Russian lessons – Lesson 1 – Tips, goals and Russian alphabet | Russian language

hello everyone! Daria here, and welcome to
my new Russian language course. Here we’re gonna learn the Russian language
from scratch, from zero! So if you know anyone who wants to learn Russian – let
them know about this video so they can join and we can learn the Russian
language together. Now immediately let’s dive in and let’s talk about what you
need to learn the Russian language with me in this course. So first (and probably
it’s not what you have been expecting) that’s pretty long… Goal. Yes! number one
is always a goal. Right now I want you to stop the video and think why you want to
learn the Russian language. It’s extremely important, because your
decision will influence the whole process of learning the Russian
language and this is one of the key points for motivation too. So for example
maybe your goal is… I don’t know… passing an exam. Maybe
you’re a student and you actually don’t need the Russian language, you are not
going to go to Russia. Probably it’s just one of your courses at the college.
So if this is your goal you should concentrate on grammar, on expanding your vocabulary, on reading. And not so much about pronunciation, and not so much
about speaking in general. So just relax, you don’t need that. If your goal is… I
don’t know… traveling to Russia. Oh… ugly ugly writing here. I’m sorry. So
travel to Russia – you probably just need to learn how to read Russian and to
learn some basic speaking patterns, so again – choose what’s important to you.
If your goal is communication, one of the most important goals for any foreign
language learning. Communication. If you want to communicate with Russian people – concentrate on listening, on speaking, on expanding your vocabulary. And in this
case you should not care about grammar too much, because if you speak to a
Russian person, actually even if you don’t use any cases, if you mispronounce
things, if you do anything… Russians will still understand what you
mean, so decide what’s more important to you, but always remember what your goal
is. It will help you not to waste your time. Okay. Number one – goal. Again this is
very important and it would be better even if you write it down. Write
it down okay? Number two (and again maybe you were not expecting this one) but it’s
time. Time is extremely important. I know people who have been learning the
Russian language for several years and they’re still at the very beginning. And
I have no words for this, so guys you need time and you need dedication. You
need dedication. The most common question that my students ask me “How much time…” or exactly “How many hours do I need to become fluent in Russian?” and I’m always
like “How on earth do I know! jeez…”. It depends on so many things it depends on your native language. Maybe you are from Slovakia or from Poland, maybe from China, from Japan, from the United States… I don’t know! it depends on your native
language, it depends on your memory. Maybe you easily remember things, maybe
it takes much effort from you to remember new words
and grammar rules and that stuff. It depends on your schedule. Maybe you can dedicate ten hours per day learning the Russian language (which is too much
actually…) or ten minutes per day or two minutes every day of listening… How fast can I become fluent in Russian? So it’s up to you, it’s not up to me, it’s
up to you – how much time you spend influences and actually oh wait a
second… let me just… let’s just say 100 hours. okay? 100 hours just to satisfy
everyone:) at least 100 hours no less than that. So okay, goal, time and number three.
This is I would say… I’m not gonna even… I don’t know… wright I don’t let me paint
it. To draw it. Draw it, not paint Jesus Christ, so it’s a notebook (if
somebody didn’t understand). Notebook or some… I don’t know… Workbook? how do you call this stuff that you write in? school plus… oh my goodness, it’s a pen. Pen. yeah.
Something to write with. It’s not gonna work if you were just planning to watch this
video and other videos, and then just go and forget about what we were talking about here.
You need some serious work. If you don’t have some nice notebook right now,
it doesn’t matter. At least try to find some piece of paper. And we’re going to write
today, so it’s better to stop this video and search for a piece of paper and a
pen or a pencil, I don’t know… It is scientifically proved that writing by
hand helps us remember things much
better, much deeper. So we’re gonna write a lot and we’re gonna speak a lot. So
three things to work with my course: goal, time,
notebook and your desire to learn the Russian language.
Okay now let’s dive into Russian and… actually I kind of liked this Russian
with this little heart here, so let’s just leave it here okay.
Let’s dive in and we start with saying “Hello”, because actually I was the only
one who said hello here, so I want you to respond and… let’s not actually say hello
because hello in Russian is this super scary word that you probably heard a lot
of time… ZDRAVSTVUITE… Who needs that?! Nobody. Nobody needs that because
we’re all good friends here, let’s begin with ПРИВЕТ. Privet means hi. Pree-v’et. This is stressing. And in English it would be like “pree-viet”. Okay!
and I want to warn you that I’m going to try to make this course as interactive
as possible for the video, so I encourage you to stop the video every time you
