Russian Full Circle

Первый Круг

Давайте начнём! (Let's get started!)

This page contains useful information for new visitors to the Russian Full Circle website. First we'll start with a general overview of the sitemap, as well as tips and tricks for knowing where to go to get what you need from the site.

Contents: 

But just for fun, let's start with a clip from a well-known Russian film, "Я шагаю по Москве" (read more about it here). The entire film is available with English subtitles on YouTube legally from Mosfilm. (When you click play below, you'll then have to click again to get to YouTube)


How the Site Works

This website is a companion to your textbook, which means you should be visiting it every now and then in order to listen to vocabulary and dialogues, practice your reading, view presentations on culture, and further explore Russian-related links.

The top row of links on this website will bring you to the pages for all the collected resources. There are videos, photos, and links within each lesson. If you want to narrow down all the resources to just those that concern the vocabulary and grammar of your current lesson, then you can use the links in the sidebar. As you may have already discerned, "урок" (oo ROK) is the Russian word for "lesson".

Each lesson page includes "Vocabulary" and "Dialogues," which contain audio files corresponding to those sections of your textbook; "Visual & Cultural Literacy" (resources for both classical and popular Russian culture), and a section entitled "Expanding the Circle." On those pages, you will find links that take you out of this website and direct you towards other online resources and Russian websites.  

 *** We recommend using Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera when viewing www.russianfirstcircle.com. Using other browsers may cause audio playback issues. ***

Any questions or comments can be directed to russianfirstcircle@gmail.com

The Russian Alphabet

Your first step in studying Russian is learning to read the alphabet. The introduction section of your textbook features a detailed explanation of each letter and how it is pronounced, as well as exercises that will help you practice your writing. Here are some more ideas and activities that can help you master the Cyrillic alphabet:  

  • Here's a video of children on Russian Sesame Street singing the alphabet:                                                                                               
  • And a creative IKEA commercial showing the Russian alphabet in a unique way:
  • This video goes through each letter of the alphabet one by one:   
  • Use this site from Brown University to see how Russian letters are written by hovering over each letter.                 
  • In these videos, you can watch someone write out the letters of the alphabet in real time:

How to Type in Russian

Most computers have a part of the standard Control Panel that allows you to change "International" settings.  

System Preferences > International > Input Menu

Click on the Russian keyboard (the phonetic one is much easier to learn). Then find the small American flag that appears on your top bar. That's where you'll go to change your keyboard layout. 

  • If neither of these resources is helpful, try using one of these online keyboards: Type ItApronusMagicTyper 
  • Learn to type on a standard Russian keyboard using Keybr, or one of the Russian typing games here and here.

How to Change Your Facebook to Russian

One way to practice reading Russian right away is to change the language settings in Facebook. All that Cyrillic might be overwhelming at first, but we have provided a list of words that will help you out.

If you already know where to find the Language Settings on your Facebook, skip to the end of this to see a preview of your Facebook account in Russian and see some extra words you might need to know. Otherwise, take a look at these steps for getting to your Language Settings: 

  1. Click on the Settings menu (the gear icon) that is located next to your Profile and Home links. 
  2. Then select Account Settings.
  3. Select Language at the end of the list, and choose Русский from the drop-down box.         
  4. Now Facebook will reappear entirely in Russian.  

If you ever want to change your Facebook back to English, select the settings gear again, then Настройки Аккаунта (which means Account Settings; a "настройка" is a "setting") and finally Язык.

You might want to take a look at the following list of words so you know the basic links around your Russian Facebook:

  • Главная  –  Home
  • Профиль  –  Profile
  • Аккаунт  –  Account
  • Популярные Новости  –  Popular News
  • Недавные Обновления  –  Recent Posts
  • Сообщения  –  Messages
  • Мероприятия  –  Events
  • Друзья  –  Friends
  • Приложения  –  Applications
  • Запросы Игр  –  Game Requests
  • Посмотреть Все  –  See All
  • Приглашение  –  Invitation
  • Статус  –  Status
  • Фотография  –  Photos
  • Ссылка  –  Link
  • Видео  –  Video
  • Стена  –  Wall
  • Информация  –  Information
  • Заметки  –  Notes
  • Добавить в друзья  –  Add to Friends
  • Общие Друзья  –  Mutual Friends
  • Дружба  –  Friendship

How to View this Entire Site in Russian

If you're feeling up to a challenge, or if you just feel like sounding out some real Russian words, you can look to the last widget on the sidebar. This widget has been supplied by Google Translate, and for this reason, the translations are not always completely accurate. However, if you are looking to get acclimated to large blocks of text in the Cyrillic alphabet, select Russian from the list of languages in that widget.

To undo the translation, either close the window and reopen the website or go back to the widget and choose English. Some browsers will offer you the option of showing the original, which would mean going back to the hybrid Russian and English used throughout this site. 

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