Write Like a Russian [ Day 4 of first-semester Russian ]

Write Like a Russian [ Day 4 of first-semester Russian ]

[Music] welcome to day four of russian through propaganda and this is a big day for us now that we’ve learned the alphabet and how to pronounce russian we’re going to learn how to write russian the way russians normally do and today we’re broadcasting from well just off red square yesterday we were still on red square and you saw this gigantic building called the gum which stands in russian for glovenly when he was selling magazine the main universal store for translating literally so basically like a gigantic department store shopping mall and today we’re stepping inside you see behind me there this uh uh atrium like space with this uh gigantic glass ceiling and uh it’s hard to convey the scale of the shopping center but uh to give you some idea what you’re seeing in this picture behind me is one of three corridors of this type right there are three of these uh they’re called leany or lines lines of the gum all of course lined with shops and each of them are three stories i believe if memory serves yeah at least three stories and so uh anyway it’s it’s a huge shopping center it’s really nice and again it’s just right off red square it’s opposite uh linen’s tomb and uh the wall of the kremlin that we saw the other day uh and by the way one little uh tip uh uh gum has the this aside from a really a fun kind of soviet style style of way up on i think it’s on the third floor maybe it’s like i don’t remember but anyway there’s this old-school stalovia in there but maybe more fun than that is the uh ice cream they have their ice cream is [Music] and they have they sell on these little kiosks and goomb there are several of them uh these kind of this old kind of soviet style ice cream in little cones uh so that’s kind of a favorite it’s very inexpensive so stop by and get some next time you’re in red square and need a little refreshment okay so after today you’re gonna know how not only to read in in russian but how to write russian and uh this may seem again extremely daunting but my experience is that uh sort of like with just learning the cyrillic alphabet it may seem uh completely foreign at first glance but uh i’ve found that students even really after a day to be honest or especially after a few days they seem to write cursive pretty effortlessly and of course i think one reason for that is you’ve probably learned uh cursive of this kind in school i assume they still teach it uh so you probably know kind of the general idea here and a lot of the cursive letters we’re going to see today are going to look just like english counterparts uh one difficulty is there is some again interference some russian letters in cursive look like an english cursive letter that it’s actually not right so there’s this interference we have to overcome in some cases uh um and so uh you know another thing to mention is that i think um it’s kind of hard to say really you never know when you’re making these generalizations but i would say generally that more russians write in cursive than they do in the us at least and this is something we all learn in elementary school again i assume but i think later in life a lot of people just they get i don’t know if lazy is the right word but these they really stop caring much about their penmanship quote-unquote and they just kind of write in print and kind of do do their thing and you know russians may do that too and maybe maybe it’s the trend i really don’t know but i think you’ll notice that when you get like a handwritten note for example in russia it’ll tend to be in this traditional cursive uh so there’s that note number two is uh you know when you need to know how to write russian yourself right and if you don’t learn this kind of standardized method what you tend to get in class as an instructor is this kind of free-for-all where everyone’s chaotically inventing their own written alphabet and that’s not very very good right we need to join the collective right we need to be good communists and do what everyone else is doing right do what we’re told to do follow the follow the established pattern uh write and be disciplined about it uh now of course i’m joking a little bit uh you know when when you’re writing of course everyone’s going to have their own personal flair and so i don’t want to pretend like the patterns we’re going to show you today are you know like it’s some kind of rule of course so what we hope to show you is just the the basic forms of each of these letters of course any individual russian may sort of have their own little variations you know everyone’s handwriting is different and distinctive and that’s important so uh we don’t want to discourage uh creativity or whatever but there are some things that we’re going to point out that are really quite serious because they can affect legibility so those are the things we really want to make sure you’re you’re avoiding and we’re going to take a lot of care to point those out and so we’ll we’ll see that when we get to it another important reason to learn cursive is not only being able to read you know like handwritten stuff that you get from russians but also imagine other places where you see handwriting one one great example is like in cafes or restaurants all the time they have you know blackboards set up you know much like you see in the us quite often and i feel like it’s even trendier now than it used to be for some reason and you see uh you know handwritten daily specials or whatever it may be a lot