25 April, 2015

Smartphone To The Rescue: Battle with Russian Cases, Head On!

When learning Russian one will soon encounter the intricate system of cases, or падежи as they are called in Russian. Learning them, and eventually mastering them is a huge aspect of good and fluent Russian. The catch? Even though the system of cases at times is quite regular, one still needs to be able to know the right conjugation for each of the three genders (род in Russian) and for every one of the 5 cases. Then of course when you know the nouns, you need to know how to conjugate the adjectives as well as the pronouns.

The task of learning this can at a glance seem extremely hard, bordering the “impossible”. This is not the case however (pun not intended). There are many ways of learning the cases, and in this post we will explore one of the “new” ways. Forget books, pens and papers! Yazh – an app available both as freeware and payware allows you to study and drill the cases and their respective conjugation.

Yazh is an app for phones running Android and as such is available on Google Play. The free version does not allow you to practice pronouns. For 1,50 $ you can unlock the full version, thus allowing you to practice both nouns, adjectives and pronouns.

The interface is simple and easy to navigate:

Yazh - förstasida

As seen above there are two ways to practice each conjugation. Either by multiple choice or by typing your answer. This is a nice feature since the first option allows you to practice many questions and endings quite fast. The latter option is more for in-depth studying, not are you supposed to only know the right ending you must spell it correctly as well.

Multiple choice presents you with a word and that particular words gender as well as the case and numeral you are supposed to conjugate it into. You also get the translation of the word and some nice statistics in the lower left corner. This allows you to compete with yourself, try get 10 or even 20 correct answers in a row!

 

Typing poses more of a challenge. Make sure to install a Russian keyboard on your phone before starting. One could say that this will practice your active knowledge by practicing in type-mode. Trying to exclude false answers won’t help you here!

 

Yazh is one of the better apps or websites for learning cases that I have encountered during my travails in the Russian languages. It allows you both quick practice as well as more thorough drills in spelling. It might have been nice with a possibility to practice one case at a time, instead of mixing them up in the same exercises. Also, the free version is very good and covers the most important parts of the Russian case system. The overall impression, is very positive!

Photo by Victorgrigas, released under CC-BY-SA 3.0

This post was brought to you by Vincent, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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