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Colorblend

Tips on how to learn the cyrillic alphabet?

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So, I am going to Russia this summer and as I always do, I try to learn a bit of the native language so I can A: help myself get along when there is a language barrier and B: try to talk to people and make an ass out of myself. My mother tongue is Swedish and I have fiddled around with latin languages, slavic languages are new to me. I need to start in the starting blocks, the alphabet. I watched a couple of videos but I would like to hear tips on what made it easy for other people (you). Did you you use a specific process, app, video or just some little mind game that worked out for you? I definetly think I need to know the alphabet and not just learn a few phrases by how they sound. What good is it knowing what subway stop you are going to if you can't read the signs? 

For me, music has been helpful in language learning. I learned German by listening to german music with printed translations. When I learned a bit of Spanish I used Fluentu and they use plenty of kid's music in their videos which is awesome. Simple melodies that stick, simple wording that you can learn. Movies in the target language with subtitles in my mother tongue or English (actually I prefer English) are very helpful. I also drew my own corny flashcards which helped, it is a bit of work but it is quite good for me. 

So that is my starting point: How should I start handling the cyrillic alphabet? It seems difficult now but I have to attack from some angle.......



Edit: Come to think of it: suitable flashcards that one can print out would be great for this task. In south America I would stuff my flashcards in my pocket and rehearse whenever I was waiting for my food or whatever. In my opinion, physical cards trumps the smartphone any day. 

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Well, Ideas I have, or at least previous experiences. I haven't actually dived into something yet but I am interested in some good visual flashcard stuff to start out with. Any tips? You know, the super-obvious stuff like "A" and a picture of the corresponding letter along with a guy who drops an anvil on his foot and goes "aaAAAAAAAH!".

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Just use Duolingo, Memrise or some other app for it. Check out some youtube videos and practice by reading some texts. It's not that hard, the letters are very similar to the Roman alphabet.

+ I just spent a couple of months in Saint Petersburg and all the metro stations also have the station names written in Roman letters + the metro is very easy and simple to use there anyway. I still mix up some of the S-sounds though + it's impossible to know when they pronounce O as an A (like the last letter in Спасибо = thank you, is pronounced as A). 

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6 hours ago, codardia said:

it's impossible to know when they pronounce O as an A 

It is possible to know. You need to memorize and apply this vowel declension rule until it becomes second nature:

  • Vowels ‘а’ and ‘о’ are pronounced [a] either in initial position or 1 syllable before stress. Otherwise they reduce to “schwa” [ə].

The other one you'll eventually need, if you aren't using it yet, is:

  • Unstressed vowels ‘e’ and ‘я’ (and ‘a’ after ‘ч, щ’) are pronounced [ə] in final position and [йи] if word-initial. Otherwise they reduce to [и].
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** impossible for my lazy brain

Good to know this stuff, it was driving me insane and one Russian speaker told me that there are no rules for this stuff so I never bothered to look more into it (:

Wanda Kaishin likes this

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On 1/7/2018 at 6:03 PM, codardia said:

** impossible for my lazy brain

Good to know this stuff, it was driving me insane and one Russian speaker told me that there are no rules for this stuff so I never bothered to look more into it (:

I will try my best to learn the rules, if there are any. In Swedish there are some things that learners have to just memorize as they go along because there are rules that don't apply all the time, you have random exceptions. Any randomness in Russian I will simply look past, just like you. :) In my mind being able to communicate is the main priority and making it all sound right is always second. 