of times in russian that’s also going to be in cursive and so you want to be able to read that and we’ll be able to be able to place your order also in like store signs and elsewhere right think like in english you know we have different types of fonts or uh typefaces and some of them are cursive right they look like handwritten uh items and you see that quite often in russia again for like names of stores or just whatever it may be signs and store windows that aren’t like the print letters we’ve seen so far but that uh more resemble the cursive we’re learning today uh third reason is that if you see uh printed italic even informal uh you know like roman font or you know traditional fonts a lot of times the italic letters will look more like the cursive letters we’re learning today and if you don’t know that it can be quite puzzling sometimes to spot these uh to puzzle out what the what these letters are you’re looking at so anyway there are a number of reasons i think to take this really seriously and not just i would recommend not uh kind of oh saying oh i’ll just print or whatever i think again if you’re serious long term about learning russian this is something you really want to learn and it turns out to be quite easy i think okay so let’s uh get started a couple of notes first of all we said already that russian in print like if you open a russian textbook you are not going to see you’re not going to see the stress marked for you and we’ve mentioned already that’s a serious difficulty right a native speaker simply knows where the which syllable is going to be stressed but of course we have to we have to just learn that and that’s going to be a great uh chore quite honestly um as we move through russian but again for now we’re most worried about just seeing how we’re representing it in the textbook by underlining the vowel another way to do that that if i were writing i would normally not underline the vowel i would put a you know an accent mark above the above the vowel instead of the the line underneath it if i were writing and marking stress and you’ll see that on homework on the answer keys where i’ll do that usually in red pen and by the way that’s also how if russians were marking stress for whatever reason that’s how they would that’s how they would do that uh but in in when your handwri when you’re writing exercises i normally don’t ask students to mark stress uh some classes some instructors will do that and uh the reason i don’t do that is is kind of two-fold first of all russians don’t do it so i feel like if you’re learning how to write the way russians would why would you do something that they don’t do to me it doesn’t really make sense even though pedagogically it might make sense in the in the to the degree that you need to learn where the stress is marked but i think generally maybe it’s not a good idea one one additional reason is that i’ve had students join my class after being in classes where they are taught to always mark stress and it seems to turn into a bad habit they can never stop doing and again it that may be okay for sort of grammar exercises but you want to learn to not do that when you’re writing in normal russian uh so i would i would ask you not to mark stress on just an average grammar exercise unless you’re asked to there will be you know um topics will cover where the issue really is learning where the stress is for example next chapter when we’re learning verb conjugations you need to learn the stress pattern and so i will ask you to uh in this sort of contrived fashion mark the stress but if you’re not asked to specifically i would i would recommend not doing it okay so let’s turn now finally to the the cursive uh let’s start with kind of some general principles of course the whole point of cursive any cursive script whether it’s you know when you learn to write cursive in uh for english or whether you write arabic right arabic you know they use even in print the print the printed script right resembles a cursive script and it’s kind of the same point right you you write words out in one continuous stroke for the most part uh you join all the letters together as long as they can be joined sort of in a more or less natural fashion and the idea is not to have to pick up your pen and put it down again constantly right instead of doing all these separate strokes you get one continuous stroke per word and so that’s the general point of with russian cursive as well so we’re going to write out each word continuously when it to whatever extent possible and then at the end like think in english we have to lift our pen and go back and dot our eyes and cross our t’s and so forth right we have to do that in russian as well and there are three uh well i guess really four letters where you have to do that here are some examples the first one is adding the hat to the letter ikra right so let’s pretend we’re writing out the word vine the we’re gonna do that in one stroke and when we do that when we finish that single stroke we’re going to be left with what you see there but then we have the one additional step where we go back and add the hat over the krathke of course that’s very important because it distinguishes the kratka from the e and in this example if you didn’t do that you actually have a different word instead of vaina you have what looks like in the which means instead of war it means of the soldier of the warrior so you want to avoid that kind of confusion the second example is uh with the letter right the russian looks like an x right let’s write out the word ploja