Week One

First class and we were eased into the shallow end. The course was laid out for us and our expectations managed. By the end of the course, I will be able to read Dostoevsky, whether I will be able to understand it or not is an entirely different question. We learnt the history of the Cyrillic alphabet (33 letters!) and Saint Cyrill himself.

We learnt a few greetings, some easier than others. Our tutor told us that she will be touching on culture through the language.

Week Two

We were asked what was important for us individually today, for me it’s pronunciation. There are consonants in the Russian language that get lost for me. After attempting to say ‘zdravstvuyte’ in an authentic accent. I was told to follow these few steps:

  1. Check if you can hear the sound
  2. See if you can mimick it
  3. Pay attention to what your tounge is doing
  4. Repeat until you are blue in the face
 

Week Three

This week I finally understood why it is important to learn Russian, in print and in handwritten form. We took on our third set of letters and within that I met the ever changing Russian letter ‘d’.

  1. My tutor writes on the board (handwritten) and I cannot understand it if I focus on the print form
  2. If I want to understand handwritten notes, then this is the only way
  3. Each letter has a story and an evolution to it and helps me realise what the thought process was when evolving the language

Week Four

This week I had to miss my lesson and didn’t want to fall behind so began practising some of my handwriting. Handwriting in English has more to do with style and font than necessity. When learning in Russian, each loop and hook has a purpose so it’s vital to have proper handwriting.

In the interest of full disclosure, the image is my fellow classmate’s beautiful handwriting. I don’t think mine is worth sharing just yet.

 

Week Five

After a two week break we have a full class of eager learners ready to show off how much progress has been made. We walked in confidently and greeted eachother with “Dobriy vyecher”. I am only 60% confident of the alphabet. As I was going through the worksheet, I found that I knew more than I thought. Although the pictures may have helped. We spent a good 5 minutes understanding how to make ‘Guttaral sounds’ today. As there are very few guttaral sounds in the English language, this was surpisingly fun to explore.

 

Week Six

This was our last lesson before an extended half term break. Time to recap what we have learnt so far in group exercises. We were given dice so we could test each other on numbers that have been taught to us.

We completed reading exercises, which only highlighted how vital the 6 letters I missed were to my ability to read. For our homework, we have been tasked with an alphabet card game, to test our knowledge. The pile of letters we don’t know needs to decrease (fingers crossed) before we return from our break.