Posted on August 21st, 2010
Working on your vocabulary is a part of the language learning process. Learning new words does not have to be a daunting task, but it may take some time to build a vocabulary that will make you feel comfortable speaking Russian. Today we will talk about a few steps that you can take to help yourself to improve your vocabulary faster and more effectively.
Motivation is the most important part of the vocabulary-building process. Your motivation is your inspiration that helps you to succeed. This is why it might be a good idea to think about the reasons why you would like to improve your Russian vocabulary. Is it because you have a new pretty Russian friend? Or is it because you are planning a trip to Russia? Write your reasons down and every time you feel like giving up read them through again.
Immersion is the key. Surround yourself by Russian, and you’ll notice how much easier it is now to learn new words. Listen to Russian radio stations, watch Russian TV channels, read newspapers, magazines or books in Russian and get acquainted with the Russian speaking community. You can find Russian speaking communities online, join Odnoklassniki.ru (Russian version of MySpace or Facebook) and make friends there, or join a forum or a chat, where you can meet likeminded people who are learning Russian.
Why is immersion so important? You will hear your new words during talk shows, you’ll see them in a Russian paper, you’ll watch them on YouTube (including FunRussian.com YouTube Channel ) and you’ll hear them from your new Russian friends. It will be so much easier to learn new words once you will see and hear them everywhere!
Good Old Flash Cards
This method helped me to learn new English words. A few months before I left for London I had set a goal to learn 20 new words and expressions each week. And here is what I did. I wrote down one word on each of the flash cards and hung them up around the house everywhere, in places where I spend the majority of my time. And every time I glanced at the new word, I read it and tried to use it in a sentence. Then, a week later I tested myself.
If you don’t want to decorate your flat or a house with the flash cards with the Russian words on them, you can just write down the words and remember to look at them every day, say, in the morning before you go to work or school or at night before you go to bed. You can learn as many words a day or a week as you want, but, please don’t set unrealistic goals. They will burn you down very quickly and you’ll feel bad if you can’t reach them.
Word Puzzles in Russian
This is my personal favourite. I love to play scrabble (on my computer, because then I can cheat by searching for a word at the dictionary… Oh come on, who hasn’t done that?). And I also love word games on Yahoo (no cheating here). They help to relax, unwind and learn new English words!
Playing word games and solving puzzles and crosswords will definitely help you to learn and practice new Russian words while having lots of fun at the same time! Although, be ware – this method is very addictive, you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer for hours…. Just tell yourself that it’s for a good cause, and it will make you feel better!
Dictionary is Your Best Friend
the absolutely best friend you could ever ask for! It always understands your efforts and needs, and is always ready to tell the truth about the words and expressions. So, please make sure to look up as many words as possible in the dictionary. Also make sure to read the full entry of the each word. One word can have several meanings. For example Russian word «ключ» has a couple of meanings. Nope, I won’t tell you what they are! Look it up and make friends with the dictionary at the same time!
Practice, Practice, Practice
It is always a good idea to review the words you’ve learned. One of the reasons is that Russian is full of surprises, like suffixes, prefixes, word endings, cases…and as you know, I could carry on for a long time! This is why it is always a good idea to start practicing using new words as soon as you can.
Practice your Russian pronunciation by reading new words aloud several times. When you are comfortable with your pronunciation, try to actually using them in your speech! This is where the Russian speaking community comes in. Whether you are chatting online or talking on Skype, or in person, try to use the variety of the words and expressions you have just learned! You will be so proud of yourself!
Always Reward Yourself
It is always a good idea to appreciate your own efforts. Have you just learnt your 50th word? Or have you just asked for the directions in Russian for the first time? Every single, even the smallest success is worth a celebration! Get yourself a little present, like your favourite desert or a movie, or go out with your friends. You deserve that! And now, you will have something to look forward to when your next goal is accomplished!
I hope these tips will help you to improve your Russian vocabulary much faster! Visit FunRussian.com YouTube Channel to learn new Russian slang, idioms, popular expressions and other fun stuff!
Good luck and have fun learning Russian!
- Video: Most Common Russian Greetings
- Speak like a Geek: Computer Words in Russian
- Basic Russian: How to Say “Hi”, “Bye”, “Thank You”, “Please” and “You are Welcome” in Russian
- Russian Slang and Idioms. Lesson 10.
- The Nominative Case of Russian Nouns
Study with Maxim Achkasov
The courses of Russian as a foreign language with FunRussian take place online via Skype. The teacher works with adults individually since he is convinced that each person must receive maximum time for practice and professional attention while learning a foreign language.