meaning bad or badly well we’re left with what you see there on the left right but uh we need to go back and add that cross stroke to the letter otherwise we’re left with what what’s going to look like a ge a lowercase cursive got so if we don’t add that stroke this looks like plaga which isn’t even a word okay so we need blocha number three we have two letters that do something kind of similar and these are both optional really uh but i’d recommend it probably for for you know at least in the beginning the first one is adding an under stroke to the letter sha right that sh that hushing consonant right when you’re finished writing out a word with a sha in it go back and put a stroke underneath that sha right we’ll see why that is later when we start looking at other examples what happens is a lot of times in russian you get these kind of with particular words you get these kind of endless strings of of what would look like an endlessly repeating english cursive u right just kind of over and over and it can be kind of hard to read that visually and so uh that’s one reason why putting this uh stroke beneath the shot just kind of makes it clear that visually that okay that’s a shaw uh even in combinations where that might otherwise be hard to to kind of distinguish uh the other place you can do this is with the lower case uh which you see looks not really like a printed ted at all right it looks kind of like an english cursive m and so this this is an example of this kind of interference we have we have to you know kind of overcome overcome these old associations and maybe it’s a little bit easier to spot that as a t if you put this stroke over the top right now personally i still to this day i put the stroke beneath the shaw but i don’t normally put a stroke above tab when i write it in cursive so it’s kind of a personal preference i guess i would recommend it especially with the sha but i guess ultimately it’s up to you so before we turn to actually learning the letters let’s just talk about some general principles and uh some of the things we really need to pay attention to that uh if ignored could actually lead to legibility problems so the first one is is kind of a general point right as we said the idea is to connect all the letters right one letter flows into the next uninterruptedly whenever that occurs kind of naturally right so don’t force it if a letter happens to near the top of the row and the next one starts down at the bottom then it’s going to be unnatural to connect those so in that case you would just pick up your pen uh so look at an example here the word boxoy this adjective meaning big right we have a couple of problems right you notice how the you know it ends way up at the top and bud does not connect ever to following letters uh period and you see kind of why right if you came all the way back down you have some kind of loopy looking uh crazy thing it ends up making the following all look sort of like a verse so it’s just it’s visually very confusing uh now here’s something that’s a bit uh maybe less obvious look at the next connecting uh the next two letters o and l you see how the or at least the way we’re writing it it ends up near the near the midline right whereas the l starts with this very conspicuous hook more on that in a moment at the bottom again you don’t want to connect that because if you do it’s going to look like you have an extra letter in there it’s going to probably look like you have a guh or something now the oil is a good example i do know that some russians write that a little bit differently in such a way that it can join naturally to the next letter from the bottom so you may see that again i don’t want to pretend like there’s only one way to do this but the way we’re going to learn it the way you see the or written here which by the way is the way we write all in english so i think that’s the way that’ll come most naturally to you you would not want to connect that to a following letter that starts near the bottom uh look at the uh soft sign right that normally does not connect now if someone’s writing in a hurry they might connect it so it’s again one of those things it kind of depends on how careful you’re being but if you were to attach that to certain following letters it may end up looking like an e uh right so if you have enough of these little things going on it may get it may make a word difficult to read again you see with this example how we’ve written out the the body of the word and then we go back to put that stroke beneath the sha and then put the little hat on the ikrath and we get boshoi written correctly there the next thing is that by the way the easiest way to do this really instead of watching this video maybe just to consult the sheet i posted on the site that has a little you know diagram showing all of these letters and you’ll see as you’re referring to that where if you have questions or have difficulty look carefully at first of all the arrows the numbered arrows those are showing you the numbers of strokes that you would normally use to write one of these the given letter and also the direction right so i think if you follow those numbered arrows you’ll see more or less how you’re forming these letters of course we’ll do it together here in a moment um perhaps more importantly you’ll see little dotted lines extending from the letter that are kind of uh charting the way that could connect to a preceding or a following letter or so those those are sort of the trajectories by which you could connect that letter to uh its neighboring letters uh so again if you’re having kind of if you’re kind of stumped you know how should this letter connect uh be sure and consult those and some letters in particular are a little bit uh counterintuitive this way they’ll join uh not from the bottom as you might expect but from the top via what i call a little hump right a little like a camel’s hump uh two conspicuous examples of that are uh ca lower case ca and lower case n uh also which but that’s kind of just hard to write to begin with i think maybe it’s you’re less likely to make this mistake there uh so again we’ll practice that in a moment but i remember when i was learning this way back when uh uh that the the lower case car and n gave me a little trouble because i found it just a little bit counterintuitive the way it was being formed uh by the way note that some of these like the k right it really doesn’t quite look like the normal english k right so again it does look like a k but not like the cursive k where we’re used to um so anyway uh but before we get to the alphabet let’s look at a couple of additional things that are uh tricky uh watch for uh you know we have here kind of like back in elementary school when you are probably first learning to write you’ve got the ruled right the the rows with the the top line and the baseline and the midline right so try to stick to those general guidelines uh a couple of things it’s really important to watch out for those letters that are confined more or less completely to the bottom half of the row and again and again some of the russian letters do this where the english ones wouldn’t like look at this word called how the k is confined to that bottom half the l2 again unlike an english l is confined to that bottom half and sometimes students want to make it big and go all the way to the top that looks pretty weird in russian where i should just don’t do that the soft sign is well there see after the l that’s also confined entirely to the bottom half and if you don’t do that you could easily get what looks like a right a looks like an english b or a russian vlad again that that causes legibility problems uh letters that have the little tail uh the that is that and the sha in russian right that little tail that we can see in the printed version that’s also pretty small in the cursive version right you don’t want to go overboard and make this gigantic loop going all the way down because if you do for example that can look less like a and more like an uh in russian okay so again you see how these things were pointing out they can easily cause legibility problems um the air is another example the russian air which looks totally unlike an english cursive r looks really more like a p and you can see how that first stroke extends quite far down really and then the second one doesn’t uh so anyway we’ll watch out watch out for those things as we’re going through the alphabet the next one is also extremely important and this is one of the most confusing things this is easily the most common uh really mistake and we should really call this a mistake because this is something that russians they don’t do it uh they always observe this rule you know it’s kind of funny the other day i was picking i picked up an uh italian a ukrainian uh grammar and it also introduced the way ukrainians write cursive the exact same thing right it pointed out that you’ve got to do this before these three letters l m and ya so this really is not optional why because it can affect legibility okay so just remember l m yah those three letters they need to begin with a little hook a little down stroke that looks like a hook before you move up and start actually writing the letter uh okay so let’s look at some examples here let’s start with lana okay there we have an initial l so we’re just starting to write the l out of the blue right it’s not connecting to anything and we start with just that little tiny little hook right you see it’s no big deal doesn’t seem like that big of a deal at least and we get ladma ladna but now look at the next word jai jai okay there we have the l connecting to a previous letter and note how when we finish writing our ah right jaw and we come up we we start a little upstroke after the ah in order to connect hopefully the following letter we have an l following and we have to go up a little bit then come back down and begin our l and what you end up with this is a little notch that little indentation or we’re going to call it a hook that clearly distinguishes the l if you don’t write that if you don’t include the hook it can easily look for example like a guh right so once we go through all the letters you’ll see sort of how this interference can crop up uh and so again you have to you have to write that uh let’s start with uh let’s look at another example with the m right m with mods mods okay again there we’re starting with m from scratch and so we start with that little hook before we write out the body of the letter m mods what if m is joined to a previous letter again let’s say for example the word um we write our oo we’re coming up from the bottom and instead of going straight up and diving into our m we need to make that little hook we need to come back down again make a little hook and then write out our m if we miss the hook that could easily look like ooch for example ooch and so again we need that hook final letter is yah it also starts with a hook let’s look at a word with an initial ya yama which is like a hole or a pit uh so just just an example right we don’t need to really know this word but again we