Professional Teacher
The most complicated things in Russian grammar.
Can you tell, what`s really annoying you in Russian Grammar?

The top of my students:

<ol><li>Genitive case plural forms for nouns</li><li>Verbs of motion</li><li>Perfective -Imperfective aspects </li></ol>

Jun 26, 2020 6:51 AM
Comments · 5
...continued from comment below.

During our time in Malta my parents didn't really pick up anything besides English. My brother and I picked up English, Maltese spoken and written. We actually aced all our exams better than the native speakers :) We also picked up Italian exclusively from TV, so we can understand it quite well but can't speak or write it.

The younger you start - the easier it is. I wasn't able to formally learn German during my 5 years in university and 3 years in school. It was soooo hard for me. The cases, the articles there are too many to remember! And now I just memorized some German rap songs and that's the actual extent of my German knowledge these days. I can just spew out cookie-cutter German rap phrases bundled with profanities and colloquialisms :)

It's quite powerful, though. I've actually recommended this method as an informal method to learn some Russian quickly: memorize and translate songs. The learning can then be further strengthened by performing a grammatical analysis of these songs and the rules may sink in much deeper in a playful, applied context. This is just a theory. Unfortunately I was young and stupid and doing too many drugs and alcohol when writing my thesis, I'd probably write and test one on the topic of applied singing with much more academic interest these days.

Russian kids do learn songs, especially in the private schools. But they're singing "head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes". What in the world is up with that? That's so irrelevant and boring. Kids these days are listening to XXXTentacion's Moonlight, mangling the lyrics in really funny ways. What if you get the censored version and teach the kids some real English :) can that become a thing? Then explain why it's "trippin'" and not "tripped", ahhaahha.

Anyways, sorry for hijacking this thread. It's my second day here and I haven't spoken linguistics in quite a while.

Good luck teaching Russian. You won't see me doing that in hell :)
June 26, 2020
As a native Russian speaker who lived abroad for most of my childhood (Malta), I got to skip formal Russian grammar lessons in a real Russian school. I went straight to university, where Russian grammar testing was no longer a thing.

I got a 37 out of 100 in my Russian ЕГЕ exam and 33 (hard fail) in my Literature one back then, but 99 on my English one (that's how I got into university). Anyway, I can, with much confidence, say that I have absolutely no idea of any of 99% of the rules in the Russian language and still make really stupid mistakes (I'm turning 33 in a month and lived in Russia for almost 20 years now) when writing and speaking and still have a tiny weirdness around Russian accent as well :) and I forget words quite often.

You question got me thinking a bit and I realized that I know absolutely nothing about Russian grammar, I don't know what parts of speech are called, how many cases there are, types of verbs, etc. Yet, the language itself flows quite well, as I've given more than 30 public speeches Russian throughout my life. It's quite funny to realize how I don't actually formally know the language.

I guess the same would be true for maybe 80% of the population in most countries? They don't really know the formal grammars of their languages, yet they're able to speak them natively and even pass exams. You still see native English speakers use "their" and "there" interchangeably, I guess it's like our "недевать" and "одевать" type of thing that's rooted in culture somehow.

Either way, I think that speaking is actually the most effective way to learn a language for applied use. Spending a couple of years in a foreign country, especially as a child, will have you pick up the language at a very intuitive level. It's harder for adults.

Continued in comment above... (this 2000 character limit rule is silly)
June 26, 2020
July 25, 2020
July 24, 2020
Thank you, Gennady, for your long and detailed explanations. The thing is you're a native speaker, even if you make some mistakes(as you mentioned many Russians make them). My specialization is Russian language for foreigners and it's absolutely another approach. Plus, my students are adults and when we are adults we learn languages differently, not like we did that when we were young. The most important thing for adults is analytical understanding of a new language through their native language. That's why I'm asking students here about their main problems in different Grammar categories.

June 26, 2020
Language Skills
English, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish