Thursday, November 19, 2015

вот украина, не россия

A friend of mine introduced me to, which is a free foreign language study program.  It would have been nice to have had this a few years back.  Unfortunately the languages I want to study, such as Greek, Hebrew or Ugaritic, aren't in the system.  Russian is in the system and the Cyrillic alphabet is one that I have wanted to learn for a while, so ...

I must say of all the systems I have struggled with for learning languages, this is the most efficient.  Like Pimsleur, the language is thrown at you with no explanation, but this can easily be found now on the internet. The bigger headache with Russian is dealing with the Cyrillic keyboard.  With the Duolingo system, you must type back Russian words from memory, which is quite a challenge.  My hope is to persist for a time to see if I can develop some ability to make sense at least of the pronunciation of Russian text.

My main gripe about Duolingo is that the interface seems directed at about a 3rd grade level.  I would prefer something a little more, well, it is hard to describe.  Perhaps a heads-up display with cross hairs?  As for the type of phrases, I would prefer something more trendy, such as

"Boris, did you enter the coordinates into the missile targeting system?"
"Will Dimitri talk?"
"Yes, Dimitri will talk.  That is why we gave him the wrong information."
"They get virgins, but we get vodka."


Rummuser said...

Why on earth would you want to learn Russian? But if the little snippets at the end of the post are samples of Russian humour, I can understand.

Looney said...

As for learning Russian, my current expectation is that a few years from now NATO, at the instigation of the neo-NAZIs, will beg the Russian military to invade Europe and save it from the consequences of the current totally insane migration policy. Thus, Russian will become much more important as a language. Just planning ahead!

Rummuser said...

Clever, very clever!

Max Coutinho said...

LOL LOL LOL loved the final dialogue.

Hey Looney,

I think it's helpful to learn Russian too, but I have so much in my plate right now (Hebrew perfecting, German and Japanese) that I may leave Russian for last. My next two challenges will be Greek and Arabic.

Oy, this was funny. Thanks for the laugh. :)

Have a blessed weekend.

Looney said...

@Max, looks like you are very busy! My main language chore is the Greek syntax course which is almost done for this semester. This takes at least ten hours per week. It would sure be nice to be able to drop out of work for a time and get immersed in language learning here or there, but that will need to wait. I still need to go visit Rummuser and get some Sanskrit lessons.

Max Coutinho said...



"I still need to go visit Rummuser and get some Sanskrit lessons."

You and I both.