start writing out our ya with that little down stroke our little hook yama yama and there again is another m write another m yama now let’s look at another word uh with with a non-initial ya meaning dirt okay we write our ga we write our russian air and when we’re done with our air we’re coming back up again in order to again hopefully connect it to our following letter if possible but here we need to go down again right and we end up with that little hook that little notch and we go back up and form our little yah now why is this so important well the way if you’re writing kind of hurriedly and maybe a little less carefully and instead of making that sharp almost 90 degree angle up there in the upper right hand corner of your russian yacht it can easily look like a yeah okay so that’s kind of the the obvious legibility issue that we’re trying to avoid with the hook okay but um again it’s this is just how russians write these three letters it’s really important now here’s the the next thing to really remember because this is this is also a very common mistake it’s something that russians would never ever do right so we don’t want to we want to avoid it it’s kind of hyper correction right so you’re told you always need this little kind of indentation or hook and so what happens is students start doing it even when you have an ml or yah as your initial letter uh so for example look at these mistakes right here’s an incorrect mods you see what’s happened uh there’s this extra stroke down there that’s really quite weird looking uh that’s not correct right we need bots without that downstroke without that that extra notch okay same thing with an initial l lad right you see there it is incorrectly written and there it is the way we want to write it uh this could also happen if uh even in the middle of a word where you can’t join the l m or ya to the preceding letter in again a convenient way again let’s take this example of or the way we’re writing or we end up near the midline and you can see it’s just very unnatural to not pick up your pen and go back down and start writing an m you want to pick up your pen but then you want to start with a clean m right it’s like as though it were in an initial position it’s not connected to anything and so you start with that just that simple little hook shape without the hyper correction and that extra stroke that ends up with this weird looking uh notch okay so that does it for the the hooks as i call them let’s look now at the humps so we’re thinking like the hump on a camel’s back uh and this is a little bit less of a problem i think than the hooks the main issue here really is just to watch as we’re going through the letters again how they can connect to it to a neighboring letter right is it up at the top is it from the bottom and if they do connect at the top do you need a little initial hump before you start really forming the letter itself uh that’s especially important with for example pe and look at the word papa for example right you see you have the two plas there uh initially you usually have some kind of a little hump there and you end up with two humps right um not everyone may begin writing a play all the way from the baseline but that’s basically what it’ll look like uh follow the next letter that right same idea we end up with three of these little camels humps right in order to make our lowercase cursive watch other letters like sha and e they join from the bottom they don’t start with this hum so look at these examples like shume well we have a sha here an initial shot sorry an initial shot so it doesn’t really start from the bottom we don’t need to connect it to anything we just have it kind of sitting there we would start that from the top then we have an um and then look at the hook right with our um right joined to the the ooh via that little hook another example right or now look look at how it joins with the end right it comes up and it we we’re left with this little hook right then we we finish our n and n ends at the bottom we come up and immediately go right into our e we don’t make a separate hook as we go to write that e uh that’s sometimes students do do that that happens every once in a while that’s a little mistake we have to correct so again just note on a letter by letter basis kind of check your work make sure you’re joining the letters correctly and refer to the dotted lines to see to check yourself if you have questions let’s look at the example raman and point out a couple of these issues so okay so we write our or and we’re the way we’re writing or we’re finishing up near the mid line and so if we’re going to write a following m we need to pick up our pin go down to the bottom without connecting and starting our m with that little tiny hook then we write our ah and as we we’re completing our ah we’re coming up from the bottom okay so what if we want to connect a following n well again this is one of these letters that joins via a hub right so we need to come up and make this little camel’s hump right and then come back down before we start really writing out the actual n and so a couple of little mistakes right look at this example raman where you’ve come straight up and then you dived straight back down and you get this kind of sharp edge so we don’t want to do that although i do think maybe some russians write like that in fact if you look at the little uh the poster there i think it’s not really a poster it’s from a textbook or something it doesn’t matter for day five you’ll see that the the the ends are being written like that uh