Russian grammar in writing and speaking

Hi there,
I am a total beginner in Russian. For me it works best to follow the FLR method, when it comes to output and using the grammar. So that’s what I did. I went to a language learning forum and I chatted away. Undoubtedly, I made many mistakes, and in the end people told me I should first learn the cases properly. I was kind of taken aback, as I was trying really hard to make myself understood!

Then I submitted a text in Russian for correction. I gave it to a Russian friend of mine, who happens to be a language teacher. I did okay, and again I had many mistakes, as was to be expected.
When my friend gave me back my correction, he asked if I ever planned on learning the cases.
I am working with TY and I went through another course a while back. I know that I don’t know the cases very well yet, but I feel that this whole talk about grammar and cases keeps me from practicing and enjoying the language. I know that there are many things to consider, learning a language, and that grammar to a certain degree is important. But how am I supposed to learn from my mistakes, if I am not allowed to submit something with mistakes.
A similar thing happened to me in Chinese, where I was told I better learn word order, before I keep submitting stuff! I am a total beginner in both languages, and I am talking about places for learners, so I didn’t go to a forum for natives!

Do you have similar experience? When do you start submitting stuff for correction? How do you go about “destructive” criticism?

I would avoid submitting stuff for correction up to a good intermediate level.
Before you are a beginner, it can bring you more harm and frustration that some profit.
What about the Grammar lessons - of course, it’s boring to learn only Grammar even in such a grammar languages as Russian or German.
I would recommend you to mix some lessons with everyday situations and some easy grammar lessons.
You can use my courses 'Русский с нуля", “Базовые модели”, “Мои первые диалоги”, “Мои первые тексты”, “Начинаем говорить по-русски”, “Простые тексты” combining with my grammar lessons from “Грамматические модели”, “Первые шаги”, “Практическая грамматика”
But it is very bad to hurry up with Russian!..
You have to go ahead very slowly before you are sure that you know the basic level of Russian - otherwise you will be always unsure with Russian!
Viel Erfolg!

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Those are constructive criticism, in both cases - Russian and Chinese.
It is your attitude that is hindering you and, in that sense, destructive.

I am sorry but I beg to differ… constructive criticism is packed in a corresponding and non-offensive tone, and if a weakness is known to a person criticising you, then there is no need to point it out again, now is there?

But I get it, I mean you probably are perfect in the languages you are learning, and the people who criticised me in this nonchalant way are already able to speak at least 3 languages fluently, and I offended them by posting something so basic in an attempt to understand their native language better, and I screwed up and offended their eyes with my terrible Russian / Chinese and my mistakes.

I am truly sorry for trying to learn something, and that I honestly could consider myself being in the same boat as you ( a fellow learner), well what do I know!

You have another major but related problem: you spread yourself too thin, which prevents you from learning the basics of a language well. This, I already noticed last year or the year before when you talked about your problems with other languages. All this exploration of languages is okay if you enjoy it, but you voice so much frustration.

Your original post said nothing of offensive tones! Re-read it yourself.

I am essentially trying a new technique in my Russian. That being completely ignoring grammar until I get to a more intermediate/advanced level of understanding and vocab. By grammar I specifically mean case declensions and verb endings. After lots of time with german studies I still completely suck at the cases and especially the random article genders. Studying tables and grammar drill books seemed to be no help for me.

Your method is fine if it gets you writing and practicing the language in a way you enjoy, but what I really really want to stress is the importance of imperfection. It takes a real long time to get good at grammar. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think learning all the correct case endings is really important in the early stages of Russian.

I agree with you, I never really can decide what to learn. And I feel that if I stick to one language to improve it (learn more than the basics), I will be stuck with it forever, and that I will never learn all the other languages. That is a big problem with me, since I do love learning, and I love languages. :wink:

Thanks for the tip, I wanted to do something similar, with only LingQ and Pimsleur for Russian… But then again I feel like I should go through some Teach yourself, or any other grammar based course…
Writing is a problem, since I cannot build correct sentences, and copying down stuff isn’t for me… I get bored very easily, unfortunately, which is bad for learning languages…

yea, I find the hardest part in language learning is the first few months. As an english speaker, I find romance languages much faster to get going with than most others because I can jump right into interesting material. There are so many similar words and generally speaking a similar sentence structure.

Unfortunately, once you step outside that bunch it isn’t so easy and the beginner period can be a bit of a slow grind as everything is so foreign and different that you don’t know where to begin. I find by far the most difficult languages to get going on (for me) are the agglutinative ones, or the ones that have really different sentence structures like Japanese, Korean, and Turkish. The good news with Russian: sentence structure is very easy. You can keep things very straightforward and you don’t have to strain too much on translating your thoughts into a totally wacky and goofy structure like the ones I mentioned above.

The hardest part with russian, in the beginning, is getting used to how strange and consonant heavy the words are. It all really sounds the same, like a random smattering of consonants stuck together that our western euro brains can’t quite understand when we get started. However, if you keep plowing through with listening and reading it starts coming together relatively quickly. Once you get past the beginner stuff there is loads of great material out there to learn with.

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