So yesterday I started learning Russian here in Tallinn, after taking a test that even a guy from Canada who ended up in advanced class classified as hard. I was eventually placed in the intermediary class.
The teacher was speaking Russian all the time, and my friend Massa from Japan who speaks American English fluently with no accent said, half an hour into the first lesson, that his head felt like it was about to explode.
Today I switched to the beginner class, and it feels more comfortable, because I didn’t know any grammar. In a language where even numbers are inflected (I shit you not) that’s kind of important. Interestingly though, stress might be even more important!
The verb писать means “he is writing” if you put the stress on the first syllable, “he is pissing” when putting stress on the last one. In addition, Russian is a highly inflected language, meaning that different conjugations result in different meanings. Я писаю, the standard conjugation, means “I am pissing”; to get “I am writing”, you need to use “я пишу”.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the days ahead with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation…