Free Beginners Course - Russian 101
1 Russian vowel letters and sounds
- In Russian Language sounds are defined by letters of alphabet. Every letter is vocal with the exception of 2 (ъ and ь) which are mute and signify the softness or hardness of the preceding sound. There are 33 letters in total which amount to 10 vowel and 21 consonant sounds. Lesson 1 will introduce you to the 10 vowel sounds.
- Please click on the Lesson 1 link below and take care to read and follow the instructions carefully, remembering that quick results are only possible if your full attention is given to the first free 7 lessons in this course. They contain foundational knowledge on which the further courses are built.
2 Russian consonants and syllables
- Words are made up of syllables. In essence syllables are a combination of consonant and vowel sounds. All spoken languages are similar in this aspect. Have you ever wondered why seemingly different languages have words that sound the same and have the same meaning?
- The truth is that almost all modern languages originate from the same source. As we progress you'll find that there are common or closely related words in your mother tongue and Russian.
- A good example of a common word in every language is МАМА. It has 2 syllables which are represented by 2 consonant and 2 vowel sounds. Keep in mind that the number of syllables is determined by the number of vowels in the word.
3 Stress in Russian, intonational constructs
- If you haven't studied your mother tongue grammatically you may be unaware of what stress means and how the same word may have a different meaning depending on the stress. For example in English o'bject- /ˈɒbdʒɪkt/ (noun) is an existing thing or the goal of something; whereas obje'ct /əbˈdʒɛkt/ (verb) means to disagree with something.
- In Russian Language things get slightly more complicated. Letters in a word may have a different sound depending on the stress. 'О' under stress has a sound of 'О'. However unstressed 'О' becomes 'А'. For example ОКНО' (window) is pronounced as /АКНО/ because the stress falls on the second syllable.
4 Russian personal pronouns, gender and plurality
- Genders or sexes are rarely identical in any 2 languages. For example: 'a table' is neuter in English, masculine in Russian and feminine in French. If you are from English speaking background you'll have to get accustomed to gender association of inanimate (non-living) objects in the Russian Language.
- If your mother tongue is French, Spanish, Italian or any other language in the Latin group you'll need to "re-map" some words to a different gender in Russian. Thankfully the rules are quite simple!
- There are 3 genders in Russian Language: masculine (he), feminine (she) and neuter (it). A word's gender is determined by its' ending. Masculine words have no ending or end with an Й or ь. Feminine words end with an А or Я. Neuter words end with an О or Е.
5 Russian consonants #2 and vocabulary building
- This lesson will introduce the second set of consonant sounds and enrich your vocabulary by approximately 30 new words. If the amount of words got you worried you'll be relieved to learn that most of the terms are international and sound very similar in your mother tongue. This was done intentionally so you can get accustomed to this set of Cyrillic letters and sounds with ease.
- This lesson does not focus on grammar and is primarily designed to recap the prior 4 lessons expanding on your vocabulary. You may have noticed that all vowel sounds were introduced in one lesson. However consonants are separated across 3 modules. This is done intentionally so that a natural progression from simple to complex is observed.
6 Advanced Russian sounds and Intonational Construct 2