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  1. #1
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    Notable Russian books ... What would you recommend?

    I'm on a quest to learn Russian (why? For the fun and challenge of course!). I'm still working on the Cyrillic script & pronounciation, but so far things are going well.

    Since I don't know enough to go about and read Russian and search for books, I was wondering if you knew of any good books (i.e. originally written in Russian) that might be worth reading. This does not have to be chess related.

    Also, in the likely case that several of you around here probably speak Russian, where is a good place to find these books? How about some communities on the internet that speak Russian? I'd like to immerse myself to it as much as possible.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by boardscholar
    I'm on a quest to learn Russian (why? For the fun and challenge of course!). I'm still working on the Cyrillic script & pronounciation, but so far things are going well.

    Since I don't know enough to go about and read Russian and search for books, I was wondering if you knew of any good books (i.e. originally written in Russian) that might be worth reading. This does not have to be chess related.

    Also, in the likely case that several of you around here probably speak Russian, where is a good place to find these books? How about some communities on the internet that speak Russian? I'd like to immerse myself to it as much as possible.

    Thanks
    Find a Russian girl to marry, LOL . There are plenty of good Russian books but i guess you will need to master your language first before you can read them in Russian.

    My favorite Russian books are "Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov, Chekhov's short stories. And Shvartz's play "Dragon" or yes, lets not forget about Gogol.

  3. #3
    CC FIDE Master Dozy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boardscholar
    I'm on a quest to learn Russian (why? For the fun and challenge of course!). I'm still working on the Cyrillic script & pronounciation, but so far things are going well.

    Since I don't know enough to go about and read Russian and search for books, I was wondering if you knew of any good books (i.e. originally written in Russian) that might be worth reading. This does not have to be chess related.

    Also, in the likely case that several of you around here probably speak Russian, where is a good place to find these books? How about some communities on the internet that speak Russian? I'd like to immerse myself to it as much as possible.

    Thanks
    If you're into poetry you might try Yevgeny Yevtushenko. I've only read a few of his (in English) but they're powerful, even in translation. You might try his anthology Bratsk Station and, if you can find it, The Light Controller.

    Nice thing about poetry in another language: you don't have to spend as much time ploughing through it as you do with a novel.
    Visit my chess blog: http://blog.chess.com/Dozy

  4. #4
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    the beauty of Russian

    I heard somewhere that Russian has a specific kind of grammar that only applies to its swearwords?

    That's my kind of language. 6c65r6465456^%%&^ you ^&*($## get out of my carpark you &*%#@%$# !


  5. #5
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    some titles fo r you

    I am sure that you will find many scholarly works in Russian on:

    1. How to make vodka and reward your efforts by getting hammered.
    2. Why the battle of Stalingrad was Russia's finest hour.
    3. That Andropov was in touch with aliens from another planet.
    4. Tales from a holiday in a Siberian labour camp.
    5. Why Garry Kasparov will never checkmate Putin in the political chessboard.


  6. #6
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Might I be so bold as to recommend "Russian for Chess Players" by Hanon Russell?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanon_Russell
    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozy
    If you're into poetry you might try Yevgeny Yevtushenko. I've only read a few of his (in English) but they're powerful, even in translation. You might try his anthology Bratsk Station and, if you can find it, The Light Controller.

    Nice thing about poetry in another language: you don't have to spend as much time ploughing through it as you do with a novel.
    Here is a link that might be of some use.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Akhmatova

  8. #8
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    Thanks for some suggestions. Actually I wasn't aware of the "Russian for Chess Players" book, and yes that was terribly bold of you to post that!

    I was wondering what some of the perhaps classic texts or interesting things in some form of literature I may find in the Russian language. I'll certainly try looking into some of the poetry writers and books suggested.

    As far as some of the Russian ideas ... It certainly seems they are much more open to new ideas and technology (yes, even UFOs, aliens, etc) at least from what I can gather from Pravda (national newspaper to my reckoning?) and other sources when I first seen it many moons ago. But then again I've also heard that UFOs themself are treated more seriously in Asian countries. *shrugs*


    As regarding language skill; I'm not too sure it would take all that long to reach a decent reading level in a relatively short period (i.e. a few months). I'll share with you some of my thoughts on the process:

    Once pronounciation is understood well enough and you can read/pronounce Russian (among common travel sayings, greetings, etc), you just need to rote-learn many many words.

    After some common words are learnt and a simple foundation is built, then simply learn 10+ words a day (likely increasing your daily quantity as manageable) from a list of most common words. Substituting other vocabularly as needed as you read various text and information for practice.

    I should think grammar itself could be studied as time permits, but a lot should be intuitively grasped from various exercises and lessons that you originally learnt by. This is similar to how we learn out native language, or how the Pimsleur language instruction works. You could study grammar as deeply as most books try to teach it, but in a beginning language it's sort of cumbersome and may displace the fun from the beginning.

    I found a Russian word-frequency list here http://www.artint.ru/projects/frqlist/frqlist-en.asp. It's a list of the most frequently used words in written literature. According to the site, the first 1,000 words comprise ~64% of the typical written vocabulary.

    At 10+ words a day during a three month period, it's a considerable potential repetoire.

    I think language learning is more of a dedication skill, with a lot of rote learning like completing tactical puzzles en masse.

    That's the general idea of my strategy.

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