The New Penguin Russian Course: A Review

This is a complete review of The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course For Beginners by Nicholas J. Brown. If you have thought about getting this book, then you should definitely check out this review. It is the first of many reviews to help you guys pick the best material available to you out there.

First of all, let me start by saying that this is a cheap book. I bought it brand new for $10 at about a year ago and the price is the same as of this time ($10.94) to be exact. I’m sure it can be found on other places for around the same price, but Amazon has always been good to me so they get my company. If you are planning on doing a look of book buying, sign up for Amazon’s Prime 30-day trial. You get free two-day shipping on any order, no matter what the price.

Okay, so this is a cheap book, that’s always a plus. It is also designed for absolute beginners, so it’s a great start for anyone. But wait a second! Just because you might have some Russian under your belt, don’t think you should blow off this book and search for something else. This book starts with teaching you the Cyrillic alphabet, as well as correct handwriting and moves all the way up to teaching you all about nouns and declension as well teaching you the bookish style of writing, giving you pieces of conversation and stories to practice your reading.

I have always enjoyed reading this book, and honestly have no clue where I would be at without having read it. Brown explains things in a very simple manner. He avoids confusing linguistic terms and best of all, he provides examples. In the beginning, you will get to see examples of conversation at work. There are also exercises available for you to test yourself, and of course the answers to the exercises are in the back of the book.

There are thirty main lessons, grammatical tables, a list of the spelling rules, a Russian-English and English-Russian vocabulary list, keys to the exercises and translation of the text, a glossary of grammatical terms (should you need it) and of course, the Index.

This is a great book. It has a 100 reviews on, with a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

If you have this book, please comment and let me know what you think of it.

2 thoughts on “The New Penguin Russian Course: A Review

  1. This book, years later… still great, still cheap. Great resource for those learning Russian and is VERY positively reviewed on Amazon.I found out about it only recently and I’m currently only at the end of lesson 9 out of a total 30 lessons. Though, every review I find on the book is not exactly as in-depth as i’d like it to be. I want to know what one is capable of after finished the 30th lesson. Not being able to find such review, I was still okay with starting it because Its so highly reviewed and I have begun to see why. It probably is one of the best, if not THE best book for beginner Russian. I also haven’t found too much of a problem with the date it was published (1996), It seems largely useful and I have not run into much dated phrases or vocabulary just yet. I also think that it’s nice to know the words anyway, even if there were such a case. The book does avoid teaching slang, so to learn this you’ll obviously need to speak with a Russian native speaker. Anyway, I did start the book having already taught myself the alphabet and pronunciation of the letters. Native speaker friends on Skype to help me with my struggles and to let me enjoy the language as well as practice.

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