I took up Russian because I'm really into Russian literature and film and there's no better way to appreciate them in full than in the original language version. Obviously for the time being I mostly watch cartoons and read children's magazines as my level of Russian is not high enough for anything more advanced. I do like to challenge myself every now and then and try to listen to Russian radio or watch series such as Кухня or Адаптация (with a listening comprehension of around 40-50%), hoping to be able to read Анна Каренина one day :-)
I don't find Russian particularly difficult, especially in terms of grammar, as my mother tongue, Polish, is also a Slavic language, but I have to admit the shifting stress in words is a nightmare and not one sentence goes by without a misplaced stress. Also, false friends don't make learning too easy (for instance ковёр, which is a carpet, is pronounced exactly like the Polish word for икра).
I try to combine many different resources to cover as many aspects of language learning as possible - I use an old textbook for the grammar drills, I follow Russian fanpages on social media to get the hang of contemporary vocabulary (for instance I like watching biathlon, so I follow the Russian biathlon team's fanpage), I watch videos to get used to the pronunciation and stress, I talk to myself in Russian a lot, sometimes I "torture" my friends and family and force them to reply to me in Russian (some of them learnt Russian at school). In short - I try to immerse myself in the language.
I learn Russian because I have Russian speaking friends and would like to communicate with them in their language and learn more about their culture. Also, there are many Russian speakers living in Germany, so it’s easy to find someone in real life to practise.
Yes, Russian is challenging but for me as a German speaker not as hard as Arabic. What I find difficult is to know where to put the stress in the words.
I learn with a book, a tutor, online resources, write little notebook entries or messages to friends in Russian. I listen to podcasts and watch videos. I’m in Facebook groups for learning Russian. There’s one group which focuses on learning Russian by reading stories. I’m still a beginner though.
I find very interesting what you wrote about your methods and also the fact that stress is also a problem for you. Many people think that Russian is complicated because of the case declensions but I agree with you that the shifting stress in words is the real challenge.
Russian is one of the most important languages in the world also I inherited the love of Russian literature from my mother ,I don't like reading Translated Books I would like to read in native language
Yes, one of my Russian language partners once told me that stress poses a difficulty to Russian native speakers as well, which at first surprised me, but then I realised it made a lot of sense - any language with its set of rules and exceptions to those rules will at some point be a challenge even to native speakers, as the way we speak our mother tongue depends on the degree of our exposure to it and the quality of the language we're surrounded with.
Your entry concerning different stress patterns for some words reminded me of another problem that I have with Russian stress - while it's fairly easy to look up a word in a dictionary and after some time learn the stress pattern, I often wonder how on earth people know how to read Russian surnames when they see those names written and don't have the opportunity to hear them pronounced.
Having complained so much about stress in Russian words, I have to say such challenges in the process of learning are a great workout for the brain ;)