need and to answer my questions out loud, to repeat anything you need to repeat
out loud, so right now let’s say hi. PREEV’ET. First repeat after me PREE-V’ET. Now I’m saying privet to you and you say “Preev’et Daria”. that’s my
name, let me write it down so we can know each other properly. That’s my name, Daria,
so I’m saying “Preev’et”, you respond “Preev’et Daria”.
Let’s try it. Preev’et! exactly:) that works perfectly. Where is my… where is my… oh. how
do you call this stuff in English? in Russian it’s called GUBKA. Or maybe I
don’t know the proper word for it, so actually it was just for fun… Now
let’s get to the boring stuff – the Russian stuff. And of course we start
with the alphabet. We start with Russian alphabet, this monster, this nightmare. The
Cyrillic alphabet. Everybody seems to be scared by it, but I don’t know why. Actually I have good news and bad news about it. So let’s begin
with bad news okay? Bad news – there are 33 letters. 33 letters in the Russian
alphabet, in the Cyrillic alphabet. It might be pretty scary for those who deal
with Latin alphabet. 24 is much easier than 33, right? but still better than
learning Chinese characters… Still a piece of cake! piece
of cake for you. Some of the letters will be completely unknown to you,
that is really a bad piece of news. and the good … ugh…
disgusting. The good news is that as soon as you learn these letters, actually the
sounds of these letters… So once you learn them, you’ll be able to read any
Russian word. Sounds good, right? read Russian. It’s not like English, it’s not
like (French people please forgive me) it’s not like French.
There is some combination of letters that you don’t even know how to read
together, because the sound is absolutely different from what they look
like. In Russian it’s a piece of cake. What you see is what you
pronounce, very easy. So I encourage you to learn the Russian alphabet as soon as
possible. Put everything else away, and concentrate on learning the alphabet.
That will help you tremendously! Ok, now… I need to put this thing for this
stuff here so I don’t have to look for it every time… okay now let’s… I think I’ll remove it too. Let’s write down the whole alphabet first, and you repeat after me the pronunciation. I’m not going to name the letter like
BE, VE… I’m gonna pronounce the sound that this letter makes. B V G
and so on. Well let’s just not waste our time with that, so the first
one is A. I encourage you to repeat after me.
A. okay. And by the way I’m not gonna dwell too much on writing and on
explaining the order of those lines. That’s what is good about the video – you’ll
be able to go back and watch it as many times as you need to learn the order. So
A. B. B. This is like English B. V. V. repeat after me. Let me… I don’t know do I need to put English versions? okay just just for the first time. A B V I guess this one will be better. G. G. hard G. This is D. YE. YE. how to… how to show it?
The YE with two dots on it is YO. This funny letter is ZH.
usually they make it like this – zh. EE. Like double ee. This is a letter called short EE. And actually the sound is Y… just like in the word yoga. That short sound in the beginning. like y…something. Yoga, yoghurt…
jJust short it down and you’ll get Й. K. Geez I forgot. L. What is it?? Some fly?! I don’t need any flies here! So it’s L. Probably the easiest one right? O. P. Are you still with me? are you repeating
after me? I hope so. This one is T. It’s so ridiculous that I started
with huge letters and now I’m trying to squeeze them here. Sorry for that. T. OO.
like double o. looks like some beginning of a
tank, sorry for this. So it’s OO sound. This one or I don’t
know. this one. okay. sorry for this. So it’s OO. After OO is F. F is this one. H. Almost like English H, but certainly not like that, in the next video I’ll explain the
pronunciation, and we’ll try to help you a little bit with that. H. TS. Usually
with two letters t and s. CH. Like this one. CH. SH. I hope you can see this. SH. like that. SH. SCHT is super complicated,
I have another video about it, I’ll put a link – you should just practice because
most of the foreigners confuse these two sounds. They can’t make a difference. But in writing usually it’s shown like that
SCH, or even something like that SCHT. But it doesn’t make sense. You just need to feel
it, so follow the link. Now it’s funny. Hard sign. It doesn’t have any sound, it divides the word in parts. Just like this sign in other languages.
I’ll tell you more about this letter later. Another difficult sound, I don’t
even know how to show it, something between EE and OO. Again I have a link for
this one. SOFT SIGN. Something
like this dude, but a little bit different. For now you just
need to remember how to write them, and the basic sounds. EH.
like English… just like A almost. but it’s harder, like everything Russian – Э.
Then soft and nice YU. Like this one… or let’s just even write
this – YOU. Perfect. and the last one. finally it’s over. It’s YA. So that
is the Russian alphabet. It’s not that scary, right? you see – easy. Now I want you to look at this again, maybe stop the video, copy those letters, go back and try
to follow me, my writing. And practice writing. But now I’m gonna remove it all. Okay, now a couple of tips on how
to learn it faste.r I always encourage my students to learn like Russian kids do.
Let’s have a look, and I guess one of the… two of the most difficult
