RUSSIAN CURSIVE VIDEOS.

Natalia at A Spoonful of Russian (“learning Russian one bite at a time”) has been making videos of how to write Russian cursive letters, and Language Geek has conveniently gathered the links in one post. When you’re learning a language, it’s important (as far as I’m concerned) not only to master the pronunciation and grammar but to learn to write as the native speakers do; it’s a painful experience to see (for example) a foreign student of Chinese painstakingly writing horrible boxy characters that would make any Chinese cringe. So if you’re studying Russian, this is a good way to make sure you know how to write cursives properly. (Mind you, there’s more than one way to write some letters, and for т I prefer the form that looks more like the printed version but with the vertical extending below the line, because that’s the way Mandelshtam wrote it.)

Comments

  1. Considering how much I type (opposed to how much I write) I will probably lose this skill completely one of those days. Not much use for it anyways.

  2. Maybe learning cursive letters from these movies is OK, but otherwise I’d say take that lady with a grain of salt. First, she has a tint of foreign accent (probably lived too long abroad); second, she’s too fond of stereotypes (“on the 8 March men do all housework” — give me a break!); third, she makes childish grammar mistakes such as saying “s vos’mym martOM!” instead of the correct “s vos’mym martA!” (~ “happy 8th of March”). I am a native speaker and I love my language, and it upsets and annoys me when people who teach it don’t seem to care about speaking properly themselves.

  3. Not much use for it anyways.
    How things change! When I was learning Russian (almost 40 years ago, yikes!) we were told Russians used cursive for everything, including on forms where we were used to printing information in English.
    I am a native speaker and I love my language, and it upsets and annoys me when people who teach it don’t seem to care about speaking properly themselves.
    Sorry about that—I didn’t listen closely enough to enough of the movies to pick up on that. I hope her language lessons are better than her cursive lessons!

  4. RavinDave says:

    It surprises me that there isn’t a solid podcast for learning Russian (Natalia means well). And real-world Russian cursive gives me more of a headache than hanzi. I’ve spent so many hours staring at what looked like wall-to-wall uuuuuuuuu’s or mmmmmmm’s on the page.

  5. You should try some cursive hanzi. You’ll be begging permission to go back to the uuuuuuus!

  6. Once, we examined Armenian orthography in historical linguistics simply to realise how ridiculous it was.

  7. Of course the Serbian and Macedonian cursive cyrillic differ in crucial respects from the Russian. Most notably, P and T are written as a latin u and cyrillic SH (respectively) with overbars. A bit of a shibboleth if you learnt your cyrillic in Russia!

  8. michael farris says:

    Forget cursive, I can barely deal with cyrillic italics.
    I know cyrillic more from Bulgarian than Russian, but while block letters are easy enough to read I stumble all over italics, partly because more letters look more confusingly latin (radio becomes paguo) and partly because (as someone else mentioned) too many words look like indiscriminate strings of m, u and a flatbotted w.

  9. Once, we examined Armenian orthography in historical linguistics simply to realise how ridiculous it was.
    Fundamentally? Or some manuscript style? It had a birthday a couple years ago.
    I would propose that Korean linguistics courses include a session where they make fun of every other writing system. Ever.

  10. Modeste Musorgsky made his living as a government scribe for some time. I’d love to get a page of his handwriting.

  11. David Marjanović says:

    Of course the Serbian and Macedonian cursive cyrillic differ in crucial respects from the Russian. Most notably, [...]

    Yes, and the capital D looks like 2 and not like a Latin capital D, and the g is ī. And in printed italics, the lowercase v is usually a Latin b.
    Of course, handwriting (as taught at school at least) differs between Germany and Austria in a larger number of features!

  12. I’d love to get a page of [Musorgsky's] handwriting.
    Caryl Emerson says the Forestry Ministry has a dozen bundles in his “fastidious handwriting.”

  13. They could make a bit of money selling a page here and there.
    It’s forestry records etc. with no relation to his music or his life. He basically made his living as a typist-equivalent.

  14. Yes, Yes, Yes! Such words of wisdom, Languagehat!
    I am having great difficulties learning to write Mongolian in Cyrillic script (I’m now living in Ulaanbaatar). I cringe when I see my childish scrawl next to the beautifully formed letters of my teacher.
    Learning how to write the letters, even the non-cursive forms, is a definite must! This is something that textbooks should not gloss over.

  15. David Marjanović says:

    bathrobe, a few months of practice (probably much less, because you have full immersion, while I had 4 hours of Russian a week in the first year), and you’ll write as if you had learned it at the age of 6. You’ll never forget it again.

  16. Well, not exactly full immersion. My working environment is almost totally Chinese :(

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