Saturday, 26 December 2015

learning Russian / Cyrillic alphabet

The Penguin book

The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners

has a very good introduction, but could make more of the fact that many letters are borrowed from Greek.

For example N is pronounced ee ! This makes sense once you realise N represents the Greek letter eta.

Having waded through the beginning there were 7 letters that I really struggled with, until I made up a cartoon / story ...

Once upon a time, two Zen monks were instructed by their master to learn Russian, (more accurately - the Cyrillic alphabet) to improve their understanding of Russian and Serbian speech and literature.

They laboured manfully, mightily, monkishly and moodily but couldn't get the hang of the least familiar few, several of which appeared identical or pointing the wrong way (or both).

"You shall ride the yak that walks backwards until you master the alphabet," said the master

Я        З  Э         Ч    Ц        Щ    Ш

So they searched behind the cushions in their meditation room until they'd found enough cash (3 Euros) to hire the yak that walked backwards and and trotted off into the midday sun muttering at each other, frequently consulting their text book ... little realising that their antics were symbolic. The rouble dropped, they added one simple letter to each of the impossibly mysterious symbol groups and shouted 'Shsheesh!' in glee.

  Яk        ЗЭH         ЧaЦ        ЩИШ

(yak       zen          chats        shsheesh)

It works for me (!) and I hope it will for you :)


До свидания


books, education, language, symbolic 

1 comment :

  1. #Education the biggest loser in Australia Labor reshuffle

    Queensland students are the biggest losers in the latest Labor cabinet reshuffle with Education Minister Kate Jones’s attention to be diverted to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    LNP Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis said it was disappointing Annastacia Palaszczuk thought education could play second fiddle to the glamorous Games portfolio.

    “Our kids deserve a full time Minister who is focussed on ensuring they get the best education,” Ms Davis said.

    “This mammoth portfolio was too big for Kate Jones last time and it’s too big for her now.

    “The Commonwealth Games is the largest event Queensland will host since the 1988 World Expo and we can’t get that wrong – but it shouldn’t be at the expense of our students’ education.

    “Last time Labor’s Kate Jones had this cobbled-together portfolio, it was revealed she spent less than 40 per cent of her time meeting education groups - despite education representing 98 per cent of her budget responsibilities.

    “What has changed since Annastasia Palaszczuk stripped Kate Jones of the Commonwealth Games due to the heavy workload 14 months ago?

    “The next 12 months are critical for Queensland as we negotiate a new education funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government and we can’t have a distracted Minister.

    “Only the LNP will put our students’ education first with a dedicated Minister for Education.”


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