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Russian for Beginners Paperback – January 1, 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors give good, matter of fact advice on grammar rules and word memorization. More than any other comparable guide, it delves into vocabulary, grammar, and reading assignments. Although it's a "beginners guide", beginners will need some Russian language tapes to get a real feel for the language. That said, I'd especially recommend Russian for Beginners for those in need of a refresher (like myself).
The only down side is the format of the book. There are only two chapter headings, and the forty-two lessons seem to run on into each other, making it difficult to find anything easily by just flipping back through the pages. Be that as it may, I highly recommend this book, especially if you once had some knowledge of Russian and are looking for a comprehensive refresher. I give it five stars because it is the best of the half dozen books on the subject I've seen.
Although it purports to be a simple course, there is a lot of meat here, and each page is packed with information. There are numerous exercies, grammar drills, and detailed explanations of the grammar and syntax in each chapter. There are lots of vocabulary lists, and over 40 lessons. The author includes entertaining passages from Russian folk tales for reading and translation, such as "The Fox and the Scorpion," and also passages from famous Russian authors where the level of difficulty isn't too great. The book imparts a vocabulary of 4000 words and there is a dictionary in the back with all the words in case you need to look them up.
The author has very clear discussions of the complex Russian case and verb system, especially things like the Russian verb of motion, which is different from English and most Indo-European languages, along with many other aspects of the grammar. Russian has at four different conjugations patterns for verbs, which are inflected for person, number, and gender, as well as six grammatical cases, similar to Latin, but Duff and Makarov have very clear and concise explanations of everything which are a joy to read.
I spent a summer working through this book and then took a college-level Russian class the following fall semester, and I was way ahead of the rest of the class as a result. I'd learned the Cyrillic alphabet and could read and understand basic Russian sentences and paragraphs and much of the grammar.Read more ›
By the time you get to the end of the book, you are able to fluently read entire paragraphs and excerpts from books. They also give a list of the next books to buy to continue and advance your studies which I found helpful. The three books recommended were all from three different authors so they really aren't trying to make an extra dollar off of you, just give you some good help!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still the best Russian language guide out there, Some of the language is getting a little dated, but it clearly explains Russian grammar and is an excellent resource for Russian... Read morePublished 1 month ago by johnac1981
Excellent book, good exercises, nice logical progression, very well written.Published 3 months ago by Wakeford F. Poles
Great set of lesson plans for the beginner. The grammar can be a little daunting, but the explanations of syntax and word usage are really helpful and accurate.Published 3 months ago by Amanda Roche
A great book for Beginners in the Russian language. It's a dense read and will require a knowledgeable tutor/instruction to get you past the pronunciation.Published 6 months ago by Peter
It's a bit dated and as others have said it lacks exercises. Also I've noticed that maybe this book would be better for British English speakers more than American English... Read morePublished 10 months ago by James L. Machie, Jr.