How to Think Like a Russian

  • Published on Sep 8, 2017
  • This has been a huge issue of many of you! Decided to put it in a video for EVERYONE to see, and not just responding to comments individually. I hope, this was useful!
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Comments • 90

  • Whammytap
    Whammytap 2 days ago

    Right! A lack of literal translations can cause so much confusion. I gave up on RussianPod101 when they said that как дела meant "how are you?" I am especially curious about the verbs like нужен and нравится, I think they're called reflexive verbs.

  • MoJohnnys
    MoJohnnys 5 days ago

    How to think like a Russian? Activate Sleeper Agent...

  • Xena Cuevas
    Xena Cuevas 17 days ago

    You're the best thank you!!

  • South Bay FMA Club
    South Bay FMA Club 2 months ago +1

    Fidor, I like watching and listening to your videos, as person who grew up with only a little Russian, it helps me while I take classes. Your method is easier for me to understand sometimes.

  • Argon Wheatbelly
    Argon Wheatbelly 3 months ago

    "You must think in Russian. You cannot think in English and transpose. You must think in Russian."

  • taras Smith
    taras Smith 4 months ago

    Ok , in english we talk of phonetics , and it applies to the structure of words in a sound sense, the break down of the word as opposed to absorbing the whole word without properly understanding the basics slowed down and fractionalized state makes memorizing and understanding easier.

  • reza mohajer
    reza mohajer 5 months ago

    I am learning Russian through English,as a Persian, it's the only way to go.

  • jmcd
    jmcd 5 months ago

    I died at have a pet bear 😂

  • Стивен Шокли
    Стивен Шокли 5 months ago +2

    I'm the only student in my whole school who is a Russian spy

  • Gary Graves
    Gary Graves 5 months ago +1

    I like all of the videos here, but I do have to disagree with one point made in this video. When it comes to literal translations, I find it to be very important.
    The common example, and the one used in this video is «как тебя зовут?» Okay, so teach someone this phrase and tell them it means “What is your name?” Next, ask them what the Russian word name is. A pretty common response will be “зовут,” which is obviously incorrect.
    Why not teach the literal wording along with the equivalent meaning in the native language? I find it extremely annoying to oversimplify a language to the point where the student is treated as an imbecile.
    Overall, I am a firm believer in teaching/learning the literal translation as close as possible, along with the meaning, because it serves a greater purpose down the road. It avoids errors such as believing зовут means name, and it gives a deeper understanding of the language.
    My point is, how can someone think like a Russian if your teaching methods are catering towards thinking like an English speaker, or a French, German, Swahili, Chuvash or whatever language?

  • Rock Fisher
    Rock Fisher 6 months ago +2

    6:50 I noticed I practice Russian better while having a beer or two. It's kind of loose on the tongue.

    • Pardon me,
      Pardon me, 2 months ago

      That's normal. It's important to be comfortable.

  • Ryan Millis
    Ryan Millis 6 months ago

    thanks man I live in Las Vegas and there's not a lot of Russian speakers,the first part of this I knewindifference from language I've never thought about the second part of this that wayI always feel like in Russian because of soft consonants my accent sounds horrible and I'm sure it does but it's easier for y'all to understand my horrible accent compared tothe vice versa or Portuguese to French or something

  • Fandom Trash
    Fandom Trash 6 months ago

    This is a very helpful video! I don't think I compare two languages like that, I'm like the person who goes "did you know they say it like this instead? That's so cool"
    But I will remember this as I keep learning Russian

  • russian learner
    russian learner 6 months ago

    that means there is no malapropism on Russian

  • Luis 702
    Luis 702 6 months ago

    Great video! Спасибо!

  • Coco Bella
    Coco Bella 6 months ago +4

    I love how he says привет друзья and touches his chest in every video😂

  • Voice Muted
    Voice Muted 8 months ago

    At what point in my Russian learning could I drink vodka and ride my pet bear?

  • Andrew Grey
    Andrew Grey 9 months ago +1

    I am more worried about getting Russians to quit associating American people with the American government and hating us for our government's stupidity, like we have any say at all what our governments do. We don't, contrary to popular belief.

    • jmcd
      jmcd 5 months ago +1

      The other way too. Many Americans feel this way about Russians. It's so stupid.

  • 최수연
    최수연 9 months ago

    I want to subscribe to this channel like a hundred times!!!! You have the most useful, actual and practical contents in your channel. Молодец🤭🤭🔥🔥

  • Виктор Вомпир

    мама, я влюбилась

  • Kurt Johnson
    Kurt Johnson 11 months ago

    Thank you so much for this I've been studying the Russian language for about 2 years now and I have finally come to this conclusion. I was trying to make English rules match with the Russian language and it did not work. I have found I need to let the Russian language win. Thank you so much!

