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A Gentle Introduction to Russian Grammar for Beginners

Learn Russian with RussianPod101

Hello there.

You may have heard some things about Russian grammar. Or, you may have not.

According to the US Defense language institute, Russian is a Category 4 language in terms of difficulty. Category 5 is the hardest and it includes Japanese, Chinese and Korean. (Category 5. Ooh, scary).

Russian Grammar Linguajunkie.com

What does that mean? According to that Institute…

  • Russian requires an estimated 1,100 hours (44 weeks) of serious study.
  • In comparison, Category 5 languages require double that – 2,200 hours or 88 weeks.

Of course, difficulty is relative.

This is in the perspective of native English speakers.

Obviously, Chinese speakers will have an easier time with Japanese. Bulgarian speakers will have an easier time with Russian. Difficulty is relative. Also, be aware that there are millions of English speakers learning Korean, Chinese and Japanese and succeeding. They do it because they’re interested in the culture, the music, the tv-shows and they’re getting ahead.

Again, difficulty is relative.

So, I hope the information above doesn’t scare you. It was compiled by language scientists. And luckily for you, you don’t need to study a language like a scientist or a translator.

You want to speak Russian like a normal human being, not know every intricate grammar rule and exception. (And to be perfectly honest, any regular native speaker will have trouble explaining their own language’s grammar to you.)

So, what makes Russian “difficult”?
Good question. Glad I asked.

In the case of Russian, there is 1 major headache that makes it so difficult.

  • It’s not the pronunciation.
  • It’s not the alphabet.

It’s grammar!

But wait, isn’t this called “A Gentle Introduction of Russian Grammar?”

Indeed it is, my friend. And trust me, I’ll be gentle.

Here’s a question for you: Which of these is more practical and useful?

  1. You learn how to introduce yourself in Russian with the 5 lines that I teach you.
  2. You memorize the dative case so you can conjugate verbs and nouns. Then, you recite them back at me.

I’ll answer this for you. It’s #1. #2 is great for tests and showing off your memorization skills. Memorizing and diving head first into grammar rules, in the case of actually speaking Russian, is not practical.

  • Why would you want to dive head first into something that doesn’t get you speaking Russian?
  • Why would you want to dive head first into the 1 thing that makes Russian so hard to learn?

Russian language has complex grammar and to master it all will take years.

Years! Years of not speaking the language but learning RULES.

But, if you want to start speaking Russian, you can do it in a matter of weeks. Yes, you will be speaking in a few weeks, using simple daily expressions and getting them into simple sentences. That’s what people do in daily conversations. They don’t study grammar.

Professional linguists study grammar to understand how Russian works as a science.

Ordinary learners don’t need it as a science. They need skills.

You can get these skills faster than you think. Focus on things you want to say and avoid the complicated grammar rules explanations. It will be your next step. The first step will be to start speaking. Start learning with Online Audio/Video Courses like RussianPod101.

To Summarize:

Step 1: Focus on conversation and things you want to say.
– You’ll realize you need a certain grammar point.
Step 2: Look up the grammar point to make Step 1 possible.
– You’ll be speaking Russian.

So, here’s my gentle advice to you.
Avoid the hardest part of the language – the grammar. Yes, you need it. But tackling it head on is useless and counterproductive. It’s like reading about “learning language” without actually “learning the language.” (Oh, hello!)

You want to read, speak, write and understand Russian. These come first. Grammar comes second. Learn  grammar to improve your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. Don’t learn grammar so that you can speak, read, write and listen – you won’t. It doesn’t work that way.

Start speaking first and you will not find Russian hard to learn.

Feel free to disagree.

This is coming from a native Russian speaker.

– The Main Junkie

Sources:

Learn Russian with RussianPod101

2 thoughts on “A Gentle Introduction to Russian Grammar for Beginners”

  1. From the beginning of the learning procedure each process flows are very much in demand to make the move in attaching the sentences smoother plus functional in all the possible manner. in order to do well in educational belonging before mentioned guidelines and the course of actions are the key factors in making the most out of it. Therefore this is an ample actions in guiding the best part in educational belongings.

  2. have been conversational in both Korean and Japanese, and Russian is MUCH harder than. They may be more difficult to read and write, but are much easier to speak than Russian.

    Further, the difficulty of Russian is simple – there is no baby talk, or pigeon Russian. Every other language I have learned has enough simple language you can stammer your way through a sentence. Yes, there are a few Russian phrases that allow you to do this, but not very many. And not enough to make a basic conversation.

    My thoughts,

    Wayne

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