sounds for English speakers. Because this one might seem like English K sound
and this might be um English P sound. But it’s absolutely not right, and
this one is S, this one is R. How to remember them? Russian kids always use their imagination, their associations. They play with those letters. So that’s
what you need to do. Always use imagination and weird
associations, it’s up to you but I’m gonna share just a couple of examples. So
this one is S… let’s imagine that this is a snake. SSS it even makes this
sound, and it’s a ssssnake. So write it down a couple of times. When you see this
letter – think about this association and in a couple of weeks you will forget
about this stupid picture completely, but you will remember this sound. It works
great. Same with this letter. I don’t know… this is a sound R. Let’s pretend that this is… oh looks like a breast, sorry for this.
So… some eyes, angry, we need angry. I don’t know… Doesn’t look that angry to me, but
okay… let’s imagine that it’s a lion. It makes a sound RRR. it’s roaring. lion or I don’t know, make anything that…
Who roars? roar? what’s what’s with my mouth? who can roar? so you can write it. Maybe it’s a bear, anyone – just use your
imagination but you’ll remember the sound.
So same with any letter that is difficult to you. Use your imagination
and weird creepy associations, it will help. Now let’s get rid of this. Second
tip is that you don’t need to learn the alphabet in the alphabetical order. We’re
not in the elementary school here. Remember that?
ABCDEFG… we certainly don’t need that. We are grownups, we will
learn it strategically. So let’s divide those letters in several groups. This one
is the first group А К М О Т. It’s not a word, let’s divide it with commas. it’s
not a word, it’s just a group of letters that are familiar to the most people who
know English, know French, Spanish all those languages. And the sounds are the
same. A K M O T – easy, right? but it’s still not enough to learn them effectively. You
don’t need to learn the isolated letters, it doesn’t make sense because
what’s the point in just seeing this letter and recognizing it inside the
word? you need to learn them in words from the very beginning. So if you don’t
know what words to use – here I am to help you. The most wonderful word for the most…
let me do here… for the most wonderful person. You certainly know this word. Can you
read it out loud? Yourself. MAMA. Mama of course means
Mom. or should it be a capital letter? Mama.
So immediately write this word. From the very beginning, don’t write M separately,
don’t write A separately, just use it in words.
Another beautiful and lovely word is KOT. I wonder if you can guess what
this word means. Of course… this lovely dude. This is KOT.
lovely Russian cat. You already know just from these letters, you
already can make two words. Of course you can make much more than that, but now I
want you to remember just these ones. Write them down and then just when
you’re having a break for lunch, keep writing the words, you will remember the
alphabet in no time. The next group consists of those confusing letters that
exist in Ladin alphabet, but they are different in Russian. For example this
one… so let’s read them: V… my writing is terrible…
V YE N R S OO KH. Be very careful with these ones, because they are
not the same in English. And here you need to use that method with a snake and
with a roaring lion. Use your imagination, write something,
draw something, anything that will help you to remember this sound. Now let’s write down several words
to practice. Repeat after me N’ET. N’et means no.
Useful word sometimes. N’et. Another word, let’s write it down, just as
good as the word MAMA. it’s the word SESTRA
let’s put stress in here. I guess you… oh… I guess you can guess… I
guess you can guess, that’s how I speak, the meaning. Sister SESTRA and as
many times as you can write this word, pronounce it, say it out loud. N’ET, SESTRA.
Next time you see your sister, say “n’et sestra”. It works great.
Another nice word – RESTORAN. Guess what it means. Restaurant, yummy word. Yummy word here. And you see you already know some words, not even like 15 minutes
learning Russian, you can already write and speak some Russian language. Okay
RESTORAN, what else? let’s write down
MOSKVA Moskva. what is it?
Moscow of course. Moskva lovely сity. Right now I’m in this city,
in Moscow. So write down these words to your (I hope) notebook but maybe
just a piece of paper for the first lesson, but next time I want you to have
the normal word book for this course. So this group of letters and these words.
Moving on. Now a group of letters that don’t exist in Latin alphabet. B G D YO Z Y and L P F EH YU YA. You have those sounds in the Latin
alphabet, but the writing is completely different. So these are very very
difficult to remember too, but at least again good news is that you’ll be
able to read Russian. So now let’s try several more words to
practice. Okay write these down. Stop the video if you need, pause the
video. We already learned… actually I’m sorry, let me get rid of these. I hope you
paused the video and wrote everything you needed.
Let’s just write down the words to practice. We already learned MAMA. I’m not even going to write the
translation, okay? The second word PAPA.
So mama papa Repeat after me, let’s train our
pronunciation from the very beginning MAMA PAPA SESTRA and… BRAT okay
oh I guess you want me to write that transcription, that translit yes? I hate