  • Yoshi Todo
    Yoshi Todo Year ago +8

    So no pet bear? 🐻😂🇷🇺

  • Giacomo Rotondi
    Giacomo Rotondi Year ago +1

    I appreciate you so much

  • Рауф Бахышов

    Hello ,Fedor. Thank you for this amazing videos, which help me a lot.
    I would like to have a friend like you. :)

  • Normski Lawrence
    Normski Lawrence Year ago +2

    Well done Fedor. Excellent advice!

  • Flower Girl Journals and ASMR

    I love Russian man, how can I try to seduce them?
    Is that even possible?? Or there’s not such thing as seduction??

  • Valerie
    Valerie Year ago

    Oh - excellent video! I wish I had seen it a couple of years ago. I have a Russian friend who always seemed to murmur some of her words. Now I understand why! So in keeping with your suggestion about speaking Russian like Russians do, is it OK if I murmur some of the more difficult to pronounce words or phrases, such as здравствуйте??

  • Brandon Walker
    Brandon Walker Year ago

    The not speaking clearly part is what I have a hard time with. I can’t seem to understand, so I can’t respond appropriately. I’m always more slowly please. I speak Russian great! Understanding it is harder for me.

    • Be Fluent in Russian
      Be Fluent in Russian  Year ago +3

      That part is tough by itself yes! You simply need to put yourself in the situations where you're always challenged to comprehend the speech. You will make amazing progress from it!

  • louish2k6
    louish2k6 Year ago +1

    how to think like a Russian ? just blame the west for anything bad that happens

    • The Rockall Times
      The Rockall Times Year ago +1

      louish2k6 - don't confuse Russian working-class people with Russian bourgeoisie

  • Bon Bon
    Bon Bon Year ago

    04:00 Actually, this is a very bad way of learning languages, because it makes it unnecessarily more complicated than it really is. If you "accept" that this means "What's your name", then you won't see the connection next time you stumble upon any of the words used in that phrase in a different context, because the context won't suggest names. But when you know what is the literal meaning, you can both understand it better and recognize the same words in different context.
    Moreover, it's a bad idea in general to "translate stuff in your head" into your native language when learning another language, because switching the contexts will slow you down. It's better to "think in Russian" from the start, and this is only possible when you take those words for their literal meaning, not some "translated" meaning which isn't even accurate.

  • Bon Bon
    Bon Bon Year ago +1

    To me, it's easier to learn a completely different language, than a language from the same branch as my native language, which is very similar, because there are too many false similarities. I was once reading a text in Russian and I though I understand everything, because many words sounded familiar, and I could figure out the rest from the context. But when I checked the dictionary later on, it turned out that I understood everything wrong, because many words meant a completely different thing that I thought they meant :q Now I have a full list of such false cognates, and it's still growing :P

  • Stiina Tolli
    Stiina Tolli Year ago

    So you cannot say что тебя имя just because it’s means in english whats your name.I’m sorry, I understand english better than russian but, I am not so good at writting

  • Antiochus
    Antiochus Year ago +1

    6:50 holy shit this makes everything easier
    thank you sir))

  • Carla Smith
    Carla Smith Year ago +3

    Omg! You used the chicken neck! Lol! You remind me of my teacher. I view this when I feel down on my learning.

  • Adam Danforth
    Adam Danforth Year ago +4

    I am so glad you explained that Russians can mumble while speaking. I have been having some trouble listening and picking up some of the language when it is spoken like that. When you explained that almost all words do not sound the same and a native speaker may not even pronounce some of the letters in the word- I see why.

    • Be Fluent in Russian
      Be Fluent in Russian  Year ago +2

      Yeah! Gotta get some experience for you to be able to pick those mumbles up:)

  • Phryzzle
    Phryzzle 2 years ago +3

    I understand, that rebelling against the differences is useless. But for me it's much easier, if I know the origin or the "true meaning" of some sentences. I want to understand, why russians use sentences like: "Как тебя зовут?", "Мне надо...", "У меня..." It helps me a lot, if I know, where these things come from, what they mean in my language (which is german) and what russians think (word by word in their language), when they use them. Because of that I can easier accept and remind those "special phrases" and other things. :)

    • Be Fluent in Russian
      Be Fluent in Russian  2 years ago +2

      yeah, you can definitely use that to understand. Just don't try to change Russian because it's different in your own language.

