Answering Questions about the Russian Language
Russian is a language that is not only spoken in Russia, but also in the surrounding areas of Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Among all the Slavic languages, Russian is spoken the most. Internationally, it ranks at the eighth most commonly spoken language. Russian is somewhat similar to Bulgarian in many ways, in terms of its pronunciation as well as the vocabulary. Recent globalization has led to linguistic influences from other languages that include English, Polish, German, and even Greek. Due to the structure of the language, including the fact it uses a Cyrillic alphabet, most people who speak a Germanic-based native language, like English or French, find it somewhat difficult to learn Russian. However, with due diligence and plenty of practice in reading, writing, and conversation, it can become easier to learn.
Russian Translating Dictionaries
A dictionary is one of the first tools required for a new language. There are many online dictionaries available. The most useful ones can be used in either Russian or English. Some also include additional features such as grammar refreshers.
- ABBYY Lingvo.Pro – Search for words, phrases, definitions or sentence translations in this online English-Russian dictionary.
- Russian Dictionary Tree – This simple dictionary returns the Russian equivalents of English words and vice versa.
Study Aids for Russian Students
Using additional tools can help greatly in learning Russian. Brush up on the alphabet and pronunciation rules. It helps to find a Russian penpal and communicate with them for practice. Listen to Russian radio or the news too, to hear how natives speak.
- The Alphabet – Learn how to read, write, and pronounce the Russian alphabet.
- Pronunciation – Review the basic rules of pronunciation in Russian.
- Russian Fonts – Practice writing with Russian characters online with Cyrillic fonts.
- Learning Resources – Study with webcasts of Russian news programs recorded for English-speaking students, and try the related comprehension exercises.
Grammar and Language Tutorials
Russian grammar can be especially tricky. Fortunately, there are plenty of free lessons offered online. The most helpful are those that include audio pronunciation clips. Only move onto the next lesson when you are sure you’ve mastered the previous one.
- Grammar Downloads – Download PDF lesson files on different areas of Russian grammar.
- Online Russian Lessons – Access a series of free online Russian language lessons, complete with audio clips.
- Grammar Tables – Use these grammar tables as handy references while you study.
There are many aspects of the Russian language that are rooted in tradition and literature. A lot of Russian stories are also available in English translations. Try to start reading with children’s books. As you become more confident, you can graduate to more advanced books.
- Popular Short Stories – Read some traditional popular short stories in English, originally written by Russian authors.
Russian for Travelers
Review some basic Russian phrases before travelling to Russia. Even if your sentences aren’t perfect, the locals will appreciate the effort! Several websites offer phrase guides and suggestions for tourists. It is handy to keep an electronic or print pocket dictionary on hand while travelling.
- Sentence Generator – Use an online tool to construct common sentences in English and then have it translated into Russian.
- Blindness Resources – Browse through a large list of helpful resources for the blind.
- U.S. History Documents – Download PDF versions of documents that marked momentous moments in U.S. history.
- Visual Health – Use these resources to learn more about vision and eye health.
- Blind Organizations – Find organizations that aim on helping the blind in the U.S.
- Blind Veterans – Military veterans who suffer from blindness or low vision can find useful resources here.
- Intellectual Property – Learn about copyrights, intellectual property, and piracy.
- Tools for the Blind – Pick from a selection of useful tools and aids for blind people.
- Lions Club – Find links to regional Lions clubs in the U.S. and abroad.
- Glaucoma and Cataracts – Get detailed information on causes of blindness from authoritative sources.
- Technical Writing – Learn all about technical writing and access multiple related resources.
- German and Spanish – Start learning German and Spanish with this list of recommended books, CD-ROMs, and more.
- Spanish Grammar – Review Spanish grammar with these lessons written entirely in Spanish.
- Learn Spanish – These Spanish language resources include search engines, grammar tutorials, and literature.
- Online Spanish Lessons – Complete online Spanish lessons to learn the language.
- Spanish Resources – Find study aids online to help you master Spanish.
- Language Research – Discover language software and other linguistic resources.