russian: б, в, г, д, ж, з, к, л, м, н, п, р, с, т, ф, х, ц, ч, ш, щ. The consonant letter й is sometimes called a semivowel.

    There are 10 vowel letters: а, э, ы, у, о, я, е, ё, ю, и.

    Two letters of the Russian alphabets do not designate any sounds. They are the "soft sign" (ь) and the "hard sign" (ъ).

    Letters vs. Sounds

    With few exceptions, Russian consonant letters can be pronounced either "soft" or "hard" depending on the type of a letter that comes after them. For this reason, the 20 consonant letters of the Russian alphabet can designate 37 distinct consonant sounds. This might be a bit hard to understand right now, but even if you continue just pronounce sounds as they are, without making them hard or soft - people will still understand you, it will only make you sound more foreign.

    In general, Russian vowels are divided into two basic types: "soft-indicating" and "hard-indicating" vowels. The "hard-indicating" vowels are а, э, ы, у, о. Russian "soft-indicating" vowels are formed from their "hard-indicating" counterparts by adding an English sound of "y" at the beginning. Thus you will get such "soft-indicating" vowels as я, е, ё, ю, и.

    You will need this as you go futher into pronounciation, for now it's enough if you manage to remember which letters are consonants and which are vowels.

    Lesson 2 Bonus with a challenge of reading a couple of useful phrases in Russian

  12. #385492012-09-10 10:22:08TokoyamiSenshi said:

    @Ecstasy: So in the end, I was kinda right because of that O->kinda A reduction.

    Sorry, didn't mean to imply that it has no logic behind it, just that there are some implicit rules you should know. Which is normal, of course :)

    So, do ш and щ have their separate soft forms or do they behave like a pair?

  13. #385592012-09-10 13:03:07Ecstasy said:

    @TokoyamiSenshi ш and щ are two separate letters and can't be replaced by one another. Unlike other consonants which kind of have "hard" and "soft" forms Ш can be only hard (sh) and Щ can be only soft (if you were to pronounce it I guess you could try to make a "shsh" sound, like in rush-ship (the sound which makes sh-sh). If you have problems with this letters, you may try pronounce "Щ" like Byelorussians: shch, it'll still be understandable and close enough.

    I do know the word where щ sounds like ш, but it's rare and depends usually on the factor of human mouth just not being able to pronounce щ in that position while the word was just formed by the rules of the language. To explain it I should go a bit futher in how words are formed and it's a bit early for that.

    I think I will include to the next lesson more info about it, like the way you pronounce hard and soft versions of the same letter and how you pronounce voiced and voiceless consonants (the thing I mentioned about stressing). It kind of doesn't have that much importance, but you should know those not to get confused by the speech of a native speaker I guess.

  14. #385752012-09-10 17:33:19TokoyamiSenshi said:

    @Ecstasy: I see, I see. So one's only hard and the other's only soft, mhm. Just what I wanted to know :D As for pronounciation, I'd compare щ to Japanese し in case you've ever paid attention to it in anime and such.

    I'll leave this here for people who want to learn pronounciation by listening:

  15. #422382012-11-09 16:01:27Ecstasy said:

    This thread just faded in the depths of the forum, which is totally not the OP fault.

    To finish it off I'm leaving here the material I was going to post anyway.

    Lesson 2 Bonus

    A couple of useful russian phrases:

    Using the skills you obtained from previous lessons try to read the following phrases which will help you to communicate with russians.

    This gentleman will pay for everything. - Этот мужчина платит за всё.

    This lady will pay for everything. - Эта дама платит за всё.

    Where's the toilet? - Где туалет?

    Would you like to dance with me? - Хотите потанцевать?

    Leave me alone! - Оставьте меня в покое!

    Help! - Помогите!

    I don't understand! - Я не понимаю.

    My Russian is bad. - У меня плохо с русским.

    Give me this! - Дай мне!

    I need a doctor. - Мне нужен врач.

    Where do I buy good vodka? - Где купить хорошую водку?

    Get lost. - Отвали.

    Please do not shoot! - Не стреляйте!

    LOL - гы

    That's about it. Learning languages can be fun too. semyon