doing that, but okay just for the first time. Actually it’s more like… It’s not mama, it’s mahmah.
Same with Papa. Sestra is more like s’estrah. sestra and brat. I hope that next week you already will remember these letters. Please study for
one week, dedicate all your time to learning the Russian letters, because I’m
not going to do this here, I hate doing that, so you are you’re… I
can’t speak already, it’s evening… You will be better off learning how to read
Russian. So these words. What else we can say… DA.
da means yes. “Can you speak Russian? DA!” perfect.
Or the sad word “N’ET”. actually I forgot forgot to…
dah and nyet. What else did we have? we had Moskva.
Let’s write down another city. For example, London. What else?
Another city, maybe Madrid. Beautiful city, never been there, but
maybe one day. Madrid, London, Moskva. Write it down with me and remember, write
down the translation if you need and next time, tomorrow, today practice with
those words, and what else we can… let’s write down the word PIZZA. Oh I’m so hungry. Pizza . Let’s make some bad
fast-food here, let’s write down BURGER and actually these are Russian
words now too. Pizza Burger Pasta. You can start using them from now on.
PASTA, and a lot of international words, foreign words in Russian. So it
will be easy for you to practice with them. Now you know some words, ok and
now let’s add a little bit of grammar here, because it’s the Russian language
for God’s sake. We can’t live without grammar here, so
let’s learn how to say “this is”. You are probably surprised “why on the first
lesson?” but I’ll tell you in a minute. So in Russian you say EHTAH… okay
ЭТО. I don’t know, I hate doing the transcription. Etta it’s like Russian
A. Stressing those here… ЭТО…something
for example, this is a blackboard , this is a teacher. This is…
something. You don’t care about genders here, don’t care if it’s a human or if
it’s some object. Just add something. So why we are using it because here it
comes the homework. From now on and for the whole period of our learning I want
you to speak out loud, to say things out loud and we start with this one, because
with this simple construction you’ll be able to name objects around you. And I
want you to do it right after this video. So right now let’s write down several
words, I don’t know we are in the room… Now so let’s just learn… I don’t know
what to write. For example, OKNO. it’s a window. okno. window. So repeat after me:
this is a window – Etta okno. great. right.
Now let’s write down some words like computer, yeah I’m not
even sure, computer – it’s almost the same. Computer. Now if
you’re sitting next to your laptop or computer, point with your finger and say
“Etta computer”. Great. Next time you’re eating pizza, you already know the
word for a pizza, say: “Etta Pizza”. This is computer, this is okno. Next time
your mom comes into the room, you say: “Etta mama”. Your dad – “Etta Papa” sister – sestra, brother – brat. Let’s write down MUZH and ZHENA. Husband. I’m not gonna dwell too
much here, with pronunciation, you can just type these words into Google
Translate and press the button and listen to the pronunciation. So it’s not
a problem. Our goal here is just to make you start involving with learning
Russian, to speak from day one and learn how to write. And ZHENA is
wife. Again if you don’t understand my pictograms here, photography, terrible
writing – again you just type “wife” in Google Translate and you will see it in
perfect printed letters, and you’ll be able to listen to pronunciation. Use
Google Translate for simple words. Not so good with phrases, but we’ll talk about it later. So this construction – “ETTO something”. For example, tomorrow you walk outside and
you look around and you name your city: “This is
New York!” or “This is… geez… anything… my goodness, “this is Bratislava”, or “this
is Prague”. Say it in Russian – Etta Praga, Etta Moskva. And you can already
make two sentences. You can say… I think I’ll have to turn it off… We already
learned the word PREEV’ET which means hi. And now you can say “Etta something”. So
let’s combine it and there will be two sentences already. For example, again you
walk out the door and you say: “Etta London! and then you say “hi London!
Preev’et London!” Oh no, no space left . So again – Etta London! Preev’et London! but be quiet, say it quietly, or people will think that you are a little bit weird. Of course.
So “Etta London! Preev’et London!” And use as many words as you can, use
names – perfect way to practice writing is using names, write down any name you can remember with Russian letters. It works tremendously well. So that’s it for today.
Your homework, your homework for the next week is to use this construction as many
times as possible, look at any object and say out loud “This is… smth” This is computer, This is Moscow, this is pizza, this is burger.
Search for the words you want to use and start using them immediately. Start
writing them with Russian letters and I hope that you dedicate at least one week
to learn the alphabet intensively, okay? So I hope next time you’ll be able to
write and read all the 33 characters of the Cyrillic alphabet. So that’s it for
today. Thank you for staying with me for so long. Next time I’ll try to divide the
lessons to the smaller videos but… yeah This was the humble beginning in
learning in the Russian language. Thank you again and I hope to see you in
the next video. Bye-bye!

