Friendly Russian: Learning How to Read & Write in Russian

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This Introductory course is called “Friendly Russian” for two main reasons: first, because I did my best not to leave anything unexplained (with the exception of one rubric – see below); second, because the course has a very practical orientation, both in terms of vocabulary and grammar. The course also gives you some tips on Russian culture, which is very important in any intercultural activity.

The primary purpose of the first chapter is to teach you how to read Russian. Russian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. On your way, you will get familiar with many Russian words (mostly nouns) and will also learn some important grammar structures.
The second chapter will introduce you to Russian verb conjugations, the prepositional case, and adjectival words (possessive pronouns, adjectives, etc.) as well as basic numerals.

After completion of this course, you will know how to navigate in the nominative and prepositional cases. You will be able to name many things around you, to describe them, to say (and to ask) who they belong to, and also to speak about some activities and places. All of this should give you a very solid basis for dealing with other Russianlanguage issues later on.

Beyond the alphabet, you will find 6 rubrics in every lesson:

  • Grammar
  • Reading Practice
  • Exercises
  • From the Survival Kit
  • Language and Culture
  • Speech Practice

All of these names are self-explanatory except perhaps for one: From the Survival Kit. This small rubric contains very common conversational formulas whose grammatical base will be explained later (in more advanced chapters). Take them for granted until then without dissecting them into components and try to put them to use right away in Speech Practice assignments. Such carefully selected ‘running ahead of grammar’ is necessary if you want the language to become functional sooner rather than later.

There is also a non-compulsory additional rubric called The Second Tier in some of the lessons. It is offered only for those students who plan to study Russian in greater depth.

I tried to do my best in writing the course, and now I will expect you to do your best in learning it. Don’t think that any language can be learned without an effort on your part (unless you are born ‘amidst it’). Usually, 1 – 2 hours a day (besides the class) is enough to succeed in learning the language, and you must find time for comprehension and reading practice and doing exercises. Good luck! - Жела́ю уда́чи!


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