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понедельник, вторник, вчера…oops!

October 5, 2012

Russian is a tricky language. I knew that from the get-go, but I didn’t realize why it would be tricky.

I thought it would be difficult because of the very strange looking (to me) Cyrillic language.
Then I realized that actually that was the easy part.
Grammar is the tricky part.
One the one hand, learning to read in Russian is pretty easy because the letters always say the same sound. On the other hand, you can’t really tell where the accented or stressed syllables are. Hence, I sometimes find myself wanting to stress the same syllables in words like бабочка and бабушка. (Butterfly and old woman/grandmother)
But, just as in English, stressing the right syllable can be a big deal – a word changer, ha.
Thankfully I have a very patient “teacher,” who doesn’t laugh too much when I say things like “понедельник, вторник, вчера” (Monday, Tuesday, yesterday) instead of “понедельник, вторник, среда.” (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). My brain doesn’t think very well in Russian, and even things that I know (like the days of the week) make me stop and think for a minute. (If I answer too fast it will almost always be wrong. Oops.)
Grammar is the tricky part because everything changes. Or so it seems. So while you can learn the infinitive case of something, apparently you will rarely use it as such.
So while we change the pronoun in English for things like the example below, in Russian, not only does the pronoun change, but also the verb and the noun.
Simple example:
I can’t – я не могу
They can’t – они не могут
He can’t – Он не может
See how “can’t” changes in all three instances?
Since I am not taking a Russian class, and am instead just meeting up with a student worker every now and then, I haven’t yet figured out a good way to learn noun declension, verb tenses, etc. So this is very slow going.
But…at least I am learning something. =)
And I also just learned that if I highlight typed Russian and change it to italics, it will change it to handwritten Russian (which is different than printed Russian). Never knew that. =)
(I haven’t yet tried to learn how to handwrite Russian)
And…that’s all. =)
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2012 1:41 pm

    The Romance languages have clitic forms of the pronouns, which stop just short of being verb inflections: e.g. French Je le vois, ‘I see him’; Spanish Dígame, ‘Tell me’.

  2. October 9, 2012 8:16 am

    I’m so proud of you for trying to learn Russian! It inspires me to want to try to learn another language. Only, I’m not very motivated. lol

    • October 9, 2012 2:09 pm

      Aww, thanks. I know, I haven’t ever been either! I hope this lasts, haha. =)

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