The Reason Russian Accelerator Gets You Conversational Fast
Why is Russian Accelerator so successful in turning students into confident, conversational speakers of Russian? The answer is simple: Russian Accelerator uses a series of cutting-edge language learning techniques—ones that allow you to build a rich vocabulary, and master the complexities of Russian grammar, quickly, efficiently, effortlessly.
Below are just some of the techniques the course employs:
Technique: Super-Literal Translation (SLT)
Have you spent time with other programs, learning lots of Russian words....and yet still find yourself unable to put the words together into useful phrases, much less hold down a normal conversation? The problem is, you've been learning the *English equivalents* for each Russian word or phrase. Do any of the following ring a bell?
- Minya zovoot ____ = My name is ____ .
- U minya yest ____ = I have a ____
- Mne nravitsa _____ = I like _____.
Each of those translations is wrong. Sure, those are the English equivalents, but that's not what you're actually *saying* in Russian. That's why you feel so confused, because no one explained to you what those things actually mean. And if you're not sure what you're really saying, you're probably not going to speak much.
Russians don't say, "My name is..." They literally phrase it: "Me they call..." Russians don't say, "I have a …" They say, literally, "At me there exists a …." They don't say, "I like..." They phrase it, "To me is pleasing..."
By discovering the actual, literal translation of every Russian word and phrase you encounter, you'll start thinking like a Russian person. And the bottom line? You'll learn in months what takes other people years. Ask any polyglot: Figuring out the SLT is a cornerstone of efficient language acquisition.
Technique: Grammar via Pattern Recognition
Have you ever taken a Russian lesson—maybe from a private tutor, maybe from a YouTube video or a free website—and been told to memorize a declension chart? All six case endings, singular and plural, for nouns (all three genders) and adjectives? Were you also required to memorize all six conjugations for a variety of "verb types" in Russian? And after all that memorizing, did you feel even one step closer to being able to, for example, order your own meal in a Russian cafe? Or have a conversation with a Russian friend about movies or travel or the weather?
Memorizing (or rather, trying to memorize) rules is the most painful, least effective way of learning Russian grammar. Why? Because you're forcing your brain to do something it's not very good at. The superior way to learn grammar is to leverage your brain's innate ability at spotting patterns.
Want to see it in action? Imagine there's a new club that you'd like to join. The members speak in an odd way, and to join, you must speak the way they do. The doorman gives you some examples:
- This is a cola. I drank a colu.
- This is pizza. I love pizzu.
- This is a bandana. Did you bring a bandanu?
- This is a sofa. Did you buy a ______?
What do you tell him? It seems, according to the pattern, we have to say, "sofu." Guess what? You're in the club! And in fact, you've just picked up on a fundamental pattern of Russian grammar. That is, words that normally end with an "a" sound change to an "u" ending when we do something to the word. Drink it, eat it, love it, buy it, bring it, see it...All those count as doing something to the word.
The bottom line? You can either memorize a complicated list of rules, memorize chart after chart of case endings, and then page after of page of verb conjugations...
..or, you can use a course which helps you spot the patterns of the language. One method is slow, painful, and frustrating. The other is effortless, efficient...even fun!
Technique: Learning From Context
Do you know the Russian word ОЧКИ? (Let's use the English letters OCHKEE to sound itout. And put the stress on the end: och-KEE.) So, what does the word mean? Well, if I just tell you the meaning, it'd be like being introduced to someone at a party. In under a minute, as you walk away and move on to something else, you've already forgotten their name. But if I show you the word in context, a whole different part of your brain is activated. It's almost like solving a puzzle. Your brain immediately, automatically, tries to figure it out. Like this...
The things we wear to correct our vision are called ochkee. Not contact lenses, though. Only the kind made of wire frames that rest on your ears and nose, where the corrective lenses are in front of your eye...those are called ochkee. My grandma wears ochkee for reading. Ochkee don't have to be just for correcting your vision. You can wear dark ochkee to protect your eyes from UV rays.
Interesting, isn't it? You know exactly what ochkee are, and yet I never actually told you the meaning. Your brain (quite easily) figured it out from context. That's the power of Contextual Learning. It activates the "puzzle solving" region of your brain, allowing you to learn quickly and deeply. And even though we've moved on in this discussion, you still remember our new word. Tell me: What are the two main things an optometrist sells? Contact lenses, and...ochkee.
