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How to Learn Russian (and Probably Polish)

I have made several attempts over several years to learn Russian, yet until recently I had managed only to learn the Cyrillic script, a few Russian words, and the idea that there were quite a few cases and something different going on with the verbs gramatically. I had tried different books, and an on-line site. They were all good, but the problem for me was that there was so much grammar to learn before I could "get in and swim" as far as making up my own sentences, that I gave up on it each time when I realized that I had already forgotten some of what I had learned in earlier chapters when I still had many chapters to go just to cover the basic grammar points. It was a little like having to wade a mile through a shallow marsh before reaching an area of open water where it would be possible to swim.

Anyway, I finally hit upon a solution that has gotten me farther than I have ever been, and should allow me to get to at least an intermediate level (which is about all I am hoping for) if I carry it out far enough. It is just this:
0) Learn Cyrillic script. (already done in my case).
1) get a book of Essential Grammar. There are several of these. Any one will do, I think.
2) get a good Russian dictionary, and also a simple Russian dictionary.
3) write down an English sentence you would like to translate into Russian into a notebook.
4) break down the grammar of the English sentence so you know what case the nouns and adjectives may need to be put into in Russian.
5) Translate the sentence, but by bit using the dictionaries and the Essential Grammar book. Write the translated sentence in your notebook using Cyrillic script.
6) Repeat from 3 to 5 as often as possible. I recommend at least one sentence per day. If you don't have time to translate a sentence, at least re-read the sentences you have already translated.
7) If you have the opportunity to speak with a Russian, read the sentences to him/her to see if they are understandable and if your accent is correct.

This method should work for other Slavic languages, including Polish. Polish seems interesting because it has so many words recognizably similar to Russian words, and also it has an amazingly high number of words that are the same or very similar to German words. It makes me wonder if the German words came from Polish or visa versa.

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    I dont think so that plan will work .....

     

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