This course and the others in the Complete range are the most widely used of all our courses as they start from scratch and yet provide the learner with a confident and competent understanding of a new language.
Suitable for: The Complete Course is perfect if you want to reach a reasonably high level of ability. Whether that is because you are working abroad, studying for an exam or wanting to refresh your skills from previous study.
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Each of the thirty lessons has three parts.
Part one: Narrative
A simple story line runs through the course. You hear about real-life situations involving a typical Russian couple - Volodya and Vika, their friends and relatives. You follow their work and leisure activities.
Part Two: Conversations
Here the key words and phrases from Part One are introduced so that you become familiar with them.
Part Three: Additional Conversational Sketches
These broaden your grasp of the language. They enable you to use your Russian to express new ideas in different situations.
The recordings include practice material to help develop your conversational ability. You listen to a given phrase - speak aloud in the ensuing pause - then hear the correct response. In this way you quickly learn to take part in everyday conversations with growing confidence. Similarly, you will encounter written exercises to practise and consolidate your writing skills.
1. The Airport
Volodya, is a young engineer, and is returning home after working abroad. Vika has come to meet him at Sheremetievo airport, outside Moscow. Volodya passes through the usual passport and customs formalities and then meets Vika. They look for a taxi and set off for Moscow.
By the end of this lesson, you will have learned about the Gender of Nouns, you...yours (polite and plural form), my....mine, your...yours (familiar single form), Whose...is this?, whose?, Accusative case of feminine nouns, Masculine and feminine of adjectives, which..?, what..? He, it, she
2. About Volodya and Vika
We learn a little more about our two main characters: where they were born, where they studied and so on.
You will learn the locative of nouns, nominative of adjectives, locative of adjectives, and Infinitive and past tense of verbs and reflexive verbs.
3. Volodya arrives home
In this lesson we meet Volodya's parents. Volodya arrives home and they have plenty to chat about: Volodya asks his parents how the are; they ask him about his trip abroad. Volodya announces that he intends to get married. His mother disapproves, but his father is more reasonable.
The Present tense of 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs are introduced.
4. Morning at Volodya's flat
We learn about the Ivanov's flat and what is on the breakfast table. You will hear a telephone conversation between Volodya and Vika arranging a time and a place to meet up.
You will cover the genitive of masculine and neuter nouns, the genitive of feminine nouns, genitive of adjectives, numerals 1-4, and short adjectives.
5. A day in town
Volodya and Vika meet. Volodya goes to a kiosk to buy a newspaper and some magazines and a foreigner asks them for directions to Gagarin Square.
You will learn some further present tense conjugations and cover the nominative, accusative and genitive of normal and soft adjectives.
6. Dinner in a restaurant
After walking around Moscow all afternoon, the couple realise they are hungry and decide to dine in a restaurant. They order traditional Russian dishes.
You will learn how to order food in a restaurant and how to ask for the bill. You will continue to learn about the present tense and the past and future tenses are introduced.
7. Volodya and Vika go by tube
The pair travel on the tube and Vika gives another passenger directions.
As well as continuing with your studies of the present tense, you will also work on nouns, adjectives and pronouns.
8. Volodya and Vika at the Bolshoi Theatre
Vika and Volodya visit the famous Bolshoi Theatre to see 'Swan Lake'.
Work on the present tense continues and there are further notes on nouns and adjectives.
9. Volodya and Vika go to the dacha
During a trip to the country Volodya and Vika visit Vika's friend Irina and her family in their dacha (a wooden summer cottage).
In Part 3 of this lesson there are three dialogues giving you further examples of the use of imperfective and perfective aspects of verbs.
10. At the dacha
We learn more about Irina, her husband Sergei, who is an engineer and their small daughter, Katenka.
One of the key language aspects of this chapter is personal pronouns.
11. A trip to Rostov
Rostov is a beautiful old town to the northeast of Moscow and Vika and Volodya have decided to visit. They see the monastery and the Kremlin.
12. A chance meeting
During a pleasure-boat trip to see the sights of Moscow, Volodya and Vika bump into their friend Igor. Igor is about to go on holiday and the conversation turns to holidays.
From lesson 12 onwards you will generally need to refer to the grammatical index.
