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#1
ameris_cyning

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Howdy guys!

 

Yandex is Russia's most popular website by far according to pretty much everywhere that I read.

 

From what I have read its most distinguishing feature is obeying linguistic inflections.

 

We English speakers have an almost nonexistent inflection system that is easy to miss if you do not pay attention. For us an inflection system is difficult to understand. We have no gender words unlike pretty much every other European language, Germanic or otherwise.

 

That got me thinking, how difficult do you think it is to speak Russian for someone who was raised with the English tongue?
 

I know a tiny bit of German and their inflection system completely baffles me. Considering how closely related German and English are it kind of makes me feel that I can never get a hold of the German language because of one barrier.

 

Reason why I am asking this is because I feel that learning another spoken language could help me get in the right mindset to be open to a complex computer language. 



#2
3.14r2

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From what I have read its most distinguishing feature is obeying linguistic inflections.

I don't see how the above feature could help finding textual or visual content. I assume it may have difference when a verbal commands/search criterion is used (via Siri for instance), but I don't see how it could work with the written language. Punctuation works here the same way it does in many other languages.

 

That got me thinking, how difficult do you think it is to speak Russian for someone who was raised with the English tongue?

Spoken and written Russian are quite different beasts :) It's quite different from English or German (both spoken and written form), but once you learn/understand the key difference between the two, learning may become easier. Sure Russian has its own features/concepts hard to understand, but I guess every language has this (English articles for instance, such thing is not existent in Russian and I still don't get it no matter how).

 

Reason why I am asking this is because I feel that learning another spoken language could help me get in the right mindset to be open to a complex computer language. 

It could be any other language (Chinesе for instance :) ), why Russian (out of pure curiosity)?



#3
ameris_cyning

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I don't see how the above feature could help finding textual or visual content. I assume it may have difference when a verbal commands/search criterion is used (via Siri for instance), but I don't see how it could work with the written language. Punctuation works here the same way it does in many other languages.

 

Spoken and written Russian are quite different beasts :) It's quite different from English or German (both spoken and written form), but once you learn/understand the key difference between the two, learning may become easier. Sure Russian has its own features/concepts hard to understand, but I guess every language has this (English articles for instance, such thing is not existent in Russian and I still don't get it no matter how).

 

It could be any other language (Chinesе for instance :) ), why Russian (out of pure curiosity)?

 

Why Russian? Why not Russian?

 

Its a European language spoken by over 100 million people IIRC. It was the primary language of the former Soviet Union and the language of affairs for former Soviet states.

 

Not only that, it doesn't use a Latin alphabet, but its alphabet is still similar to Latin in many aspects compared with Chinese which would leave me completely lost out of the gate.



#4
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Why Russian? Why not Russian?

I have no problem with that - It's one the two primary languages I speak/write (the language my parents taught me). It was "a pure curiosity" type question, no offence intended :)

 

Not only that, it doesn't use a Latin alphabet, but its alphabet is still similar to Latin in many aspects compared with Chinese which would leave me completely lost out of the gate.

Sure Chinese is way too different.

 

I guess if you'd be persistent enough, it won't be too difficult to learn Russian. As with most other languages, the best way to learn it, is to communicate with native speakers (verbal communication would be a preferable way). Even more so when you live in the country where the language is spoken (the fastest way IMO).



#5
ameris_cyning

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I have no problem with that - It's one the two primary languages I speak/write (the language my parents taught me). It was "a pure curiosity" type question, no offence intended :)

 

Sure Chinese is way too different.

 

I guess if you'd be persistent enough, it won't be to difficult to learn Russian. As with most other languages, the best way to learn it, is to communicate with native speakers (verbal communication would be a preferable way). Even more so when you live in the country where the language is spoken (the fastest way IMO).

 

No offense taken.

 

Don't worry you didn't upset me at all. Its ok to be curious of why someone wants to learn your tongue.



#6
CodeRush

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I have Russian as native, English and German as foreign languages.

Russian has more in common with German, then with English: inflections are a bit harder then in German, because almost all words have changeable endings, 6 cases instead of 4, much less logic in grammar (there are too many rules to learn, perfect grammar is very rare even in Russia). Some letters and sounds can be tough to speak for people with English as native, the most notable is 'ы'. Two letters has no sound at all and used for modifying the sound of previous letter: 'ь' makes it softer, 'ъ' - harder. 

I don't think it will be too hard to learn spoken Russian, but it's definitely hard to master it and to learn a writing one. Reading books will help, but you must learn to read in Russian first, which isn't easy too. 

By the way, I wish you good luck.



#7
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Spoken Russian is the eldest of all modern western civilisations languages (which is not known by 99% russians themselves, much less likely by others). Its verbal form is dated back to the beginnings of Indo-European family. Vedas of ancient India, when red and spoken, resemble (vocally) even current modern russian so much, that any russian-speaking human can understand most of them with little bit of training. Cute, huh?

