How do you learn long words?

In Russian, how do you like to remember the longer words? They are spoken quite quickly and it is often quite hard to read them. They are definitely harder to remember than the words in something like German, which are quite logicly built.

I am interessed in an answer as well.

I just found that the difficulties of Russian gradually give way. The pronunciation, the impossible long words, the cases, verbs of motion, verb aspect, all of these things just gradually become more familiar with enough listening, reading and word review. Just trust your brain and keep LingQing it really works, but it takes time.

After a while, you see connections (links I suppose) between some of the afixes/prefixes/infixes that make up the bigger words, and the root words or nouns and verbs. Whilst these things dont really have a regular meaning, they often have a general meaning, a general concept. Typically, right now I can’t think of a good examples but I’ll repost later when i have one. Anyway, yes, after a bit of exposure you track some logic in the bigger words and find them to be a bit more straightforward.

I have a wonderful book called “Les mots russes par la racine” by Paul Clemens and Elena Chapovalova" which lists words according to just this general concept that @maths mentioned.

дум- thought, reflections: “выдумка” = invention, a made-up story; “раздуме” = reflection, hesitation.

(I wanted to spare myself from having to type a longer example, but here is a verb in both aspects: обдумывать обдумать = to consider sthg well, to weigh up the pro and contra)

There’s a similar book in English to the one SanneT mentions called “Roots of the Russian Language” By George Z. Patrick. It lists words in the exact same way and provides example sentences for each. If you subscribe to the so-called “Sentence Method” this is a very handy book to own.

ooh, they sound awesome, i’ll certainly track down the English version you mention.

ouch, £67.49 used on Amazon… hmmm

then £11.99 at waterstones,… panic over : )
and i’ll stop posting to myself : /

my method is to learn all the one-syllable and short two-syllable words I come across, especially if they have ancient meanings, like earth, wind, fire. They almost always come up as the basis of a zillion long words :wink:

I also find saying them out loud helps, slowly, then building up to native speed. After a while the muscle-memory of your jaw and mouth will kind of start spitting these long words out without you needing to concentrate so hard.

I use some similar tricks:

I start learning a set of flashcards by clicking through them a number of times without scoring anything. I pay close attention to the sample sentences that Lingq forces me to put in. (This feature was a stroke of genius, by the way. Incredible.) The sentence gives my subconscious mind an initial context, a sense of familiarity with the word.

For those long words, I just try to memorize the first few syllables. Most of the time, my subconscious mind (or muscle-memory, as maths says) will supply the rest of the word. A knowledge of roots, or similar words, is very helpful here, as noted above. But it does not matter if I correctly identify the root, or not. I just try to think of a similar-sounding word that I can use for association, and it doesn’t even have to be a word in Russian.

If I have to, I invent a silly mnemonic. Again, the sample sentence is useful for suggesting something. The mnemonic is only for short-term memory. Once I am able to get the word right as I flash-card, all of the association tricks just disappear.

An example: самозабвенный gave me trouble. (while forgetting one’s self). само is like сам (one’s self) and заб is like забыть (to forget) so самозаб- was easy. But the венный part wouldn’t stick. My sample sentence was about someone lying on a bed, absorbed in reading a book. So I imagined that the person’s name was Vinnie. Stupid, but it worked.