13. Vika is ill
Vika does not feel well, so she calls the doctor. She wants Volodya to come and visit her, but he has to go to the dentist first.
14. Volodya goes for the medicine
Volodya goes to the chemist to pick up Vika's prescription.
15. Yelena Vasilievna goes shopping
In this lesson Volodya's mother, Yelena Vasilievna goes shopping. She visits a grocery store and buys various items in different departments. You will learn about Russian money. Yelena meets her friend Maria on the way to the baker's, she tells her friend that she is still against the idea of Volodya marrying.
16. On the 'Red Arrow' to Leningrad
This lesson is set at the train station. Volodya and Vika are catching the overnight train (the Red Arrow) from Moscow to Leningrad to visit Volodya's grandfather.
You will learn how to say you've missed the train and how to enquire about train times to a destination.
17. Volodya and Vika go to visit Grandfather
In Leningrad, the couple catch a bus and you will learn about buying tickets from an automatic machine. Then they arrive at Grandfather's house and realise that it is his birthday.
You will come across the imperative and learn how to give commands such as 'Sit down!' and 'Get in!'.
18. Guests at Grandfather's
Grandfather's friends arrive to celebrate his birthday. They drink toasts and make speeches. Volodya asks Grandfather about his telegrams. The couple enjoy themselves.
19. Volodya and Vika look for a present for Grandfather
Volodya and Vika decide to buy Grandfather a book of the history of Leningrad.
You will learn how to discuss somebody's age.
20. In an ice-cream café
Volodya and Vika stop at a café for some refreshment. An old acquaintance of Vika's approaches them. As Vika and Victor catch up on news, Volodya gets very bored!
You will practise the past tense as the characters discuss what happened to people from their days at university.
21. On a trip to the Hermitage
While in Leningrad, Volodya and Vika intend to visit some of the museums and art galleries. First of all they go to the hermitage, then they discuss other museums that they would like to visit.
You will learn how to state preference.
22. Telephone conversations
This lesson is based entirely on telephone conversations; you will learn how to leave a message, how to book a call through the intercity service and useful vocabulary such as 'long-distance, coin, zero, message, to have a word, call-box, operator and to dial a number'.
23. Unexpected difficulties
It's nearly the end of Vika's holiday, but the couple still want to go and visit Vika's parents. She decides to write a letter to the dean of her faculty to ask for permission to return to university a week late.
24. Vika and Volodya write letters
The lesson consists of three different styles of letters. The first is a long informal letter from Volodya to his friend Sasha, telling him about what has been happening in his personal life. The second is a letter from Vika to her Dean of Faculty asking him if it would be possible for her to come back to university late. The third is a formal application to the Dean for permission.
25. Before departure from Leningrad
Vika and Volodya finish all the things they need to do before their departure for the Black Sea. The weather has changed and winter is approaching.
You will learn some terminology for describing the change of season.
26. Arrival at the hotel
This lesson is set in a hotel and you will learn how to check in and request a type of room (e.g. single or double) and you will learn about the hotels facilities as you listen to the conversations between Volodya and one of the hotel staff.
27. On the beach
Volodya and Vika are relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sunshine.
You will learn how to say that you are afraid of something and how to say that somebody resembles somebody else.
28. At the cinema
Volodya and Vika are going to the cinema to se 'War and Peace'. Volodya likes war films; Vika prefers films about contemporary life. Volodya enjoys the film, Vika does not.
You learn how the conditional is formed and are given examples.
29. A trip into the mountains
On their way back from Lake Ritsa Vika and Volodya encounter some locals having a picnic. They are invited to join the strangers and are told that such hospitality is a tradition.
Volodya and Vika are returning to Moscow and must say goodbye to Vika's parents. According to an old Russian custom, they all sit down quietly for a moment to think about what you are leaving, where and why you are going and what you are taking with you, so that the journey will be happy. They drink wine, which has been bought for this occasion.
The course includes a glossary of grammatical terms, an alphabetical listing Russian to English and English to Russian and some useful appendices, which include notes and explanations on the following:
- Pronunciation and spelling
- Russian Christian names and diminutives
- Cardinal numbers
- Ordinal numbers
- Telling the time
- Days of the week
- Months of the year
Adverbs and impersonal expressions
Other types of adjectives and pronouns