so i guess it’s not really a mistake but at least i wasn’t taught to write my ends like that and uh i wouldn’t recommend that you write them like that either i think a more serious mistake is and this you do get this sometimes where you make just a single stroke upwards and then you pick up your pen and come back and connect it with this horizontal stroke and you get what really does look like a rather weird little end i suppose it’s legible although it does kind of look like a ch or something uh but you know so anyway you see the way we’re recommending that you write your ends okay so now that we’ve covered the major caveats let’s go through the alphabet fairly quickly and again you can pause the video and practice writing it out yourself first comes ah so there’s a kind of a fancy uppercase ah lowercase looks just like the english right so with most of these letters there’s not really a whole lot to a whole lot of commentary next comes ba now one general problem uh that’s quite common is students forget how to write the uppercase letters because maybe unless you’re dealing with people’s names or names of cities or something you don’t write them nearly as frequently so do take special care with that and we will expect you in class in my class at least to write you distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters and be sure to know how to write the uppercase ones uh the uppercase ones don’t always look simply like a big version of the lowercase one so but you see you’ve got this this initial stroke and then this hat on top this long kind of uh wavy horizontal stroke that that’s written separately a lot of uppercase letters don’t connect to following letters some do but a lot of them don’t now the lowercase but you want to circle that one a lot of people it’s kind of counter-intuitive you know it doesn’t look like any english cursive letter and it never joins the following letter so you see out there we have only one stroke and again for reference purposes you see how there’s no dotted line coming off that uh that that that tail end of the right that means it’s not going to connect in any shape form or fashion okay next we have looks pretty much like a rush in english cursive b so not really very difficult you see the lowercase how it can connect fairly intuitively i think uh next comes ge again pay attention to that uppercase forum um you know i i i kind of laughed um i’ve always told this is one of these that students forget how to write and i say you know this isn’t how you write an uppercase and uh it’s not the way we’re going to write it in class although i was in the prague museum in moscow and i saw his uh uh manuscript for the score of ivan grozny and he didn’t d he indeed wrote his uppercase guy with like like a like a large lord of his gut so i guess you know if prokofiev did it who am i to say that you can’t write an uppercase guy like that but i guess if i’m in charge of my own class i will i will be asking you to write the the way you’re shown here and indeed i think most russians would write it like that but again who knows okay so anyway look at the lower case gad that’s maybe a little bit uh more unusual it’s just kind of a backwards s really kind of a little squiggle uh not much to it but it may take a little practice to get used to that next comes the okay here’s one where we get major interference you might want to circle this one the lowercase one it looks like a cursive g doesn’t it it looks like the way we write cursive g lowercase in english so that’s easy to write but we’ve got to remember that that’s there okay okay next comes yeah pretty easy to write the lowercase looks just like in english yeah so no difficulty there next comes the ua very easy just write the dots over it now remember uh russians normally would not do that unless there’s some ambiguity and they need to be very clear that this will be this needs to be read as a yula and we will see um i think in chapter three is where we’ll introduce this um one example of an ambiguity where that’s the difference between two very different words uh and so in cases like that you might want to write the double dots i will point out i feel like lately it’s becoming kind of trendy for russians to write the double dots i’ve noticed this in several places both in printed books and also in texts online i i’ve all of a sudden seen the the dots appearing all over the place where you know traditionally that would almost never be done unless it was a case of ambiguity where a native russian speaker could not even easily tell uh what it was and there are cases like that but anyway so it’s something to watch for maybe it’s changing a little bit um but anyway that’s how you would write it if you if you were writing it you just add the dots okay next comes the ja that’s a tricky letter obviously you might want to practice this quite a bit um this is written in kind of three parts if you’re trying to break this down it’s a single stroke but you can think of it as three components first you make a little hump so this you see on the reference sheet there’s a little circle there pointing out that this is joined to a preceding letter via this little hump right we need to make a camel’s hump then we come back down and we loop backwards cross back over come up and now i remember again learning to write this myself you come straight down right so step two is this straight line straight down parallel to your first stroke straight line then again sharply back up and you do kind of the mirror image of part one right so you loop again backwards