Learn Russian While You Sleep // 100 Basic Russian Words and Phrases \ English/Russian
How to Learn Russian Fast
It can be a fun challenge to learn a new language, and an even bigger one to learn it fast. It can be done, however. You just have to practice speaking and reading the language. Your best bet is to become immersed, since that will place you in the context of this language full time. However, there are things you can do at home to learn Russian fast as well.
Using Quick Tips
Learn basic courtesy phrases.Since you’ll probably be interacting with other Russian speakers, it is helpful to learn simple phrases. Being able to introduce yourself and say please and thank you are important in any location.
- In Russian, “Hello,” is “Zdrastvooyte” or Здравствуйте
- “Thank you” is “Spaseeba” or Спасибо
- “Goodbye” is “Da sveedaneeya” or До свидания!
- "My name is..." is "Meenya zavoot..." or Меня зовут...
- "Please" is "Požalujsta" or Пожалуйста
- "Where...?" is "Gde" or Где
Note that Russian has consistent pronunciation.The 33 letters in the Russian alphabet are phonetic, which means they sound the way they look. The pronunciation of these letters is the same no matter what words they are in. This is different from English, which can have several sounds for one letter.
- Knowing that every letter you see has the same sound helps you speak new words quickly.
- For example, in English, the letter “c” can sound like the letters “k” and “s” depending on what word it is.
- In Russian, you always know how to pronounce a word because there is no question about how each letter might sound.
- Keep in mind that the Russian alphabet is Cyrillic, which means its letters look very different from English. You might want to study a chart of the Russian alphabet in order to start understanding the letters you see.
- Focus on vowel sounds when learning pronunciation because these are the letters that lend meaning to most Russian words. You want to stretch out the sound of each vowel, such as when you are calling to someone from the other room and you say "Mo-o-o-m!"
Use context to build vocabulary.It is helpful to begin learning a language by building your vocabulary. This way, you can quickly pick out words when you hear or read them. An easy way to learn Russian vocabulary is to take the Russian word for something and insert it into a sentence every time you speak it.
- The Russian word for “rug” is “covyours.”
- Use “covyours” every time you would say “rug”: “Did you wipe your feet on the covyours?” or “Your covyours looks lovely in this room.”
- You might put up sticky notes on household items with the names in Russian. Every time you pass that item, you will remember to call it by its Russian word.
- Use this technique in every place you go regularly—in your car, your locker, your office, etc.
Find words adopted from your language.Like many languages, Russian borrows words from other languages. When a language borrows a term, it is called a “cognate.” If you are an English speaker, you may be able to find words that you recognize.
- For example, there is a section of Russian verbs that is borrowed from English, such as “parkovat” (to park) or “adoptirovat” (to adopt).
- Parkovat looks like this: парковать
- Adoptirovat looks like this: адоптировать
Change the word order.Russian has some simple elements that, once you know about them, make it easier to learn. For one thing, Russian frequently allows speakers to change the order of words in sentences without losing meaning. Although the order of many phrases is usually generally accepted to be one way, a different order can still be correct.
- In Russian, the phrase "A cat caught a mouse" can be spoken in six different ways and still be correct.
- The most common word order of a Russian sentence is subject-verb-object, although grammar rules allow this to be rearranged in nearly any order imaginable.
Discover that there are few grammatical exceptions.The great thing about Russian grammar is that there are few exceptions. Once you learn a rule, you don’t have to worry about when it might change. There are a lot of rules, but if you learn them one at a time, you will master them.
- For example, the last letter of a noun in Russian determines what the gender is. The main exception for this rule occurs when a noun has a physical gender, like a human or animal.
- The word “Папа” looks like it should be feminine. But the word is “daddy,” so this noun is considered masculine.
Master basic verb conjugation.In order to understand a language when it is written or spoken, you need to understand the verb forms. Since the conjugation for different subjects (I, you, he, they, we, etc.) will sound and look different, you need to quickly identify them. Knowing the ending of verbs for each type of subject will help you understand faster.
- For example, in Russian, only one present tense conjugation is used in any present tense scenario in English.
- In English, you could say I go, I do go, I am going, I have been going. In Russian, there is only one conjugation for all of these.
- However, don't get bogged down in grammar rules. You will understand them naturally as you begin to speak Russian.
Method 1 Quiz
The Russian alphabet is Cyrillic, which means:
Immersing Yourself in the Language
Live with a Russian family.If you are able to visit a Russian-speaking country, you should stay in a household where they don't speak your language. This way you are forced to communicate only in Russian. It may take a few months, or longer if you don’t have basic understanding of the language. However, being in a situation where you can only communicate in Russian will help you pick it up quickly.
- Having a basic knowledge of grammar structure and vocabulary is preferable when living in total immersion. This way, you are able to understand most of what you hear, and grow in understanding much more quickly.
Move to Russia.If you visit Russia, you may like it. Moving to Russia can also be an option. If you place yourself in total immersion on a more permanent basis, you will be highly motivated to both understand and speak Russian. You will learn quickly so that you can function better in society.
- It is better to know people before you move to a new country. They will help you find a place to live, make friends, stay safe, and so on.
- You might want to visit before making the decision to move there.
