I started learning Russian in January 2006. Why? It's a major world language with speakers in many countries, some of which I would like to visit; I have a number of Russian-speaking colleagues and friends, and because knowing it would be useful when building Russian websites.
My course of choice was Rosetta Stone Russian, a CD-Rom course which teaches you the language entirely through the medium of Russian. You start learning individual words, then combinations of two or three words, and then gradually learn to build phrases and sentences. The exercises help you develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. You can work through them manually, or let the program take you through them.
One disadvantage of this method of study is that you to work your way through many lessons before you learn to say anything useful. On the other hand, you are building up a solid foundation of vocabulary and grammar.
In August 2006 I decided to put Russian on hold, mainly because I was getting frustrated with how little apparent progress I was making. I plan to have another go at Russian, with Rosetta Stone and Oxford Take off in Russian once I've acquired a good knowledge of Czech, which I started learning in September 2006.
In October 2011 I was given free access to the online language courses at Language101.com in return for writing a review of the site. I decided to have another go at Russian, and to concentrate mainly on Russian during November and December 2011.
In November 2012 I starting learning Russian again, after neglecting it for nearly a year. I'm using Oxford Take off in Russian and try to study a bit every day. In December my brother married his Russian girlfriend and I found what little Russian I knew by then very useful when speaking to her relatives and friends at the wedding - my sister-in-law speaks English very well, but few of her relatives speak any English.
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