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wanda, 

wunschdeutsh-brazileis-ultrafransai-ultraspaniol (english HS (house stile) further down)

valeu pela explicassao! wirklich komisch, ich hab einen russisch-kurs in brasilien gemacht, ich bin durch russland gereist, und es is mir nie bewusst geworden, dass russisch ein schwa hat. parfoi jécoutais un A, et jai pensé que le O non accentué était toujours un A. pero en aquel tiempo yo ni mismo sabía lo que es un shwa - cuando lo oía, pensaba que era un A cansado. bom, eu até olhei na wikipedia, e realment eles confirmam essa informassao. das heisst, es heisst nich /garba'tSov/ sondern /g@rba'tSov/, com shwa na primeira sílaba?

apprendre cyrillic: una vez envié de japón un relatorio sobre mi viage por la rusia a una amiga. a amiga era aleman, eu screví im alemao, mais im cada parágrafo eu substituia uma letra do alfabeto romano por uma do cirílico. im ersten absatz ersetzte ich das römische B durch das kirillische, dann das römische D durch das kirillische, dann F, etc. jusca la fin, il était tout en alman, mais en cirilic. y ella comprendió todo. depois de ler 12 páginas, ela tinha aprendido cirílico - claro ki skeceu cuasi ki imediatament depois, por falta de treino. aber sie hatte ein interesse an mich, y yo por ella... a la fin on a restee ensemble... entonces sería bueno si tuvieras una amiga en la cual tu estás interesado - o interesada: no se si colorblend es un ombre o una mujer... de cuauker manera: você tem ki pedir pra essa amiga ou amigo ki viaj pela russia, i nu fim screva um relatório ond ela/e va substituindu letra pur letra até nu fim só te sirílicu... 

bei der aussprache von E und O muss ma wissen wo die betonung liegt, und das is beim russki ein richtiges ratespil, die betonung kann überall jederzeit sein. sest sertenemen util si on peu lir dee text ou lee mo on dés accen, pour se rapeleee ou il son. 

yo voy a escrivir en cima versiones reformadas de las lenguas que ablo, o las lenguas van fusionando lentamente en dirección al europano, a mix af al europano linguas, izi tu spik e comprend. i nu blocu di baxu é im inglish. aba im house stile (HS) der TESS, the english spelling society. das is ain reformirtes inglishe mit nur 4 änderungen. sa veu dir con peu aprendre avec lés ôtre coment on écriv, mais avec moi comen on prononce lee mo. a no ser que yo aga errores... eu num so perfectu im nenhuma língua, i acin us otru podim mi corrijir tamben...

english HS

wanda,

thanks for the explanation! funny, i made a russian course in brazil, i travelled thru russia, and i've never got conscious that russian has a schwa. sometimes i herd an /a/, and i thaught that unstressd O in russian is always A. but by that time i didnt even know what a shwa is - wen i herd it, i thaught it is a tired A. well, now i eeven lookd up in wikipedia, and they also confirm that. so does that meen that it is not /garba'tSov/ but /g@rba'tSov/ with shwa in the first syllable?

lerning cyrillic: once i sent from japan a report about my trip thru russia to a frend. the frend was german, i wrote in german, but in evry paragraf i substituted a cirillic letter for a roman one, starting with B, then D, F, etc, until in the end it was all in cirillic, eeven if in german. and she understood evrything. after reeding 12 pages, she could reed cirilic - of course she forgot evrything imeediately after, becaus of lak of traning. but she was intrested in me, and i was intrested in her... after all we stayd together... so it would be good if yu had a frend yu'r intrested in getting closer. yu could ask this frend to travel thru russia and then send yu a report of 12 pages ware the person substitutes letter by letter until it is all cirilic. 

to pronounce words propperly in russki, yu hav to know ware the stress is, and thats a real guessing game in russki, the stress can be evryware all the time, i think it is much worse than in english. so i guess it is good to reed texts that show the stress, to remember ware they ar. 

in the upper blok i'l write in reformd versions of the languages i speek, or the languages converge into europano, a mix af al europano linguas, izi tu spik e comprend. and in the bottom blok it wil be inglish, but in house stile - of TESS, the english spelling society. this is an idea of starting with a reform that has 4 changes. this meens that lerners can lern the rite spelling reeding uther peeples messages, but with me they lern the pronunciacion; at leest as long as i can pronounce the word the rite way... i'm not perfect in enny language, so the uthers can corect me too...

 

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