How I Learnt the Russian Language?
Here are 7 tips for getting started with Russian:
- Classes with a private tutor online (X2 hours/week)
- Nail pronunciation first of all (one month)
- Learn Cyrillic alphabet (one week)
- Learn the first 500 words and phrases that are useful to me personally
- Build in contact with the language and country before I arrive there
- Purposely travel to the country itself and apply what I’ve learnt
- Build on my base in Russian to learn the language over the long term
Private Online Classes
Where to find online tutors …
Pronunciation is something that you need to get down right from the beginning so you need to prioritize this at the beginning. The course I recommend you use is the Mimic Method. You can watch my review of using it below.
- The first step is to identify the sounds in Russian and how they differ from my native tongue (English) or the other languages that I speak
- Next, I practiced making these sounds with a native speaker (my teacher from italki)
- I recorded my pronunciation and reviewed it before every class for 10 minutes
By focussing on the most important words and structures, I implicitly apply the 80/20 rule of the Pareto principle. The principle states that as a rule of thumb approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of actions that you undertake. By placing specific attention to these 20% of actions should bring about dramatically faster progress in learning Russian.
Many language learners recommend using spaced repetition systems like Anki for memorizing vocabulary. I am personally not a fan of flash card systems. Normally I use a mnemonic (personalized memory aid) if I’m struggling to remember an important word.
- Listen to and read Glossika Russian daily for 20 minutes
- Use ‘Vocabooster Russian‘ to learn the first 600 words in Russian
- Increase my comprehension of more complex vocabulary with LingQ
- Make a deliberate effort to apply new useful vocabulary in the Russian Skype classes with my italki teacher
- Update: We recently reviewed RussianPod101 and think it’s pretty good for beginners and intermediate learners.
I am definitely not a grammar ‘nazi’ and as such don’t get particularly excited about the prospect of learning about cases and syntax. With this in mind, I’m going to get a general overview of the language’s grammar and pay attention to the most important structures only.
- Begin by reading the Wikipedia page for the Russian language
- Focus on the most important structures only in my classes with my Russian teacher by using subsitution drills
- Pay attention to trends that are occurring in the langauge