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Part of the problem of learning any language is maintaining the motivation to engage in consistent practice. There are various pieces of software out there that try to make learning Russian more fun and entertaining by incorporating vibrant graphics and voice recognition feedback, and kudos to them for trying. But in the end (at least for me!), the content still becomes dry and boring after several weeks, and I think I know why.
If we take a step back and look at the times in our lives we have learnt the most, and maintained consistent practice, probably you will identify periods in the past when you have been required to learn in order to achieve something of value. For example, high-school exams, memorising lines for a part in a play, learning to dance for a formal ball, learning to drive - all these learning experiences are directly related to the success of your daily life. But what about Russian? Is learning Russian a catalyst to personal success, or is it more of an intellectual pursuit that is extraneous to everything that matters around you?
I would argue that a person will learn Russian more easily if the processes and end-results are personally relevant to the pursuit of one's goals. In other words, we will study and learn Russian if something in our near future depends on it.
I know several people who have moved to Russia to teach English for several years, and not surprisingly they are very motivated to learn Russian so they can communicate with people in their vicinity. But what about the rest of us who don't have immediate access to Russian people? The answer is, in fact, that we all have access via the virtual (online) Russian community.
So this lesson is dedicated to that end - of opening up a new door to access real Russian people and culture. And the portal we are going to open today is called Mail.ru
Mail.ru is the equivalent of Hotmail, Yahoo mail or GMail (Google mail) in English-speaking countries. It is probably the most widely used email service in Russia, along with Yandex.ru (Яндекс) and www.rambler.ru. However, it is not only a huge email service but has also recently evolved into a Russian version of MySpace / Facebook. This component of Mail.ru is called "Мой Мир" (My World) and is as addictive as the afore mentioned English services .. even more so for people who want to meet Russians!
However, if you load up the Mail.ru homepage then you will no doubt feel like I did a few years ago - a bit out of your depth. But because I decided to use it every day, I was forced to learn what all the new words meant, and with repetitive practice I can now navigate these email sites almost as easily as English sites. I just wish someone had helped me at the beginning as it was very painful to discover most of these 'internet' words aren't listed in standard English-Russian dictionaries.
In this lesson you will learn how to create an account on Mail.ru, login, send and receive emails, upload photos, socialise with Russians, and manage your account. We will present a lot of new words for you to learn, but you'll be amazed how quickly you memorise them if you use your account every day.
Please stop by and add Listen2Russian to your "Мои друзья" (My friends) if you have the chance (link: http://my.mail.ru/mail/listen2russian/) [you'll need to register with Mail.ru first].
Maybe you could even send us a virtual подарок (gift) through your Мой Мир account?! (don't worry, the gifts are free! :))
Приветик is a cute / casual way to say "Hi!", and the rough equivalent in English might be "Hiya!".
You'll see this word sometimes if you start conversing with Russians by email.
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