"Learning Russian has been very enlightening about how well-designed and logical a language can be."
How I did it: I did it by putting a lot of time and energy into immersing myself in the Russian language. That means lots of studying, along with listening to Russian music, watching Russian television shows and movies, and spending time with Russian-speaking people.
Lessons & tips:
The trick to learning any language is immersion, but it's not in the cards for us all to just study abroad for the sake of learning a language, so you have to find ways to immerse yourself in your own environment.
For me, it started with two learning resources: The Living Language book "Learn Russian In 4 Easy Steps", coupled with the interactive learning at LiveMocha.com
. I did one lesson per day at LiveMocha, and read one unit in the book every day.
After a few weeks, I'd built a very basic vocabulary. Not enough to converse, but enough to recognize some words. From here, the important next step is learning to hear in a new language. That means downloading lots of music and watching lots of movies. Fortunately, there are endless resources for movies and music in Russian. A few good places to start are tv na sharu
and russian remote
Keep doing one lesson online and one lesson in the book every day... and start changing your listening habits to include mostly Russian music, and your viewing habits to include mostly Russian tv and movies.
I suggest watching documentaries when you are learning, because the vocabulary is more useful and because the speech will be clearer.
Later, when you're starting to get a really solid vocabulary, find some Russian web sites related to topics you are interested in. For me, that meant travel web sites and photography web sites... in Russian. Because I'm interested in them, I will force myself to keep reading even when I find words I don't know.
Finally, the most important part in learning any language is talking to people. Make some friends and use your new language.
Resources: Start with LiveMocha. It's free, it's good, and in immediately puts you in contact with real, Russian speaking people.
When you need help with vocabulary, there is no better site than WordReference
If you can ignore the porn ad banners, MP3Wall
has a ton of Russian music available for download.
You'll also like the word of the day and street sign of the day at MasterRussian
And finally, don't forget to join the MasterRussian forums
, where you can learn from other people's questions as well as asking your own.
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