 

Writing and Cyrillic alphabet is another story though. It's quite young compared to spoken language.

 

Russian grammar is like edge firewall on IPS core. Myriads of rules with even more exceptions from them, with added bonus of differing pronunciation. 

And if you try to learn just the spoken one, you'll get too many nonexistent, double-meaning, paraphrased words you cant understand the right way only from context of the dialogue.

Add to the mix the "third russian", very big vocabulary of profanity words for any situation. I can tell you to "frack off" at least 10 times using different profanity words. :)

So trying to learn Russian will lead to frustration, that i can guarantee. But if you do it, gate to all other slavic languages will be wide open.



#8
ameris_cyning

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Spoken Russian is the eldest of all modern western civilisations languages (which is not known by 99% russians themselves, much less likely by others). Its verbal form is dated back to the beginnings of Indo-European family. Vedas of ancient India, when red and spoken, resemble (vocally) even current modern russian so much, that any russian-speaking human can understand most of them with little bit of training. Cute, huh?

 

Writing and Cyrillic alphabet is another story though. It's quite young compared to spoken language.

 

Russian grammar is like edge firewall on IPS core. Myriads of rules with even more exceptions from them, with added bonus of differing pronunciation. 

And if you try to learn just the spoken one, you'll get too many nonexistent, double-meaning, paraphrased words you cant understand the right way only from context of the dialogue.

Add to the mix the "third russian", very big vocabulary of profanity words for any situation. I can tell you to "frack off" at least 10 times using different profanity words. :)

So trying to learn Russian will lead to frustration, that i can guarantee. But if you do it, gate to all other slavic languages will be wide open.

 

Thank you for this excellent insight



#9
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To show how russian works, i'll use well known russian joke (with all grammar and constructs being true). Don't try to read the russian words, they sound differently from what they are typed in latin.

Try to explain english-man why does glass (for water) [stakan, m] stands on the table and fork [vilka, f] lies on the table. If we take the fork and stuck it into the table it will stand.

One might think that this is because glass is more vertical, and therefore stands, and fork is more like horizontal, and therefore lies, and stuck fork is more vertical so it stands, eh?.

This theory breaks right away with plate (for food) [tarelka, f], it is undoubtedly more horizontal, however stands on the table. And if you turn the plate upside-down, it will lie on the table.

One might deduce that this is because of construction, both glass and plate have a foundation on which they stand, but then what about fork? Does the table makes the foundation for struck fork? This theory proves to be incorrect as well in sight of pan [skovoroda, f]. It has no foundation, but is also stands on the table. And if you put the pan into the dishwasher, it will lie there, being in more vertical position, than on the table. Magic... 

Therefore one can deduce that anything that is ready to be used - stands. But fork was ready and it lied on the table! And when it was struck and not ready it was standing!

 

Now, imagine cat [koshka, f / kot, m] jumping on the table. Cat can sit, stand a lie. Whilst standing and lying is somewhat logical in the matters of vertical/horizontal (hello fork...), sitting is a new property. Cat sits on her butt.

Now, imagine bird [prica, f] land on the table. Bird also sits on the table, but not on the butt. Bird sits on it's legs! Should not it be standing? If you kill the poor bird, it will lie on the table. You know, birds can't stand in russian at all... Now take the body of the poor birdie and make a dummy of it. The dummy of a bird will stand on the table, in any position...

One might think that that sitting is a property of living thing. Take the boot [sapog, m / botinok, m]. It is not alive, nor does it have a butt, but it sits, ON your leg.

 

Are you still with me?  :)



#10
ameris_cyning

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To show how russian works, i'll use well known russian joke (with all grammar and constructs being true). Don't try to read the russian words, they sound differently from what they are typed in latin.

Try to explain english-man why does glass (for water) [stakan, m] stands on the table and fork [vilka, f] lies on the table. If we take the fork and stuck it into the table it will stand.

One might think that this is because glass is more vertical, and therefore stands, and fork is more like horizontal, and therefore lies, and stuck fork is more vertical so it stands, eh?.

This theory breaks right away with plate (for food) [tarelka, f], it is undoubtedly more horizontal, however stands on the table. And if you turn the plate upside-down, it will lie on the table.

One might deduce that this is because of construction, both glass and plate have a foundation on which they stand, but then what about fork? Does the table makes the foundation for struck fork? This theory proves to be incorrect as well in sight of pan [skovoroda, f]. It has no foundation, but is also stands on the table. And if you put the pan into the dishwasher, it will lie there, being in more vertical position, than on the table. Magic... 

