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Russian for Beginners Paperback – January 1, 1971

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This provides a full, simplified introduction to grammar, a 4,000-word vocabulary, and 42 lessons in the basic principles of the language.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064632873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064632874
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written in 1962, this Harper Perennial has stood the test of time. Almost forty years later it's still one of the best beginners guides around. It gives you a beginning vocabulary of 4000 of the most used Russian words, a decent overview of all the grammar rules and readings based on the previous lessons.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first book on Russian almost 20 years ago and I was quite fond of it. Despite being over 40 years old, having been first published in 1962, this book by Duff and Makarov is still one of the best beginner's courses in Russian out there, and I was pleased to see it had been brought out in a new edition by Harper Resource.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great... it tells you EVERYTHING. The author sets up the lessons in such a way that is suitable to the beginner. You build upon the previous lesson until you have a thorough working knowledge of the whole language. For the first two weeks, I spend more time reading the pronounciation guide in the front and learning the alphabet. I highly recommend using tapes. the only reason why it doesnt get 5 stars is the lack of exercises. the book contains reading selections at the end of each chapter but no real exercises.
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Format: Paperback
I have always had a fascination with the Russian language and culture and decided to learn Russian. I went through a couple of books ,but I would quickly become distracted. I saw this book at the bookstore and decided to see if it was available on Amazon. I ordered it and received it in 4 days. I found out that it kept my attention. Each lesson gives you information clearly without being overwhelming . There are even dialogues that you can practice at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book makes learning Russian easier than I ever imagined. It beats anything new on the market including Rosetta Stone. Everything in simply broken down bit by bit, and very carefully organized into well thought out chapters. This book does not teach you sentences to memorize so you can just speak what you know. It breaks it down and teaches you the sentence structures, formulating nouns, verbs, adjectives; as well as how to properly arrange words in the sentence correctly to not sound like a foreigner.

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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to follow for those not currently in school or have been 'out' for awhile. More for English not American readers. Spelling, and explanations sometimes confusing. Exercise sentences could have been structured to be more useful.
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