Project Prochnost: Week 3

If I have to choose one word to describe my Russian practice over the past week, it would be ‘Maths’. I practiced writing names of Russian numbers AND struggled way too much getting singular-plural exercises right. Phew!

I spent three days travelling this week, which meant more of Duolingo and less of writing practice. Overall, I managed two 45-minute sessions of writing alongside several Duolingo sessions on the go. Russian language has several sounds that aren’t used in either English or Hindi, so I have been struggling with pronunciation of the vowels themselves. I specially struggle with the ы sound, so imagine my reaction when I learned that it is frequently used to write plural form of several nouns!

To add to the fun(?), I kept getting the word есть repeatedly wrong as it translated to ‘eat‘ and ‘have‘ pretty randomly, resulting in questionable translations such as These men eat children and so on. As it turned out, the Russian verb for ‘to eat’ and ‘(it) is’ are homonyms. It is like the verb ‘lie’ in English, which is written and pronounced the same but means both lying down and speaking untruths, and is understood in context. As I mentioned, fun kind of week 😀

My new-found familiarity with Cyrillic alphabets allowed me to pronounce written Russian correctly, but speaking it in flow was a whole other story. Still, the saving grace of my week were some wonderful answers on Russian culture that I read on Quora. It’s always a joy to hear of a place from the eyes of its natives, so that was a blast. Hope the next week goes well too. До скорой встречи! (Do skoroy vstrechi!)

P.S. Keeping up with my cover picture tradition, this is a shot of my notebook where I have written the words for Russian numerals, starting from 0 to 5. Moreover, До скорой встречи is Russian for ‘See you soon’!
Week 2 Update
Why am I learning Russian?
Week 4 Update

29 thoughts on “Project Prochnost: Week 3

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    1. Hi Srijan. I am not sure yet, to be honest. Based on my conversations with a Russian friend as well as blog posts of some famous linguists, it should take me at least six months to be sufficiently fluent in spoken and written Russian. It largely depends on my vocabulary, which in turn depends on the time I devote to learning.
      I learn for barely an hour a day, so it might take me more time. I guess I will just know how it works out on the go 🙂

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        1. Hi Srijan. I am learning it for reading Russian literature. To read the complete details, let me share my main post with you 🙂

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          1. yes, i’m sorry! i read it! well, the natural taste is much better! i also learnt a lil spanish to read Neruda! I understand!

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            1. I should be the one saying sorry for reading comments with such delay! Learning spanish for Neruda? That sounds impressive! It’s always so nice to hear from literature lovers like you.

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            2. it’s absolutely fine! it’s not everyday, you meet such literature lovers! it’s worth the wait! neruda is inspiring and just so romantic! and i’m all about romance! so yeah, that’s why! right now, i’m trying to learn arabic, so i could volunteer in a few refugee camps! it’s difficult!

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            3. I have heard that Arabic is difficult. Have you tried ArabicPod101? I use Russianpod101 for their free vocabulary section and it’s excellent. I am sure their Arabic section would be excellent too.

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            4. well, i’m still looking for permanent sources! i’ll check this out! and hey, you should maybe watch russian movies! that’ll help you, a lot! i did for my spanish!

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            5. Oh yes! I plan to watch ‘Ironiya Sud’by’ soon, which is a classic Soviet movie that Russians watch on each New Year each as a tradition of sorts. I will definitely be on a lookout for further movie suggestions.

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            6. well, i see! spanish is a romantic language! you tend to fall in love with! i see russian, rather as a sensual language! what about you?
              and i’ve heard this movie, russian ark is really good!

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            7. Yes. Russian is really different and so is their culture though I do draw a lot of parallel arcs between Russian and Indian society. For example, Russian societies are family-oriented, much like India and so unlike the West. Similarly, red colour seems to hold a lot of significance in Russia, which I find quite similar to its importance in my culture. There are more than a dozen such similarities that I don’t want to bore you with but you get the drift, right!
              On the other hand, some things about Russia are so different, they seem to come from some lovely, distant world. For example, a lot of Russians applause when a flight lands! I just cannot wait to be in one such flight and clap till me palms hurt with happiness 🙂

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        1. Hey sorry I just saw this comment! So glad you read it.
          I am not pursuing any course. As I mentioned in my updates, I am learning it through multiple sources, including a proper Russian grammar textbook. I also use Duolingo to supplement my learning.

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          1. well, i hope you learn it very soon, and then tell me all about it! you love it, so there would be an excitement, with which you would share your knowledge, with your friends! and that’s something adorable to witness! listening to people talk about something they love!

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            1. that is so sweet! I am trying to be regular with my updates in order to keep up with honest progress track. If you want to hear about it further, definitely drop me a mail. I am always on a lookout of fellow literature lovers who want to talk about wordsmithing 🙂

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            2. well, i’ll talk in spanish, while you’ll talk in russain? there’s this beautiful word in italian, which is coming to my mind, while i’m talking to you! no, i don’t know italian, but one of my friends did italian honors and so that’s how i know! so it’s a small sentence with that word in it. it’s Ciao, cara!
              this means, hello, sweetheart! 🙂

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            3. and i don’t think vocabulary is that hard to get used to! it’s like english! you just need to add words to it! what i think that’s important in learning a language is, the grammar and like the verb forms and stuff! if you can frame a sentence, then you sure, can learn words and use them while you speak! so, i think, one should keep vocabulary as a secondary priority! what about you?

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            4. Personally, I think prioritising vocabulary can boost the progress. I find it difficult to study grammar if I have to search meanings of words frequently, as it is distracting for me. However, different people have different approaches to language acquisition, so it can be a part of my personal preference too.

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