back over the line come back towards the bottom and trail up and there you conform to a a following letter if convenient right so again watch those three steps uh hump down cross back over come up straight line down then straight back up loop back etc so you see the pattern there practice that quite a bit okay um next comes pretty easy the upper case looks like a giant three the lower case looks like a uh in english uh lowercase c the way that’s the way i was taught to write it at least so that’s actually not too difficult and you know visually it may be a little bit confusing but if you kind of zoom out that that lower case looks kind of like a three as well right so you see that uh in a lot of ways that resembles the russian z more than it resembles the uh the english z okay next comes e that’s pretty easy but again maybe a little interference it looks a lot like a uh an english u so uh next comes the kraskaya looks just like the e as you might expect but we need to put the hat back at the end of the word when we’re done writing out the word we come back and put the hat over the ikra so also pretty easy to write okay next comes ka again this is a little bit tricky the uh the especially the lower case note that it’s confined entirely to the lower half of the of the row it starts with this hump and um technically when i was learning this i was taught to write it as two strokes i don’t do that anymore you can just simply write it as one stroke and you see the way i’m writing it there but that can take a little practice even though the result does look pretty much like a printed car okay next comes the l we talked about that there’s the hook right watch for that um note also it’s got a sharp point at the top right it’s not a little loop it’s not a camel’s hump it’s a sharp point and again the lower case note how it’s confined to the bottom half of the row similarly with m right we’ve got the hook to watch out for right and yeah it looks know that it doesn’t look like a like a cursive m in english it looks more like the printed version of m right um may take a little bit of getting used to but not too difficult i think ultimately okay next comes uh n which looks like an h of course and this pretty much resembles its it’s a printed counterpart note how it’s confined to the bottom half again note how it opens up with the hump on the you know especially in the lower case form there if it’s being joined right watch for uh watch out and make sure that you make that that bar across that horizontal bar keep it horizontal and more or less straight sometimes it starts getting kind of squiggly and uh it can if if it’s overdone it starts to get hard to read right so make a nice horizontal bar there in the middle of your russian n okay next comes or looks just like an english cursive o right so that’s not really difficult uh again note how that ends up in the near the mid line so if you are starting a subsequent letter from down at the baseline you would norm you would pick up your pen and not connect the or if you do connect it’s going to look very weird next comes pla note the uppercase plan looks kind of like pi right uh and then the lowercase plan looks like a cursive n basically in english so we have to watch out for that uh but you’ll get used to it uh note the hump right we’ve got that initial hump as we discussed next comes air okay look especially at the lower case one this can be a little bit uh confusing it doesn’t really look like anything in english cursive certainly not like a cursive r and uh the main thing to note is first of all how that initial stroke descends pretty far down but beneath the baseline then you come up and you leave that that um okay how should you put it you don’t close the loop right you leave it open at the bottom see that gaping hole at the bottom of your air a lot of people they think that you know generally russian air looks like english p uh and the cursive sort of looks like an english p but not completely right if this were an english cursive p we would probably we would complete that loop and make it a full circle but in russian you leave that open at the bottom so that’s a pretty common mistake to not leave that open at the bottom okay next comes russian s uh looks like a c in english so not really hard to write but have again some we have some uh interference issues maybe next comes te look at the uppercase tag you see that looks quite a bit different from the lowercase people always forget this it’s actually four strokes now the lowercase tab looks like it looks like an m it looks like a cursive m in english we have three humps especially that initial one if you’re joining it you need to start with that extra hump uh so that that’s again more interference it’ll take a bit of getting used to remember you could optionally add a stroke above the tet but note that i haven’t included it on the reference sheet because i don’t normally do that i think i think most russians don’t do that that would be my guess again i haven’t seen a study you know i feel like traditionally they did that more often if you see like old manuscripts i’ve noticed in like uh i think pastor nach for example the poet when he was if you see manuscripts of his poetry you have these gigantic lines that seem to going all over the place above his tas if memory serves just as an example but anyway i think most russians don’t do that anymore but if you want to it’s certainly your choice okay ooh looks basically like an english especially the lowercase version so it’s not really hard to write next comes f now the