Technique: Word Origin
To grasp the power of this technique, let's look at a new word: ГОРОД (Let's use the English letters GOROD to sound it out. Emphasis on the first 'O'...GOH-rud). With a population of over nine million, Tokyo is the largest gorod in Japan. In Russia, Moscow is their largest gorod. What about you? Do you have a favorite gorod? In America, although I like Los Angeles and Miami, my favorite gorod is New York.
Ok. So, we know what a gorod is.
...But maybe we did already. Have you heard of the Russian cities Leningrad or Stalingrad? How about the city of Volgograd? Those names all end with "grad"...a contraction of "gorod." So, Volgograd basically means Volga-City. By taking the time to dig into a word's origin, we can connect it to words you already know. It's like turning on a light you didn't realize was there. With almost no effort at all, just making a connection, you can grasp the meaning of lots of Russian words. It's a huge time-saver.
Technique: Novel Usage
If you've been studying languages for a while, you've probably heard about spaced repetition—the idea that timing plays a big part in developing your memory. That's certainly true. Timing is definitely important. Still, it's one thing to be able to recall a random word. But making that word a part of your everyday Russian vocabulary requires a technique known as Novel Usage. In essence, every time you're asked to recall a word, it needs to be in a unique phrase—one you've never spoken before.
In a typical spaced repetition app, you are simply prompted: How do you say glasses in Russian? Then: What is the Russian word for city? After a few more random words, the app again asks you: How do you say glasses in Russian? And that's fine for developing word recall.
But it does very little to build your Russian conversational skills—unless you think conversations consist of one word exchanges, all in the nominative case. In a language course aimed at making you conversational, spaced repetition needs to be done more carefully. Each prompt should get you to recall the target word in a new, useful phrase:
- Do you wear glasses?
- How far is the city from the airport?
- Your glasses are on the table.
- Moscow is my favorite city.
- I bought these glasses in the city.
...and so on. Always using your target words in unique phrases, you quickly gain control over them. The adjustments that need to be made for gender and case endings become automatic. Again, if your goal is to recall Russian words at random, then stick with one of the spaced rep apps. But if you're trying to quickly and efficiently become conversational in Russian, you need a course that incorporates Novel Usage.
Technique: Multiple Exposure
You've learned a word from context. You've worked with it again and again, always in a unique phrase. It's becoming part of your everyday Russian vocabulary. So we're done, right?
No. It's still not enough. Because what's missing is the ability to spot the word when Rus sian speakers use it. After all, do you think all native speakers talk as slowly and clearly as the voice in your Russian vocab app? Not only do they speak blisteringly fast, they also have regional accents, varying degrees of careful (or careless) diction, and so on.
Ask yourself: How are you going to have a conversation with someone if you don't under stand what they said? By using a course that presents you with multiple exposures of every new Russian word—through the inclusion of Russian songs, movie clips, TV news, and numerous native speakers—you greatly compress the time to reach conversational fluency. After all, the more confident you are in understanding fluently spoken Russian, the more confident you'll be in responding.
Technique: Controlled Immersion
What exactly is immersion? Simply, it's a targeted learning environment where those around you only speak Russian, and where your only option is to respond in Russian. But immersion does not mean "living in a Russian speaking country." Unless you're already an advanced speaker, that kind of in-country immersion is overkill. Too much, too soon. Still, some amount of immersion is useful, even for beginners.
How can a language course achieve this? By including carefully scripted, interactive listening sessions entirely in Russian. You might listen to someone speak about their day in Russian, and then be asked questions by another native speaker about what the person said. Or you might listen in on a conversation between native speakers, and again be prompted to answer in Russian about what they were discussing. By listening to audios featuring Controlled Immersion environments, students can develop their conversational skills without the pressure (and expense) of being in-country. They're a quick, safe, and highly efficient way to hone your language skills.
Stop Struggling and Start Speaking!
Hopefully you can see that your success with the language has little to do with you “language ability”, and more to do with the methods used to teach you.
Russian Accelerator is the only Learn Russian program that uses these powerful techniques in combination to make learning Russian stress free, fast, and yes... even fun.
Modern Methods For Mastering Russian
Russian Accelerator members talk about their impression of the course.
I haven’t felt so energized about something new in a long tme. This is an excellent program.
“Very Powerful Ways to Learn...”
IThe Power Phrases, contextual learning and Super Literal Translation are very powerful ways to learn and remember.
Mark I wanted to tell you, you are a genius!!!
“Made It Easy...”
Trust me, all of your customers sincerely appreciate how easy you have made it to learn the Russian language.