About the author


  1. When I was getting started with Russian and Slavonic, I learned the alphabet out of the hundred year old books, the old way: Az, Buki, Vyedi, Glogol, Dobry, Yest, Zhivyate, Zhalu, Zemla, Ize, Kaku, Ludi, and so forth. That made the alphabet very easy. (Having studied three years of Greek helped, too.) When I got to RU class, my Professor said, "Oh, we don't do it that way any more." Well, who cares ! Maybe the old way was better !

  2. I think I'll learn Russian quite quick cuz I'm from Poland and I see many similarities between those two languages.

  3. Privet Daria! I'm Bulgarian and I want to learn Russian.
    My mother studied Slavonic studies in London, she spoke perfect Russian and Bulgarian and worked as a technical translator in Istanbul since 1983 translating Russian into Turkish. They are all very different languages. Bulgarian grammar is completely different to Russian but there are alot of words that I recognise and know plus I know the Cyrillic alphabet because Bulgarians gave it to you guys 👍😉

  4. Hi, I'm from Russia, if you want to train Russian with a native speaker, then I can help you, and it’s completely FREE, put +, and I will contact you.

  5. Хех)))) я одна русская? А, не, вроде бы не одна? Епта, мне одной интересно, как они учат русский XD?

  6. بحس انهم قريبين منا جد رغم اختلاف اشياء كثير وافضل اسال اية سر قرب الروس منا يمكن الظروف يمكن شعب عندة نفس العاطفة يمكن نظرتهم للحياة بعمق وصدق يمكن اشياء كثير لم اصل اليها بعد
    ولكن بالتامل والفكر ساصل اليها

  7. Goal:
    There's a Russian character in my sci-fi trilogy. I want to know the language in the mind of my character so… Here I am.
    I know, that's a weird goal but, a writer does what a writer does.

  8. Ахахахах, как вы будете падежи и правила учить, бедныее😂
    Hello, I'm from Russia 🇷🇺
    Who want to speak with me on Russian? 😂

  9. I’m going to Russia in December and I need to pick up on my Russian real quick. I know it’s cold there in winter time so I can only think of a few important social situations in which I will need to use Russian.

    Most importantly I think when socializing with Russians I need to pick up on some quick words or questions. So let’s imagine I’m in a restaurant or bar and I’m having a few drinks, I know I would approach someone and say Zdrasvutche, but I need to know how to ask do you fuck on the first date?

  10. After 13 lessons of Daria (+ some other minor teachings on youtube of Katoesja) I went last June to Moscow and St. Petersburg and I was very glad that I had done the lessons.
    I could read everything speak some simple sentences. But most of all the places I visited were very nice and the people were normal just like here in Europe. On the way to St.Petersburg by train, it stopped underway for a smoke break, since many Russians have a habit to smoke. Its a great country and is different from what you hear and see on the media. I will do it over again some time.

  11. Daria is probably the most likeable teacher I have ever seen. I actually believe I could learn Russian from her and will give it my best effort.

  12. my only reason is because I want the knowledge of another language, and I am a bit obsessed with Russia so it's a perfect language.

  13. То чувство когда Русский человек смотрит видео о том как выучить русский…

    P. S Если честно я здесь чтобы почитать комментарии наших иностранных друзей, и пожелать им "Good luck!" в изучении русского языка.

  14. I like how you say russia letter "P" and "твёрдый знак". You should add me on Facebook! Where you from?

  15. Я одна пришла посмотреть как иностранцы страдают, изучая Русский язык? 😀

  16. how a lion roars: RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. anyway this was extremely helpful! ill be sure to practise everyday!

  17. Зачем в "Щ" звук "t"? Его совсем там нет.
    Почему бы не написать транскрипцию к "Э" так как она пишется на английском? (e или æ), а как раз буква И как [i:]?
    Или носители английского не знают обычно обозначений транскрипций?

  18. Ьсювоьвдссбтч вдлвивив вдвомыжвосис жвоымытвьвдвныыпы звоымвювдммвтужвгспумужашсруив щуруи

  19. Alphabet are easy for me because most of African language are mixed with Spanish English french Arabic …
    My goal is to understand Russian music & memes

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