Therefore one can deduce that anything that is ready to be used - stands. But fork was ready and it lied on the table! And when it was struck and not ready it was standing!

 

Now, imagine cat [koshka, f / kot, m] jumping on the table. Cat can sit, stand a lie. Whilst standing and lying is somewhat logical in the matters of vertical/horizontal (hello fork...), sitting is a new property. Cat sits on her butt.

Now, imagine bird [prica, f] land on the table. Bird also sits on the table, but not on the butt. Bird sits on it's legs! Should not it be standing? If you kill the poor bird, it will lie on the table. You know, birds can't stand in russian at all... Now take the body of the poor birdie and make a dummy of it. The dummy of a bird will stand on the table, in any position...

One might think that that sitting is a property of living thing. Take the boot [sapog, m / botinok, m]. It is not alive, nor does it have a butt, but it sits, ON your leg.

 

Are you still with me?  :)

 

Sorry, that is a bit too much to handle. Thanks for trying, though, I do appreciate it



#11
urchin

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Nice topic, reading this was entertaining :-) I'm russian (that's why my english is so ugly, lol) so I can't answer by myself. About 5 years ago I used to manage software development in one small IT startup here in moscow. One of our system administrators was Spanish man, who started learn russian because of wishes to read great russian literature in original, ends with plans immigrate to russia. He answers that learning russian was easy to him. And really he texting with russian girls easily (who of course are beat all the ancient writers in competition "reason to learn language"). On the other side, when russia was start "perestroika" (did you remember this word, huh? :-) there was a lot of expats here. Many of them tried to learn russian, with practically no success. CEO of one of the biggest russian telecommunication company (native Belgian, AFAIK) had russian lessons everyday for years, finally even tried to do poetry in russian :-) but his speaking russian wasn't pure anyway... Our language is quite crazy, as A.I.Ghost try to explain in his post :-) By the way, russian word "bird" in this example sounds like "ptizza", not "prica" :-)



#12
dan542

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Why Russian? Why not Russian?
 
Its a European language spoken by over 100 million people IIRC. It was the primary language of the former Soviet Union and the language of affairs for former Soviet states.
 
Not only that, it doesn't use a Latin alphabet, but its alphabet is still similar to Latin in many aspects compared with Chinese which would leave me completely lost out of the gate.


I can't speak for Russian as I don't speak it, but I'm Czech and the Czech language is slavic too. We have very complex rules and I don't think I could explain my language to a foreigner. There are so many rules, that I think you would be better off just memorizing all the inflections, conjugations and whatnot… On the other hand, you can deduce word meanings thanks to our prefixes. For example "chodit" means to walk. If I tell you that "v-" prefix means in, what do you think "vchod" means? an entrance. Now I tell you that "vý-" means out. Guess what "východ" means? Yes, that's right, an exit!

Speaking of asian languages, if you don't want to learn the Chinese "alphabet", you could always try learning Korean. :) I'm learning it and it's not that hard as you would expect. First, they have an awesome phonetic alphabet. For example: 사람 [saram], which means a person BTW, consists of 5 letters: ㅅ - s, ㅏ - a (as in car or far, NOT as in angle…), ㄹ - r (rougher than the english r, kind of like when someone speaks with a russian accent), again ㅏ - a, and ㅁ - m. See how the characters were composed? Second, they do not have that super complicated grammar that we have in Czech. No inflections, almost all conjugations are regular… Their grammar is completely different though (English and Czech are similar languages when compared to Korean…), mainly the word order. A verb must always be at the end of a Korean sentence, which gets more different from European languages when you start forming complex sentences…

I'll compare the same sentence in English, Korean and Czech and I'll try to kind of "disassemble" them:

English: "I met the girl that I saw yesterday."

Korean: "(제가) 어제 본 여자 만났어요."
(제가) - (I as a subject) (not necessary here depending on the context, it might be obvious that I'm talking about myself)
어제 - yesterday
본 - ("to see" in adjective form in past - regularly conjugated)
여자 - woman/girl
만났어요 - met (to meet in plain past tense - regularly conjugated)

Czech: "Potkal jsem tu holku, co jsem viděl včera."
Potkal jsem - met (past tense with I as a subject)
tu - that/the (only for feminine words in the inflection described below)
holku - girl (I believe this inflection is used when you would say him or her as opposed to he or she in English)
co - that (thankfully this one doesn't have to be inflected); If you want to be more "correct" and less casual you could use "kterou" - whom (for feminine words in the above described inflection… It's crazy isn't it?)
jsem viděl - saw (past tense with I as a subject)
včera - yesterday

As you can see, in Czech the sentence has pretty much the same word order as the English one, but it has ridiculous amount of different inflections etc. The Korean sentence however, is completely different from both the Czech and English sentences, but there weren't any inflections and all conjugations were regular.





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