“I’m old school like gemstars and switchblades.”
– ASAP Rocky, Trilla
Having a perpetual interest in Russia, I decided to learn a bit of the language. Rather than spending a small fortune on an expensive language program, I decided to try and start learning Russian as cheaply as possible. I ended up sending ten cents at a garage sale, where I bought Look and Learn Russian. To call my edition worn would be an understatement. The cover is tattered and hanging on by a mere thread and the back of the book has a vague mildew on it. I’ll probably contract Black Lung halfway through.
Despite my health concerns, I still like Look and Learn Russian. It’s lack of modern flash actually enhances it. There’s no “Five minute guide to understanding the Russian alphabet.” In fact, most of the book is nothing more than basic sketches with Russian phrases written next to them. It’s your job to figure out what each picture says. After page 22, there’s no English whatsoever, just pencil drawings and Russian words.
I made myself a little index card with the Russian alphabet, I use it to decipher each image. It’s fun. A throwback to the days when military men sat around smoking Camel cigarettes while spying on the Kremlin. Even without looking at the publication date, Look and Learn Russian feels like the product of the early sixties.
This bare bones nature keeps me far more invested than any Pimsleur program ever has.