I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but I have a bit of constructive criticism.
I hope no one will take this personally, but I really think that the male host (Eric) needs to put some more energy into his voice! His voice is so soft and monotone, it nearly puts me to sleep. It makes it rather difficult to focus on the lesson content. This podcast could be ten times better if the hosts would just try to be more energetic.
Is it just me, or do any other listeners feel this way?
Must say that I really like Eric and Anna's voices . They are clear in their lessons and the lessons are just the right length to learn a bit more Russian each week. Eric is really comical - one thing that makes me laugh still is the lesson where Eric and Anna are discussing the word, Zdrova they are disccussing this meaning either Wonderful or pronounced differently becomes a slang of Hello. Very funny especially the building site reference.
I really like Erik's voice and acting; really entertaining and with very good command of English - in particular the "urban" varieties. That voice really "carries a lot with it", making it interesting and fun for the listener at all times; not all people have that ability.
A linguistic feature of spoken Russian is the monotone nature of native speech.
A normal declarative sentence in Russian is spoken (as in many other languages) without either raising or lowering the pitch till the end of the sentence, where the voice then drops in pitch. To the English speaking ear, this makes the person very boring.
In contract, our constant varying of pitch makes English sound rather melodic to a Russian speaker.
I suggest everyone learn to use Eric's monotone way of speaking -- especially men. Otherwise you can strike a native speaker as being "overly emotional."
Is the circus like music in the beginning, gets very old after a while. Would really like to hear some type of balalaika orchestra in the beginning, that would be great, like some Dr. Zhivago type music... Or get some kind of Russian Orthodox Monks chanting some old tunes...
I agree with the last two posts. I miss Eric and Anna. I understand them the most easily and the lessons with other speakers are much more difficult. Primarily because they speak too fast. In review sections, the speaker says an English phrase that we are supposed to repeat in Russian. We are supposed to have a few seconds before we are given the answer. It's never a few seconds. It is one second. I barely have time to process the sentence and begin to speak it when he comes back and interrupts me.
Also the the music intro to all of the lessons really starts to get irritating after 30 or 40 times!
As an absolute newbie, I have to play the Pod101 iPhone tracks over and over again to get some kind of understanding. After playing them 20 times, I'm kinda getting tired of the jokes and hearing (from Anna) how much I am going to enjoy these fabulous lesson (this type of hype will eventually backfire).
Also, the semi ad-lib conversation after the basic lessons are too fast and have no associated text.
To me, monotone is infinitely preferable to the excitable English TV newsreader type audio featured in the free online lessons. This is definitely not normal english conversation. How am I to know if the Russian I'm listening to is similarly unnatural?
Ian Riddell wrote: To me, monotone is infinitely preferable to the excitable English TV newsreader type audio featured in the free online lessons. This is definitely not normal english conversation. How am I to know if the Russian I'm listening to is similarly unnatural?
Yeah, I'm with you buddy. I'm gonna be honest here in the hope that the 101 team learn form it, and I and VERY sure that me and Ian will not have been the only ones to have this impression on the free lessons, and honestly, it was pretty much a deal breaker for me signing up to 101 basic or premium, which is a shame because it has massive protental. I also like to try and listen to them a few times, but I can barely make it though the first.
Although I believe оксана to be very good and natural sounding in English (and my Russian speaking girl confirms she sounds as you would expect a Russian person too) Eddie ruins it for me. If I ever met someone one that spoke the way he does, I'd really really have to hold myself back from laughing to be honest.... I'm pretty sure he does not speak like that day to day.
It really highlights the fact they are reading and 100% kills the illusion of conversation. There is something rather messed up when the Russian speaker speaks far more natural English then the English native, eh?
For me, the RussianPod101.com lessons are the best. I did prefer Anna and Erik. However, Oksana and Eddie are doing a fantastic job, especially Eddie who, like me, is English so I can relate to his accent. It is also nice to hear someone speak Russian who does not sound exactly like Russian - like Eddie and also like me who has trouble speaking with accents.
My comments on these podcasts are:
When the English is spoken with the translation, I would prefer the English to be spoken slowly with the translation as this would help.
All review tracks to be brown down into very small parts. The new series of Lower Intermediate has too long review tracks and I find it not possible to learn.
The advanced video series should also be in English. The first video was but the rest are not so have not be able to learn from these.
Don't get me wrong, the content of the lessons is 2nd to none, and anyone that can handle the somewhat false sounding scripted conversations will get very much from it.
But my point remains. I'm as English as you can get, I probably have an accent very similar to Eddies... just why does he use a voice over like tone when he's in a normal conversation? Maybe he does speak like that in day to day life, in which case I'd love to meet him, would be quite a laugh
Eddie shows us that you don't have to have a full Russian accent to be understood and to learn from. So much audio language content is from the USA these days so it's wonderful to hear a British voice!