Take an intensive course on Russian in person.Some colleges and community centers offer Russian language courses in their facilities rather than online. Try taking a course where the instructor only speaks Russian. During the class time, you will only hear, read, and speak in Russian. This is a good way to immerse yourself if you don't live in a Russian-speaking area.
- Look at the course offerings of your local university or community center by visiting their catalog online or giving them a call.
Find a tandem partner.If you are unable to go to a Russian-speaking country, a good place to start is to find a Russian tandem partner. Tandem partnering means that you meet with a native speaker on a regular basis. They teach you Russian, and you teach them your language.
- Keep in mind that while this arrangement is free, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. Your partner may not be good at teaching, and vice versa.
- You should study when not with your partner so that you don’t forget what you learn each time.
- Use any study method you know of, whether a Russian language textbook, workbook, website, app, and so on.
- Have your partner teach you verb structure, vocabulary, and quiz you on everything you learn.
- Try to have as many conversations in Russian as you can.
Surround yourself with Russian media.Another way to practice immersion if you can’t go to a Russian-speaking country is to immerse yourself at home. Make all your media be in Russian. Find Russian radio stations online, watch Russian-speaking movies and TV shows, listen to Russian music, and so on.
- You can look into changing your computer, tablet, and smartphone language settings to Russian.
- Whenever you see an option to translate a website, choose to translate it into Russian.
Read only in Russian.To help with visually understanding the Russian language, try to read only in Russian. Purchase newspapers, books, and magazines only in Russian. Go onto Russian websites and read web articles and webzines in Russian.
- Try changing the language settings on your social media to Russian.
- For example, you can change your Facebook language to Russian by clicking “Settings,” then “Language” in the upper right hand corner after signing in.
- Learning the sounds of the Russian alphabet is helpful for reading the language.
Practice writing in Russian.Being able to write in Russian is proof that you are learning it. Whenever you have the chance, write down your thoughts in Russian. A class will provide this opportunity and give you feedback. If you’re not in a class, try finding a Russian speaker to write letters or emails with.
- You could also try texting or having instant message chats with a Russian speaker to test your Russian writing skills.
Method 2 Quiz
Before you move to Russia, it’s important to:
Find a reliable website.You can use language learning websites and smartphone apps to help you master Russian quickly. Consider a Russian language learning website. Most of these websites are free. You can go onto most of them and click the links to find vocabulary, verb conjugations, the alphabet, helpful phrases, and so on.
- The trouble with using a website instead of a class is that you have no clear instruction about where to start and where to go next so that you’re not learning in a logical, organized manner.
- Language-learning websites are free, but they can be confusing.
Sign up for an online class.There are both free and paid Russian classes available online. Some of them are low cost, and some are available through online universities. Some universities that offer Russian courses include Cornell and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
- UCLA offers business and literature podcasts in Russian. These are good options for increasing your exposure to spoken Russian.
Download a language-learning app.There are several apps for smartphones and tablets that claim to teach Russian, and many of them are free. For example, the app AccelaStudy claims to teach Russian in a very short time frame.Other apps include Duolingo, Memrise, and Learn Russian.
- Apps make language learning mobile.
Meet a native speaker online.Use technology to its advantage. Find someone to teach you Russian over teleconference. If you already know someone who speaks Russian, just ask them to start video chatting so you learn from them. You might also look for a language partner in online forums or social media.
- For example, you could ask your friends on Facebook if they know anyone who speaks Russian who would be willing to teach you on video chat.
Join social media groups.You could join a group on on Facebook or in Google plus, or any social media platform that has groups. You might be able to find a group of people who are also interested in learning Russian. Go to the search bar in any social media and type in “Russian language groups.”
- Join the group, and as soon as you have permission, post a public message about your desire to learn Russian from someone in the group.
Method 3 Quiz
Which is better for learning Russian: an online language learning website, or an online language learning class?
QuestionI only want to know short phrases and stuff. Any tips?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could look up basic Russian phrases and jot those down, or purchase a book of useful Russian phrases.Thanks!
QuestionWhat's the best way of learning the cyrillic alphabet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost of the letters are very similar to Latin. If you know the Greek alphabet, even better. But there really isn't a best way as it just takes practice. You should just have a notebook open and write everything in Cyrillic.Thanks!
||Here's a great way to learn Russian starting from zero.|
To learn Russian quickly, try to pick up basic phrases you'll need, such as "Sdrastvooyte" for "Hello" and "Spaseeba" for "Thank you." Then, find a reliable app like Duolingo or AccelaStudy to teach you the language. Once you've begun to pick up the basics, you could try setting your phone to Russian so you get more familiar with the language. Additionally, try labeling items around your home with the Russian words. You could also sign up for an online class via a university or other provider.
- То improve your reading speed, buy some children's books in Russian.
- Learn step-by-step. For example, learning all six cases and genders from grammar tables is a monumental task. Instead, focus on the fact that as you go, things will slowly begin to tie together and your understanding will grow.
- Many Russian letters have an English equivalent, so seeing common English words written in Russian is a big help when trying to learn the alphabet. For example, who is this well known actor? Брэд Питт (answer: Brad Pitt)
- Not all books and material are accurate or current. Ask a native speaker if you are suspicious of a Russian language source.
Sources and Citations
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Video: How to learn Russian fast, fun and easy
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