Well, today was the first day I returned to my Russian language book, The New Penguin Russian Course by Nicholas J. Brown. As I said I would, I sat down this evening for a solid study session, which ended up coming in at around 45 minutes. During that time I worked my way through all of Chapter 4. It wasn’t a thorough work through, to be sure, more of a “reading for the first time to become acquainted” deal. Nevertheless, I’m now starting to get familiar with the present tense conjugation of the three main types of verbs. I was also briefly introduced to the inflected nature of Russian, which wasn’t that bad at all, after working with German for so long.
I’m getting better at reading Cyrillic, and pretty quick, too. I was honestly surprised that I picked the alphabet back up so quickly after such a long break. While I still have to think briefly about some of the letters, mostly the sounds just pop into my head when I look at the corresponding letters.
However, I am having some difficulty in getting my mouth to produce some of the sounds in a chain, thus producing a word that a Russian might (hopefully) understand. Particularly when reading new words out loud, my pace is stumbling at best. But that’s okay: practice makes perfect!
Since writing my “back to languages!” post, I’ve relistened to two lessons of Pimsleur’s Russian 1. I listened to lessons 5 and 6 again because that’s where I trailed off previously. I was surprised here as well: for the most part, I remembered everything from them. I think later this evening I’ll have a go at lesson 7.
Fairly soon I need to dip back into my book to chapter 2, which explains how to write in the Russian script. Russians don’t write their language the same way its printed in books, newspapers, and on the web. While some of the written letters are quite similar to the printed time, some of them are a bit different. You can see what I mean by taking a look at this picture. If you’re learning to write in Russian script, you might want to check out this page, which has animated GIFs of how all the letters are written.