Should I for Russian or German as a new language ?

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Danny1805
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Hey I know its been asked before but im really struggling on what language I want to learn! I only speak my native English and generally find it hard to learn a new one. Im currently studying a tourism course so ideally it would be great benefit if id learn a new one so im wanting to learn Russian or German.

The reasons for Russian because I have a great interest in the history and culture of the country but I think id have less opportunity to visit there, maybe once or twice. For German I think it would be the opposite, im more likely to visit Germany and German speaking nations but im more interested in Russian. I watched many films and series in both languages (with subtitles) and both sound good to me.

Id plan to learn the basics myself and if all goes well attend a course / class in one. Ive seen articles that both are either hard to learn or others claiming there easier than you think haha so I just cant make my mind up!
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PlainDoll
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Russian is incredibly hard to learn I believe due to the different alphabet, so you'd need to be committed.
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prostheticzeta
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russian is really hard, but it is worth a try. German will be much easier for you, as travelling there is so much easier and it is always beneficial to make your self aware of the culture and environment.
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Avoid Frimpong
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As someone who's done both for GCSE, I would recommend German as a first foreign language, to introduce you to grammar rules etc that English doesn't have. I wouldn't recommend Russian for someone who hasn't learned a foreign language before, unless you're really confident. German and Russian are more similar than people think, you could go German First -> then Russian.
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Laeliakiwi
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I can't decide for you, draw up a pros and cons list for both languages and go from there.
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Chichaldo
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Russia is cold.
Germany would be easier to pick up, I studied it for GCSE and through high school, Germany might be more transferable also.
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KaiFehad
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German
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Snufkin
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(Original post by PlainDoll)
Russian is incredibly hard to learn I believe due to the different alphabet, so you'd need to be committed.
It would take less than half an hour to learn the Russian alphabet; most students studying Russian at university are expected to learn the alphabet before they even start term.

I believe German and Russian have similar grammar/structure, so arguably Russian is not significantly harder than German. I would pick whichever one you enjoy most.
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by PlainDoll)
Russian is incredibly hard to learn I believe due to the different alphabet, so you'd need to be committed.
The alphabet is actually extremely easy to learn; you could do it in 10 minutes. It works just like the Latin alphabet for the most part (one character per phoneme), except the hard and soft signs, which do not represent their own phonemes but modify existing ones, and several characters (а, е, о, к, м, т...) are identical to their Latin counterparts. Having pretty cursive in Russian is another matter and takes practice, but learning to read the script is not at all difficult.

I personally found Russian easier than German. The stress rules are probably the hardest part, so if tough pronunciation is a real problem for you it might be wise to keep that in mind. In general, though, Russian is looser than German in terms of rules: looser syntax, fewer tenses, no articles and I think very limited mood (I'm only at an intermediate level in Russian). I think it has a nicer balance of grammatical richness and flexibility than German. If you're more interested in Russian culture, I would recommend Russian; it might feel more alien than German (English is Germanic and is bound up with a similar Western European culture to German) but it isn't as hard as people say, and your interest will motivate you. Learning Russian will also give you a good understanding of grammar in general, in case anyone wants you to learn German for business purposes in the future.
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atsruser
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(Original post by Snufkin)
It would take less than half an hour to learn the Russian alphabet; most students studying Russian at university are expected to learn the alphabet before they even start term.
That's too optimistic, but the alphabet isn't a good reason to avoid Russian. It took me about a week to learn the alphabet, in both printed and cursive form, and maybe 3 months before I didn't notice it anymore.

I believe German and Russian have similar grammar/structure, so arguably Russian is not significantly harder than German. I would pick whichever one you enjoy most.
German and Russian do indeed have similar grammar. However, Russian is somewhat harder, overall.

1) Russian has 6 cases, to German's 4, and the declensions are harder to learn, IMO.

2) Russian verb conjugation is straightforward, whereas German's is closer to that of English, but Russian verbs come in (usually) two flavours, perfective and imperfective. This is the idea of verbal aspect, and it is tricky to learn for someone whose native language doesn't support aspect in the same way.

3) German shares more cognates with English than Russian does, though cognates do exist in Russian. This makes the acquisition of vocab. harder.

For someone who is mainly interested in passive language usage, however, (i.e. listening and reading), the differences are smaller: it's easy(ish) to recognise aspect and case declension, as opposed to generating them correctly.
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Danny1805
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(Original post by Sonechka)
The alphabet is actually extremely easy to learn; you could do it in 10 minutes. It works just like the Latin alphabet for the most part (one character per phoneme), except the hard and soft signs, which do not represent their own phonemes but modify existing ones, and several characters (а, е, о, к, м, т...) are identical to their Latin counterparts. Having pretty cursive in Russian is another matter and takes practice, but learning to read the script is not at all difficult.
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Yes ive read that the cyrillic alphabet is not that hard to learn and easier phonetic wise than English too
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eugaurie
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Russian has a very steep learning curve and will be difficult to get used to at first if you've never studied a slavic language before because of the idea of multidirection and unidirection verbs and having different verbs for perfective and imperfective aspects. That being said, the grammar of Russian is finite and you will get past it after which you'll focus on vocabulary which is relatively easy to pick up as it is a fusional language so there's a huge amount of verbs formed from just adding prefixes to other verbs.
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