Sunday, August 03, 2008

Language Instruction Part 3: Russian Books

There aren't as many good books for Russian instruction, surpassingly considering the Cold War. Saying that I can unqualifiedly recommend Live from Moscow: Russian Stage One. This is the textbook series that I learned from in college so take my recommendation with a grain of salt. The series has a textbook, workbook, audio cassettes, and VHS tapes. The textbook gets the learners toes wet with some loan words before getting into some of the grammatical differences as well as some of the more complicated subjects. The audio is used to reinforce lessons with exercises in conjunction with the workbook. The VHS tapes presents a soap operaesque story of an American visiting Russia. This reinforces the lessons of the textbook and shows how they would be used in conversation.

If you are looking for a comprehensive Russian-English Dictionary you can do much worse than this. They also do a decent job presenting the grammar and basic verbs of Russian.

Fortunately for language learners, Russian has a lot of its greatest writers who are out of copyright. You can find the odd poem by Pushkin on Gutenberg or through the links on Wikipedia. If you are yearning for a dual language printed book this may fit the bill. I personally love Mikhail Kuzmin whose books are pretty expensive if you are looking for them in print but are available on-line. He wrote on of the first gay novels in Russian, Wings.

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