Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Elementary Russian: Сегодня 31/VIII в кабинете! Today in the Lab, August 31... DO THIS FIRST!

Eat these soft French buns and drink some tea! (That's all the letters in the Russian alphabet... probably the shortest iteration, like our "Quick brown fox"...)

Добро пожаловать в лингафонную общину!! 

Welcome to the Language Lab! 

Every lab begins with individual, computer work--watching videos, listening to recordings, etc. Scroll through this page (DOWN!!) and make sure you've see all the relevant announcements...

Make sure you have a lab worksheet before you start! 

You have four short exercises. It should take you 15 minutes. Get the worksheet checked by a tutor or an instructor, and ask questions!!!

Be sure to keep this worksheet, as it will be included in the Portfolio for Unit 1! 

Worksheet stuff... 

Today, listen to Числительные (Numerals)... Прослушайте! Ех А, Б, В. These are the exercises on your lab worksheet, starting with the exercise ""You will now learn numbers..." Finished? Закончили? А теперь... And now, Listen to the list of PRIZES! and check off the ones named...

When you're finished, join us at the tables! Давайте посидим, поработаем! We'll work a bit on your пропись, your handwriting... Now is the time to ask for extra help, if you need it. 


Second Year Russian: Числительные, безличные выражения... 31го августа 2016

Лингафонный кабинет. Сегодня 31го августа. Добро пожаловать в лингафонный кабинет!

Do you have a lab worksheet? Есть у вас раздаточная карточка? 


First listen to the numbers in their inflected, genitive form.

Линк на слушание (Numbers in Genitive), А. и Б.

You'll hear выше (higher), ниже (lower), около (about), от (from) до (up to)... These words demand the genitive case of the nouns that follow them. Around five=Около пяти́. (That's the genitive form of the cardinal number five.)

Here are some more genitive forms of numbers...

Oколо ноля (around zero), одного (one), двух (two), трёх (three), четырёх, тридцати́, двадцати́, семи́, тридцати́ пяти́.... It's frustrating that they give you no explanations... But just remember, you're hearing the genitive form of numbers...

Around thirty=Около традцати́. Higher than 18=Выше восемьна́дцати. Lower than 2=ниже двух. (Двух is the genitive form of два, two...)

On your handout, jot down the numbers you hear in Б. Now do the telephone numbers.

Вот... Поняли? Don't get bogged down here with the inflected forms. Part of the point is that you can understand the meaning ("around 5") without understanding the underlying grammar.

Что такое безличное выражения? What's an impersonal expression? At the tables, we'll use them! It's how you say "I'm cold!" Мне холодно!
  1. Impersonal sentences in Russian are sentences that don't have a grammatical subject.
  2. In English, impersonal sentences have a grammatical subject, but not a logical one:
              It is very cold in January. 
    The subject, it, in this sentence does not refer to anything or anyone in particular. 
  3. Russian often uses an adverb as the predicate in impersonal constructions:          Здесь холодно. It is cold here          Завтра будет тепло. It will be warm tomorrow.

Russian often uses impersonal construction when describing how a person feels. The person IF EXPRESSED in such constructions
will be in the dative case:
  • Мне холодно здесьI feel cold. (Compare the sentence Здесь холодно.)
  • Сергею там было интересно. It was interesting for Sergej there.
  • Наташе здесь будет холодно. Natasha will feel cold here.

Dative Case памятка... 

You'll need to recall the dative forms of the personal pronouns..

Dative CaseМнеТебеЕмуЕйЕму
Dative CaseНамВамИм

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome to SPREES | Thursday September 1 5:30 pm in SPREES house | meet the faculty & students

(Kind of) learn to read Russian in 15 minutes!

This cartoon introduces you to the letters in the Russian alphabet, a subset of Cyrillic. It's pretty good... it has a lot of terminological problems, and some outright errors, but as a pragmatic and quick guide to learning the letters, it gets the job done. Enjoy!

It continues here...

Песенка про азбуку!

A great ABC song--almost every letter (not ъ ь ы, but that's because words cannot start with these letters!) corresponding with the first letter in an animal's common name. You should memorize this song!

Some useful resources for learning the Russian alphabet...

Here are some resources for learning the Russian alphabet and the first couple of units of Голоса.  
  • list (in Word (.doc) format) of Russian sight words—these are calques from and homophones of English. (Not all the words are from English—some are words that both Russian and English borrowed from other sources, like Greek, Latin and German.) You received a copy of this list in class. Here's the same list, written out in cursive, if you'd like to practice your cursive!
  • recording (mp3, your browser should just play it) of me, reading the words above. I’ve slowed down the recording a bit so that you’re better able to hear my pronunciation of individual phonemes.
  • Memrise, an excellent learning resource... the smartest flashcards you'll ever find. 
  • creepy version of the Russian alphabet from IKEA (the number one foreign investor in Russia!). In fact, the Russians don’t NEED an alphabet song, and no one sings it and no one teaches it to kids. It’s a phonetic alphabet—there aren’t really standardized names for the letters, as there must be in English. (How else would we explain how to spell our crazy words???)
  • The Golosa site, where you can listen to recordings of many of the exercises from the Алфавит (Alphabet) section.
  • For those of you who want to perfect your Russian cursive (пропись), some “worksheets” that I concocted (in .doc format). Wikipedia has an excellent overview of the uses and idiosyncrasies of Russian handwriting.  
  • A first-year student рекомендует this video to learn your ABCs... I like this one, too... Learn your Russian animals while you learn the алфавит!

An overview of the Russian alphabet

If you're having problems learning the alphabet, or if you're just bored... please watch An Introduction to the Russian Alphabet (total of around 30 minutes). Да, знаю! Yeah, I know... It's really rough and I'm really longwinded, but watch it anyway.

In class, I provide you with a list of "sight words." (Here's a copy.) These are simple Russian words, often cognates with English or another language. The premise: You start with the first word, which is made up of shared letters between Russian and English. Then, word by word, the list introduces and reinforces new letters. By the time you complete the list, you've learned all 3444 letters in the Russian alphabet! You can listen to me reading the list of words here