I’m learning Russian. What should I focus on next?
Russian was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 26 December 1991. Russian is the largest native language in Europe and the most geographically widespread language in Eurasia. Russian is also the second-most widespread language on the Internet, after English. Russian is used in an official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states. Large numbers of Russian speakers are residents of other countries like Israel and Mongolia. It is an East Slavic language native to the Russians in Eastern Europe and an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and is used widely throughout the Caucasus, Central Asia, and to some extent in the Baltic states. Russian is the seventh-most spoken language in the world by a number of native speakers and the eighth-most spoken language in the world by a total number of speakers. It is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, with over 258 million total speakers worldwide. The language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Learning a language requires a learner to be proficient in all four parameters - reading, writing, speaking, and listening, besides Grammar! In my opinion, the first thing you must focus on when starting with Russian should be 'Learning to speak Russian'! But to reach this stage you should start by:
Actively listening to, as many relevant audio resources you find – online, in libraries, repeatedly until the pronunciation, the accent, the pitch, the tone and the speed gets embedded in your subconscious. It is not possible to speak a language if you cannot identify the words being spoken. So this is an important step towards your primary goal of speaking Russian. This will help you train your ear, identify spoken words and get you ‘in tune’ with the speech. After multiple listening episodes, take the transcript of the audio clip and read along maintaining the same pronunciation, accent, pitch, tone and speed. You could listen to Podcasts, News, Audiobooks, Russian songs, Talk Shows, Documentaries and much more! YouTube videos, Spotify Russian playlists are a few of the top valuable, effective and interesting audio language learning programs that will catapult your learning!
Shadow what you have been hearing all along in the audio clips now with the transcript. Speak as though you delivered the original dialogues. loud and clear.
Practice writing the Italian alphabet. They are fairly easy and a lot encouraging once you get the hang of it! Start by learning the vowels and consonants present in the language, moving over to two letter and three letter words. Spend considerable time mastering it before moving on to our last stop!
Read what you are writing in the Cyrillic script after regular intervals to memorize the Russian alphabets and get a grasp on the pronunciation, the accent, the pitch, the tone and the speed. Read children’s story books, magazines or newspapers, new articles on food/travel blog, politics/history, etcetera. Lastly, focus on Grammar, that will further strengthen your grasp on the language
Remember learning Russian gives you potential access to over 258 million people, a language that is the 7th most-spoken language in the world by native speakers and the eighth-most spoken language in the world by total number of speakers. And by being able to speak Russian, you will join the 258 million people of the world.
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