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Learning Russian

Posted on: 11. September 2009

Hi there,

today I’d like to tell you a bit about my experiences as a student of Russian. Having already gone through a training as a translator for English and French, I started studying Russian a year ago. I sort of had this interest in Russia for ages, nourished by Dostoyevski novels, which of course, did not produce a realistic image of contemporal Russia in my head.
Soviet Kitsch
Meeting quite a few real Russians over the years made me a bit more down to earth about this topic.
Learning Cyrillic letters was actually quite a lot of fun, and I’m really proud that by now, my Cyrillic handwriting doesn’t look like an eight year old’s anymore. Learning Russian nouns isn’t such a big problem either, since there are no articles and you can tell from the ending of a word if it is male, female or neutral. But once you start putting the nouns in sentences, you have to apply the six different cases. They made me feel desperate all the time in the beginning. It’s really hard for anyone from a Western European country to understand the Russian grammar rules since they completely differ from our grammar.
It seemed completely irrational for me. But thanks to the military drill in our Russian class I somehow manage by now. But you really have to practise until you don’t have to think about it anymore.
I guess it’s different when you learn Russian at school, as you can do in some German grammar schools, mostly in Eastern Germany.
I’ll see what kind of joys and surprises the Russian language has to offer in my two years of study to go.

Britta

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