I’ve been concentrating on Russian for a week now and am making some progress. I listen to Russian language radio in the mornings while working on Omniglot, so my attention isn’t entirely focused on what they’re saying, but even so I am becoming more familiar with the sounds and rhythyms of the language. The names of people and places, the many recognisable international words, and the other words I recognise help me to get the gist of news reports.

I learn or revise phrases in every day, and can remember many of them. The phrases I learnt so far a mostly basic ones like ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’, ‘where are you from?’ and so on, with a few longer ones like ‘Russian is a beautiful language’.

Yesterday I started practising writing Russian letters in cursive style. I have tried this before, but have since forgotten how to write quite a few of them. The cursive versions of some of the letters look quite different to their printed forms (the same is true of Latin letters), for example a cursive upper case Д (D) looks like a Latin D, while the lower case д looks like a cursive Latin g.

There are tutorials on how to write cursive style Russian here and here.

With practice I’ll get used to the printed and handwritten versions of the Cyrillic alphabet, but I think it will take quite a while before I’m able to read it as easily as I can the Latin alphabet.

This entry was posted in Language, Language learning, Russian.

One Response to Russian

  1. michael farris says:

    It doesn’t matter for native speakers, but for second language learners I think cyrillic is more difficult to learn than either the Latin or Greek scripts. I learned the Greek alphabet easily and quickly and could read it (apart from meaning) very rapidly. That is words stood out and I could decode them very quickly.

    Despite a similar time investment for Cytillic (more for Bulgarian than Russian) I still find rapid sight reading to be a bigger challenge. I learned the individual letters just as quickly as Greek but a page of Cyrillic blurs into intelligibility more than a page of Greek does (for me, ymmv).

    I think it has to do with the relative absence of ascenders and descenders in the alphabet, the great majority of letters have the same height and depth and it’s easier for them blend into blocks. Again this is for a foreign learner, I don’t think a native speaker/reader won’t be so affected.

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