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8 year old wants to learn Russian

(36 Posts)
deplorabelle Thu 02-Mar-17 16:45:38

DS2 is quite dedicated to the idea of learning Russian. He's only 8 so he doesn't have a vast amount of follow through but he has learnt the alphabet and done a few sessions of Duo Lingo (with my help). We have no connection with Russia or Russian friends though I had a similar obsession with the language as a teenager and made several half baked attempts to learn the language. (I know a bit)

We live near a university city so there are people who offer Russian tuition though probably not for a non Russian 8yo!!

Would I be mad to investigate Russian tutors? And does anyone else have a similar child who can relate or advise?

Leeds2 Thu 02-Mar-17 18:16:12

I have no idea about learning Russian, but if your DS is that keen,and he sounds like he is, I probably would look for a tutor to do conversational Russian (or written if he prefers) for as long as he finds it enjoyable.

Could you source something like comics written in Russian? Or maybe get a pen friend?

OhtoblazeswithElvira Thu 02-Mar-17 18:19:17

It is quite promising that has managed to learn the alphabet. Try youtube for cartoons for small children (slow speech, repetition, clear, standard pronunciation) and then move on from there?

ShyOyster Thu 02-Mar-17 18:20:22

Go for it!
I was roughly that age when I got obsesses with Latin. And then a year later - German. Learning languages at a young age comes with no effort whatsoever. I can't remember myself really studying hard. FWIW, I am in my 30s now and speak 4 languages.

deplorabelle Thu 02-Mar-17 18:34:13

Thanks all that's very encouraging. The YouTube cartoons idea is a good one. Thank you

Time to look for a tutor smile

Zhabr Thu 02-Mar-17 20:03:37

Peppa Pig in Russian is really good

irvineoneohone Thu 02-Mar-17 22:00:19

My ds is 9 and he is also very interested in learning foreign language too.
(Not Russian though, he learns French and my native language)
We watch cartoon on you tube as well. Also he learns to sing cartoon songs. (There's lots with lyrics)
We use duolingo and memrise. I think tutor is a good idea.

deplorabelle Fri 03-Mar-17 07:06:56

Songs are a good idea too. I wish I had enough Russian to support him. I guess I'll probably learn more this way smile

Sixisthemagicnumber Fri 03-Mar-17 07:10:24

My sons school offer Russian as one of the many languages that children can choose to study from the age of 11. I don't see any reason why an enthusiastic child can't start learning it a few years earlier. We have a really poor record for teaching languages in most schools in this country so I would get a tutor for a child who really wants to learn a new language.

JoJoSM2 Fri 03-Mar-17 11:41:22

I think a tutor is a good idea. It does seem like a big deal in the UK but in other countries it's very common to learn languages from an early age - I've met quite a few 5-year-olds doing languages privately.

deplorabelle Fri 03-Mar-17 15:00:31

Where are you in the country Six? State or indie? He is really keen to choose a senior school that offers Russian. I haven't researched it in depth as things can change in 3 years but so far only found one school which sometimes offers it in sixth form

EssentialHummus Fri 03-Mar-17 15:21:56

Get a tutor in! I'm learning Russian as an adult (Russian husband) and I'm jealous of DC who suffer learn the case system etc from age 0.

I can ask DH for ideas of children's resources if you like?

If you are in London I heartily recommend the tutors/classes at UCL's SSEES - I think they can work individually with little ones.

Alyosha Fri 03-Mar-17 15:59:13

Russian isn't so hard to learn even as an adult.

If you can afford it, have some tutoring yourself - learning the alphabet only takes max. one week.

The cases aren't that bad either - honestly!

I actually found Russian easier to learn than French!

Удачи вам!

EssentialHummus Fri 03-Mar-17 16:02:29

I think it depends alyosha. I find it difficult, despite two years of lessons, an on-call tutor husband and fluency in four other languages. I remember sailing through Zulu lessons and wondering why everyone else was moaning! I think some "bits" of some languages can be more difficult for some people than others.

Alyosha Fri 03-Mar-17 16:18:38

Some lovely soviet era Russian films:

"A gloomy day is made brighter by a smile"

(Apologies for clunky translation)

There are lots more...have google translate open to translate the videos' titles and search "передачи для детей" (programmes for children)

Alyosha Fri 03-Mar-17 16:20:36

Essentialhummus - of course you're right it can be tough as everyone finds different things difficult.

What about Russian did you find hardest? For me it is still the vocab, which has far fewer cognates than German/the romance languages.

I do find Russian has far fewer exceptions which makes things easier.

EssentialHummus Fri 03-Mar-17 16:34:55

Ooh that link looks great!

I'm still battling with cases, two years on. Vocab is actually my strong suit, possibly because DH and I will have simple conversations in Russian so I can absorb some words from him over time.

Alyosha Fri 03-Mar-17 16:54:25

What aspect of the cases? Endings/remembering which verbs are transitive/instransitive & which cases they take?

The below helped me, of course you might not find it very useful smile

Take one male noun, one female noun, one adjective and decline them in a grid style system (Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Prepositional & Instrumental), singular & plural. Repeat over and over again until you have it down. Then read it out loud, again. The aim should be to instantly recall the ending. Do it for typical nouns and any irregular nouns you have issues with.


Sing. Pl.
Книга Книги Nom.
Книгу Книги Acc.
Книге Книгам Dat.
Книги Книг Gen.
Книге Книгах Prep.
Книгой Книгами Instr.

EssentialHummus Fri 03-Mar-17 17:01:27

I will have a go at that, thank you!

Chaotica Fri 03-Mar-17 17:12:12

Get him a tutor! I was enthusiastic about learning Russian when I was your DS's age (had a Russian speaking friend at nursery and apparently understood it perfectly then). I learnt at school (state) where they offered minority languages after school at GCSE and A level.

But I only got to grips with it once I had to speak it though. So a tutor is a great idea. The cases and aspects just worked when heard people (Russians -- they are so talented wink) just using them and I still haven't forgotten them. It isn't that hard in context.

Chaotica Fri 03-Mar-17 17:15:19

By the way, I was taught best in a way which would probably appeal to DCs. We did exercises, dancing, dramatic reconstructions of what you would say when and they used comics to show how the different words work (or don't match up to English). All of these were techniques used by the Russians to teach the hundreds of thousands of foreign students who used to arrive to do degrees with no Russian at all.

confuugled1 Fri 03-Mar-17 17:20:20

ds1 decided he wanted to start learning to speak greek when he was 10. He used dh's EarWorm cds to listens to going to sleep at night - and he picked up quite a lot from it.

He's now moved up to senior school and is doing German so has switched to listening to the German ones going to sleep instead but still occasionally listens to the greek one!

theMR Fri 03-Mar-17 17:31:10

That is great! Sounds like your have a smart son. There's lots of free resources online, especially places like youtube which can support in laying the foundation. This might be a useful starting point, in case he goes off the idea!

If it holds... then a tutor!

cantkeepawayforever Sat 04-Mar-17 19:43:38

Where are you in the country? Russian is one of the two 'second languages' on offer from year 8 at our local comp....

Zoflorabore Sun 05-Mar-17 02:13:38

My dd has just turned 6 and is learning French and they are just like sponges I believe!
Russian has always seemed so hard to me and I think it's fabulous that your ds is learning it, I would use as much free online resources as possible and then look for a tutor and as a pp said when it comes to secondary school ( which seems forever away ) you can look for schools which offer Russian as opposed to the usual French/Spanish/German.

My ds's secondary school also offers mandarin.

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