  • Runn Jeet
    Runn Jeet 2 years ago

    He is saying right guys,,just do it.. ☺️

  • Ksenia Kuptcova
    Ksenia Kuptcova 2 years ago +7

    Ой как здорово смотреть ваш канал ! Учу английски )понимаю каждое слово 🙏

  • Adriano Devon
    Adriano Devon 2 years ago


  • R.E.B. Entertainment
    R.E.B. Entertainment 2 years ago +16

    Thank you

  • David Ex
    David Ex 2 years ago +1

    This is good advice for a beginner. It's funny because so many times I found myself trying to argue with a teacher "But that's so stupid" it seemed like there was a person making these rules just trying to make things difficult. However, once the learner simply accepts the way things are they are rewarded by things like poetry. Michael Farr, I have also come to this same conclusion. To treat the modification of words as separate words can make things easier at first

  • Stephanie L
    Stephanie L 2 years ago +11

    I don't really have these issues, because I already studied Spanish and German so I got used to the fact that there were different rules for each language. But, how can I learn to think *in* Russian? It's so hard because even if I know the words, my brain has a hard time processing their meaning (because it tries to translate them to English) and by the time I really understand them, the speaker has said 3 more sentences and I'm completely lost and confused. I know that since you speak English so well, when you speak it/listen to it, you're thinking in English, so do you have any pointers on thinking in Russian? (Or maybe you've done a video about this and I've just never seen it and if so, where can I find it?)
    Regarding swearing/cursing... you should go to England! There are a lot of people using the f-word in common conversation (well...maybe this is more common when they drink, but even so...)! I myself swear quite a bit, especially when upset/excited, so I don't judge people who swear as being unintelligent because I think I'm pretty intelligent. What I do is apologize for swearing in front of someone I don't know well. How do Russian speakers feel about English speakers swearing (in English, that is) and especially, how do they feel about girls swearing (in Russian or English)?

    • Stephanie L
      Stephanie L 2 years ago

      Thanks for the reply, Fedor. But, you learned how to think in English, so I was thinking you have tips for how to think in Russian. You know, there must be some exercises you did? Maybe just a lot of listening and repeating the words over and over again? I don't know. I've never been able to think in another language.

  • The153rdCat
    The153rdCat 2 years ago +2

    Yes accept as is is what how kids learn things like language!!

  • valkonrad
    valkonrad 2 years ago

    Большинство из того, что вы говорите, хорошо, отлично, что угодно, но я не думаю, что мы обязательно должны принимать все только потому, что это делают русские. Наверное, вы имеете в виду много русских или даже большинство русских, потому что я лично знаю, что все россияне не все одинаковы. Они не все расисты, ксенофобы, сексисты - и они не все проклинают все время. Возможно, большинство из них и есть, но нам это действительно не нужно ни на английском, ни на русском.

  • EK
    EK 2 years ago

    Hi Fedor. Can you do a video on articles in the Russian Language.

    • ЧillehNation
      ЧillehNation 7 months ago +1

      Articles don't exist in Russian.
      Words that don't exist:
      the, a, is, are, am, be

  • Rob Hoelz
    Rob Hoelz 2 years ago +7

    Привет, федор! What you said about Russians being more "mumbly" when speaking Russian really hit home with me - I've been struggling with this and thought there was something wrong with me! You mentioned that to learn Russian you need to adapt to this - do you have any advice on how to adapt to this way of speaking?

    • Senix5
      Senix5 2 years ago +4

      I thought it was me as well. One person would not pronounce certain vowels, another person did pronounce the missing vowels. So confusing! Now I understand and can pay attention better. This makes so much sense when you know the cultural situation behind it. And yes in the USA we MUST pronounce it correctly or no one knows what the hell anyone is saying.

    • Potato
      Potato 2 years ago +6

      Rob Hoelz vodka helps.....

  • Edward A. Casimiro
    Edward A. Casimiro 2 years ago

    Regarding the matter of cultural differences: if many Russians swear casually, and you don't swear casually when you speak to them, they will notice, and you may be negatively judged in the process, even if you feel you're being polite and well-mannered. Fedor has already said it, but it bears repeating: Russian is a unique language, and the rules from our own mother tongues probably will not apply, so leave them at the door when learning Russian.

  • Edward A. Casimiro
    Edward A. Casimiro 2 years ago +4

    Regarding the matter of cultural differences: if many Russians swear casually, and you don't swear casually when you speak to them, they will notice, and you may be negatively judged in the process, even if you feel you're being polite and well-mannered. Fedor has already said it, but it bears repeating: Russian is a unique language, and the rules from our own mother tongues probably will not apply, so leave them at the door when learning Russian.

  • LindaD
    LindaD 2 years ago

    This video has made me think. I studied cases for the first time when I learn German. And now I'm trying to apply the same rules for understand and fix Russian cases. But it doesn't work... You are right! Russian is not German...)

  • stivosaurus
    stivosaurus 2 years ago +58

    Good advice! I just wish I had seen this video before I went and acquired a pet bear.

