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Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-07-02, 10:17
by RenNozaki
It is so frustrating spend so much time learning a language! Russian is a serious issue when you try to understand the grammar.
What would you do in order to simplify the language and making it easier for foreigner to learn? I am not talking of conlang, but as much similar to the natlang as possible, making it possible that a foreigner would be quickly fluent and be understood by natives.
I guess the first step is using Latin alphabet, transliterating all the Cyrillic letters into a universally accepted and phonetic appropriate equivalent.
2) Remove declensions and substitute for prepositions or any other words that can be used though a native would be still able to understand.
3) Simplify verb conjugation, just like English.
4) Regularize plurals
5) Use of international words as much as possible to increase global communication.
What do you think that should be done to create a Simplified version of Russian?

PS.: Purists and defenders of the language, please, refrain from comment. This is only for the sake of turning the Russian Language more attractive to people from any other country to learn Russian faster and with less complications. Later on, they will be improving and be more prone to learn deeper.

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-07-02, 10:30
by Luís
RenNozaki wrote:It is so frustrating spend so much time learning a language! Russian is a serious issue when you try to understand the grammar.
What would you do in order to simplify the language and making it easier for foreigner to learn? I am not talking of conlang, but as much similar to the natlang as possible, making it possible that a foreigner would be quickly fluent and be understood by natives.
I guess the first step is using Latin alphabet, transliterating all the Cyrillic letters into a universally accepted and phonetic appropriate equivalent.
2) Remove declensions and substitute for prepositions or any other words that can be used though a native would be still able to understand.
3) Simplify verb conjugation, just like English.
4) Regularize plurals
5) Use of international words as much as possible to increase global communication.
What do you think that should be done to create a Simplified version of Russian?

PS.: Purists and defenders of the language, please, refrain from comment. This is only for the sake of turning the Russian Language more attractive to people from any other country to learn Russian faster and with less complications. Later on, they will be improving and be more prone to learn deeper.


How would this not be a conlang?

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-07-02, 11:38
by h34
RenNozaki wrote:I guess the first step is using Latin alphabet, transliterating all the Cyrillic letters into a universally accepted and phonetic appropriate equivalent.

You could transliterate all the vocab you are learning (using this system, for instance, ideally adding stress marks, though). That's what I did. Although I can't give a lot of advice as my language-learning history hasn't exactly been a success story so far, I would agree that transliteration is probably a good idea, especially if you're a visual learner, memorizing not only the sound but also the 'shape' of the words you are learning. Another advantage could be that it helps to recognize loanwords and that it eases comparisons with those Slavic languages that use the Latin alphabet.

Edit: Not really a simplification but in order to make words consisting of many syllables appear more transparent, you could subdivide them into logical 'building blocks' like prefix, stem, suffix etc. Just to give an example:

переводить
-> perevodít'
-> pere · vod · ít'

pere- = a prefix often expressing the idea of 'across'

-vod- = a word stem associated with 'carrying', 'leading' (physically or figuratively)

-ít' = infinitive suffix

-> 'to transfer'; 'to translate'

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-07-02, 14:14
by linguoboy
RenNozaki wrote:What would you do in order to simplify the language and making it easier for foreigner to learn?

I would look at the simplifications foreigners learning Russian already make. It's an L2 for millions of people across a vast geographical area, so there must be pidginised varieties of it. Wikipedia lists Kyakhta Russian-Chinese pidgin and Taimyr Pidgin Russian, but others must exist or have existed at one time.

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-11-16, 8:30
by langmon
linguoboy wrote:
RenNozaki wrote:What would you do in order to simplify the language and making it easier for foreigner to learn?

I would look at the simplifications foreigners learning Russian already make. It's an L2 for millions of people across a vast geographical area, so there must be pidginised varieties of it. Wikipedia lists Kyakhta Russian-Chinese pidgin and Taimyr Pidgin Russian, but others must exist or have existed at one time.


Now how easy or difficult could it be when someone learns _any_ of these simplified versions of Russian, and then tries to communicate with a native of Standard Russian who never heard anything about them?

A non-Russian example of what I am asking about: You could imagine someone communicating in Pure Jamaican Patois (rather than "there is something I wan fi tell yuh") with a native of (North American/British) English who never encountered that pidgin-y variant in his whole life.

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-11-16, 15:27
by linguoboy
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:Now how easy or difficult could it be when someone learns _any_ of these simplified versions of Russian, and then tries to communicate with a native of Standard Russian who never heard anything about them?

Da bin ich überfragt.

I think it would depend a great deal on how much exposure these native-speakers have had to L2 speakers of Russian in general.

Re: Simplifying Russian Language

Posted: 2018-11-16, 15:32
by langmon
linguoboy wrote:Da bin ich überfragt.

I think it would depend a great deal on how much exposure these native-speakers have had to L2 speakers of Russian in general.


Sure. Questions like those cannot be answered with a Very Precise Short Answer anyway, of dat I secure :). If it was about 100% Pure Jamaican Patois, then the different native speakers of US English also haven't got the same degree of comprehension at all. Related to previous exposure or the lack of it. And exposure to US/BE/... dialects. And also to things like the ability of that type of language-y deduction, etc.