Russian: interesting thing I noticed

One of the other posters who knows Russian pointed out that you start being able to predict the meanings of words the more you learn.

As I close in on 3,000 memorized words I’m starting to notice that is true, which is very interesting. For example I just noticed:

apasnist (can’t remember the cyrillic because I’m listening mostly) means “danger” and I got it mixed up with “bisapasnist” which means “safety” and “bis” means something like “without” so “without danger”. Pretty cool.

I wonder how common this is?


Yes, you’re attentive.
Russian prefixes ‘bes’ and ‘ne’ give the words an opposite meaning.
You can read and listen to many of my Russian lessons and podcasts for different levels at
Good luck!


If your approach is listening heavy then you will realize that your “language device” is never shut off. And verifies Krashen’s claim. It was your subconscious mind/language device showing its true magic.
Your subconscious mind is always right. Subconscious mind > conscious mind. You go online and check a dictionary have a smile at the end of the day. :wink:


I have noticed occasionally I will wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and just in that part of consciousness where you are half awake I will note that I have been “repeating” the words in my head subconsciously somehow. I can actual hear myself doing the repeat. And I’m getting the answer correct. So somehow SRS is training my subconcious to implant.

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Thank you. I will check them out.

the same thing happens to me also, sometimes. My brain is wrestling with the new sounds as I sleep…

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sometimes random words and phrases pop into my head from different languages. I don’t even know what they mean half of the time haha. This means my subconscious is hungry and so I keep feeding it.


hahaha cool.
EDIT: thinking about it, I’ve noticed that happens to me too: I don’t know what some of the words mean but my brain replays them maybe to tell me “hey that word occurs frequently”.

Armchair philosophizing about this I speculate that’s what babies do: the word/sound replays in their head and they say it in the same situation they noticed it being heard in, just to see how their parents react and then they can pin a meaning on it.

It’s very common. If you see без or не in the beginning of a word it usually means the opposite of the root word. For example: бессмертный from the root word meaning mortal. Thus, бессмертный means immortal. In the same vein неудобный. The root word is удобный (comfortable). So неудобный means uncomfortable.

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Good observation! The more you know the easier it is to learn. Here’s a slightly more advanced example I recently was thinking about…

приближаться(priblizhat’sya), “to draw near, approach”, recognizing that the при-/pri- prefix can contribute a sense of arriving or coming, and having seen -z- easily morph into -zh- in other situations, too. It’s even more obvious in the perfective form приблизиться/priblizit’sya.

And my favorite derivative from the same root:

близнец/bliznets “twin”. There’s hardly anyone more close or intimate than the one with whom you’ve shared a womb. :slight_smile:

Edit: Pity the poor Russian learner of English who must learn three totally unrelated words “near”, “approach”, and “twin”.


Same thing when you learn Czech or Polish.

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