    • Ray Charles
      Ray Charles Year ago

      MR, FEDOR,

  • Romulo Silva
    Romulo Silva 2 years ago +1

    Thanks for the tips
    As a Brazilian, I think in Portuguese
    But I use your videos to learn in English
    That's what I need to do all the time
    And be careful to don't compare Portuguese to Russian and why the expressions are so different

  • Bo Castell
    Bo Castell 2 years ago

    Как тебя зовут?
    Como te llamas? Same in spanish.
    Comment vous appelle vous ? same in In french.

    • judith Mallorquín Hernández
      judith Mallorquín Hernández 6 months ago +1

      In spanish it's more like "how do you call yourself?" (Cómo te llamas?). In russian it's more like "how do they call you?".

    • Senix5
      Senix5 2 years ago

      I learned Comment t'appelles-tu for French, which is How call you.

  • Styrbjørn Riis Gyldenkærne

    If I may ask, what is your personal opinion on ø-copula verbs? I know that Russian don't use these, but it's such an integrated part of germanic languages that it is hard to imagine a world without them.

    • Styrbjørn Riis Gyldenkærne
      Styrbjørn Riis Gyldenkærne 2 years ago

      Be Fluent In Russian verbs like 'is' and 'are' that are used to couple words together.
      Like 'the house IS there' in Russian would be 'дом там' without the link.

  • Michael Farr
    Michael Farr 2 years ago +53

    This may not work for everyone, but I actually feel like my Russian has gotten more natural by practicing speaking English in a flexible Russian syntax. "I to him sent the letter." "You I love." "That to me is pleasing." "I all day at the cafe studied." By training my brain to associate that kind of syntax with Russian, it helps me more naturally fall into it when I'm actually speaking the language.
    Weird, but it's helpful for me, haha.

    • Fandom Trash
      Fandom Trash 6 months ago

      That actually sounds really helpful, I'll try it out sometime!

    • Quana J
      Quana J 2 years ago +2

      This has been helpful to me as well. I think that you're still utilizing the suggestion that he mentioned in the video..."think Russian!"

    • Sarah Криванкова
      Sarah Криванкова 2 years ago +2

      That's the same thing I work on doing is re adapting my English to suit Russian phrasing ...I do talk out loud a lot ...I talk to my self in Russian out loud...any spoken Russian is good regardless, i think speaking English in a Russian syntax is smart...I feel it helps me speak faster in my head without having to translate first. I hate that

    • LoviNoch
      LoviNoch 2 years ago +4

      Another thing that strikes many people as odd, but can work is to try and use as many Russian words in your thoughts as possible. Even if you only know a few of the words necessary to complete an idea, you can utilize the Russian words that you have in your mind in their grammatically appropriate places (noun/adverb/adjective/verb, etc). What remains that you cannot replace with Russian will tell you what you need to learn, and also which structures and constructions are your areas of weakness. The idea you suggest is also another very useful strategy that can help with word sequencing, which, fortunately for those of us learning Russian, is relatively free in Russian.

    • Michael Farr
      Michael Farr 2 years ago +3

      gezma12 The best language student I know talk a lot to themselves ;)

  • Graham Cracker
    Graham Cracker 2 years ago +7

    Very good and helpful advice! Thanks Fedor!

  • Gasper Kosmac
    Gasper Kosmac 2 years ago

    man the video is too long. but thanks anyway

    • The Rockall Times
      The Rockall Times Year ago +4

      Gasper Kosmac 11 minutes is too long? Do you have ADHD? 🤔

  • John Romano
    John Romano 2 years ago

    Great advice.

  • LockMacFly
    LockMacFly 2 years ago

    My 'r' sounds forced and switches the stress of my words. It seems impossible to say it more softly and mumble through that letter.

  • gezma12
    gezma12 2 years ago +3

    May I ask how long it took you to feel comfortable when you are talking English? I've been learning Russian for fun in my free time (I work full time) and I'm 2 years in learning. I still feel tongue tied sometimes but i understand a lot more than i can say. When did you have the moment when you felt like you can converse naturally?

    • Triple D
      Triple D Year ago +1

      Just practice and it will come. I spent time in countries where I knew like 50 words. But I traveled alone and had to get around. So I was forced to speak, I did not care about being comfy, I simply cared to survive. Once you HAVE to speak, you will realise that you know words, that you did not know you knew.

    • snowboarding raptor700
      snowboarding raptor700 Year ago

      Keep practicing! I've been learning for about the same time. I'd say a know about 650+ words. I'm self taught through phrase books and utube. It's coming together slowly. Have a look a Russian world on utube. Its started getting more difficult when learning masculine feminine nouns. HE she you us them and the ends changing. It's slowly frying my head. Keep it up.

    • gezma12
      gezma12 2 years ago

      Спасибо за ответ. У меня много работы!

  • MegaWatch
    MegaWatch 2 years ago

    Лол :D Я согласен с тобой \m/ Ты говорил правду :)