upper this is a little tricky it’s an unfamiliar letter right note that the uppercase letter is two strokes usually written in two strokes so pay attention to that lower case one is going to be a single stroke right um you sort of come up and write it almost looks like a cue or something right you make a loop and you come straight down then you go straight back up and basically it’s like you’re writing an additional cursive p in english right so you kind of have have a first circle a stroke straight down going far beneath pretty far beneath the baseline then you come up and make one additional circle and then you come back up to if possible join it to the following letter okay next comes i think most russians would write this upper case when in two separate strokes uh and some people i think even write the lowercase one like that so again if you like that who am i to tell you can’t do it i was taught to the way we discussed already make a little a little squiggle right kind of like a backwards s the way almost like the way you would write a russian lowercase ga in cursive right so you you write that out you’re left initially with what looks like a ga and then when you’re done with the word you come back and put the cross stroke uh and write your your uh if i’m being honest i think a lot of times when i’m writing cursive in russian i i immediately put the cross bar on the ha and then i pick up and and finish the word uh but it kind of depends i think maybe i do it both ways okay so uh next comes sa not hard to write it looks pretty much like the printed version note the little tail on it as we mentioned already the main thing here is to note that the tail is really quite compact so don’t don’t put this gigantic loop at the bottom it starts to look really weird note that we do have again kind of a little hooking item there right you you write what looks initially like an e right or it looks like an english u in cursive you come up and then you come down right you don’t immediately go straight down and and make the little tail you come up first you make and then you come sharply downward again go back and make this very compact little loop again try to don’t make the don’t make it gigantic or it might start looking like a y or it just generally looks weird um okay uh next comes uh uh cha right uh looks pretty much like it does print in the printed version uh so i’m not really uh much to say about it i guess okay next comes shaw right again the stroke beneath is optional but i would highly recommend it and you would normally do that after you’ve written out the word okay the letter sha write the double consonant or double length consonant is formed just like a sha but i just got the little tail right so kind of like we just saw with sir you want to come up slightly then go down make your little tail keep it very compact and don’t ever put an understroke underneath this right that’s the one way we differentiate in writing between sha and simple sha without the tail okay look at the hard shine uh this is note that the distinctive little i want to call it a little hat there you see the little thing there now one thing to remember again is that we’re not going to be writing this very often especially not now so i’m not sure i’d worry about it a whole lot usually when we start seeing hard signs we revisit this issue of how to write it because students tend to forget okay anyway next comes right you know that’s that’s a new letter so it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to but it’s written all in a single stroke there okay finally comes the soft sign that can be connected to a preceding letter but not to a following letter so ideally you would never connect that to a following letter that helps with legibility again if a russian’s writing very quickly they might join it kind of just as they’re writing quickly in one continuous flow but ideally you would not connect that same goes for er er which is a relatively rare letter it doesn’t connect at all right uh i think it may be the only letter that even in this lowercase form never connects uh well aside maybe from the the hard sign okay next comes you okay that’s an unfamiliar letter you’re gonna have to practice that a little bit but it’s not too hard it looks kind of like an i without the uh without a dot over it followed by an or right so not really too hard to shape but may take a little practice and finally we get the yeah right so remember there we have the hook especially important with the lower case you know if we’re joining that to a preceding letter we’ve got to come up and preserve that little hook then it’s important ideally to come up and make that kind of a sharp backward you know 90 degree turn and keep that sharp edge up in the upper right hand corner that can help differentiate it more clearly from a yeah okay that does it for today so keep practicing again there are some other exercises both in today’s lesson and uh on tomorrow’s page as well with some more written exercises and answer keys and again i think if you practice this just a little bit for a day or two you’ll you’ll get the hang of it pretty well just be sure ideally let an instructor have a look at your work make sure you’re not doing something bizarre and check yourself right especially with regard to the hooks and the hogs and things like this okay anyway that’s it for today until next time this video you
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Write Like a Russian [ Day 4 of first-semester Russian ]

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