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Self-Teaching Russian

  1. Aug 5, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone!
    I'm really interested in learning forigen languages.
    I'm taking Spanish in school, and have achieved enough fluency to be able to participate in most conversations.
    Now, I'd like to start learning Russian.
    I've started with teaching myself the Cyrillic alphabet. Is this a good place to start?
    Also, do any of you have suggestions for useful resources for self-teaching a forigen language?
    I'd also like to self-teach German as well.
    Thank you for any ideas to help me learn more languages.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2014 #2
    I've tried a lot of foreign language programs, and the best one seems to be Pimsleur. I have the Japanese version and have been learning it for a few months on my way to work. I drive 30 minutes to work and every lesson is 30 minutes, so it works out pretty good. But learning a language so different from English seems like it can take a while. I have 90 lessons to go through and I've had to repeat lessons so many times, in the 2 or so months I've been doing it, I'm only up to level 17.
    Here's an example of it.

    However, if you want to learn how to write it as well, I'd suggest another resource. Pimsleur seems to be for people who plan to travel to another country and want to be able to get around using the native language. I don't think you'll become fluent with Pimsleur. To become fluent in a foreign language seems to me like completing a language program is only the beginning. I think you pretty much have to change your whole lifestyle for several years to become fluent in a foreign language. It's a tall order.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Aug 6, 2014 #3


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    When learning a language, one must start with the alphabet, so learning Cyrillic (Kirilitsa; Кириллица) is important, but so is learning the pronunciation with it's nuances and irregularities/exceptions.
  5. Aug 6, 2014 #4


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    Learning a new language after your teens is difficult. Acquiring fluency in a foreign language requires 'rewiring' your brain. The very young acquire language skills with considerable ease because the brain is very 'plastic'. That 'plasticity' rapidly diminishes with age as 'free' neural paths connect with the majority.
  6. Aug 6, 2014 #5
    Check out Duolingo for german.
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