Привет товарищи! (preevyet tavareeshi) Greetings Comrades!
It's easy to look like real Russians. You just need some Adidas and some ill matched shoes. Maybe steal your grandfather's hat, and then...SQUAT.
Not really. These gentlemen are proud Gopniks. But not all Russians look like them.
But now it's time to start sounding like real Russians.
I've already given you guidelines on how to do a Russian impression.
You've (hopefully) watched hours of videos of Putin to get a feel for the sound.
Now we need to start talking.
Don't you agree?
да или нет? (da ilee nyet) yes or no?
Enough of that. Now you need some structured learning. So I'm going to direct you to some sources.
Perhaps the best starting point to get you uttering Russian is Pimsleur. Basically it's a series of listen and repeat tasks with a small amount of new learning built in.
Now for this courses I'm going to give a score on the Putin Scale (PS). Basically it translates to a ratio of what ratio of the words Putin says to the words you understand. I usually work out how many words per second he's covering and time myself over a minute.
I own all three sets of Pimsleur Russian. After finishing the first one I was on a 12/1 on the PS. After the second one I dropped down to 8/1 PS. I'm assuming that after the third I'll be on 6/1. I'm excited. I'll almost not be totally baffled by what he's on about.
These courses are great for a beginner because straight away you're saying things like 'excuse me' and 'where is' asking the way to 'Red square', which in Russian has about THE most Russian sounding name you can imagine.
Whilst you're working through these lessons (and they can sometimes be hard) I'd advise making a start on Duolingo.
As you can see the format is very friendly. It's a gentle introduction to reading, writing and then listening with a nice level of progression. And whilst as a stand alone it's not quite enough to make any solid progress, it's a great supplementary activity. You're given skills to learn and you must pass these to unlock harder tasks making the whole thing look, feel and sound like a game.
Lastly I'm going to recommend you buy or download a book.
I'm told this is THE standard text for learning Russian in British universities. Using this as your bible I'm assured that with application a serious student can reach a level of reading fluency sufficient to enjoy a Russian newspaper.
That's all for this time. I'll have a few more suggestions next time and then we can move forward with a little more learning.
If you would like me to help you get hold of copies of anything I've mentioned today let me know below and I'll see what I can do. If you want to follow me (and compete!?) on Duolingo, leave your details below and I'll add you.
I started off with some 'low' Russian culture. To finish, here's something a more elevated.
How can you not love a country which uses the colour blue so masterfully?