Archive for the ‘learning aids’ Category

Yelena over at the Transparent Language Russian blog site has published an excellent article written by guest blogger David Roberts.  The post looks at the song «Миллион алых роз» by «Алла Пугачёва» [Alla Pugacheva] .


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I just realized that there are a bunch of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons which have Russian voice-overs available on YouTube.  If you search for Веселые мелодии (Merrie Melodies), you’ll find a bunch of them!

Here is a sample, the wonderful Чего готовим, Док? (What’s cooking, Doc?)


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YearlyGlot has an excellent post regarding the use of flash cards.  He hates them, and I agree with him 100%.  And while I learned things and had a great time sitting in on Russian classes, most of the vocabulary and grammar that I learned there hasn’t been retained in long term memory, because I was trying to memorize 100 words a week and all of these grammar lessons at such an accelerated pace — but by rote memorization, not by use.  It’s not the way that our brains work.

Additionally, our brains don’t like to remember unhappy stuff.  It’s why “the good old days” always seem like they were.  If you want to build those happy little neural pathways to learn a new language, USE the language and do it in a context that is pleasant and hopefully fun.  If you like to write – I mean using paper and a pen – then sit down in a comfy chair in front of the fire with a glass of port, your favorite fountain pen and practice writing.  If you like reading, substitute the pen and paper with a book in a foreign language.  If, like Chauncy Gardener, you like to watch, then go to http://russianremote.com and watch some Russian films.  No subtitles?  Don’t worry about it.  If you are just starting, ok, then watch some of the movies on my site with subtitles.   If you like conversing, use a site like http://sharedtalk.com and find some folks to chat with, either with IM or voice chat.  The site provides both.  The voice chat is kind of wonky at Shared Talk, so if you find someone you’d like to chat with, suggest moving to Skype.

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For those of you who have been waiting, I have finished uploading the rest of the episodes of the 2003 production of  “Idiot” and all are episodes available to watch on one page.

This really was an amazing adaptation.  Check it out and see if you don’t get hooked!

Hey, here’s a question for you newbies!  See if you can figure out why the title of the movie is spelled like it is.   First describe what’s unexpected about the spelling and then why it is spelled thusly.

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I wanted to pass along my enthusiastic regard for Don Livington’s Russian Word of the Day blog. It is such a delight to read, one almost forgets that it’s educational! His examples are clear, cogent and often very funny (humor goes a LONG way with me…) I find myself perusing over previous posts again and again. His writing style is that enjoyable.   His most recent post on examining the word Понедельник is just amazing, and his illustration using days of the week in various cases is something I have never seen in any Russian textbook.

I find myself in the unlikely position of quoting Sarah Palin if I try to answer the question, “What are your favorite posts in Don’s blog?” The only answer I can come up with is, “All of ’em”.

Читайте!   Russian Word of the Day, вот  http://shininghappypeople.net/rwotd/

Now I’m curious…  Would Russians say, “Русское слово в день”?

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This is a short clip from YouTube that has some vocab included, then Russian and English subtitles simultaneously on the screen.  Pretty cool, I may have to think about making some of these.

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I’ve written about this before, but with the «Мастер и Маргарита» summer reading project, it seems appropriate to discuss it again — or at least to remind myself of these techniques. 

  1. Have fun!
  2. Be comfortable
  3. Don’t worry about every single word, or (gasp) every sentence
  4. To word list or not to word list
  5. Don’t be afraid to re-read a sentence, paragraph or chapter
  6. Read out loud
  7. Talk about (or write about) what you’ve read


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