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on 29 November 1998
Bought this book because I was trying to learn Russian, and didn't have any idea which words were most important. Found that many of the words I had learned were rarely used. On the other hand, many of the most common words, I had never heard.
This book then allowed me to focus on words that I needed the most. Since I now live in Russia, (while still using the book) I find that as I learn the more frequently used words, I hear them almost daily. It's been a big help.
On the other hand, it's not a good 'first book' for people who want to learn Russian. You still need grammar, sounds, etc. It's probably better as a second or third book.
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on 17 March 2007
This book is both fascinating and a boon for any serious student of the language.

Some of the words in the earliest sections of the book will be surprising, and some of those that don't appear will also surprise you.

As a learning tool, I can say from personal experience and from the experience of friends, thoroughly learning the high frequency words and working your way through will increase your reading fluency in leaps and bounds.

As a fascinating linguistic study it will be of interest to any Russian learners who wonder how things such as communism, glasnost, perestroika etc have affected the language.

It isn't a book for beginners, it's a bit heavy for anyone just starting out (literally as well as metaphorically ;)) as well as not being especially cheap (though it's good value). This isn't a dictionary in the "I-want-to-know-the-word-for-bread-now" sense, and anyone expecting that would be disappointed. But for any student who wants a structure to vocab learning, or wants to improve reading fluency, etc, it is a godsend and well worth the money.
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on 21 July 2000
I used this book revising for my finals, so I had something to focus on. It's always hard to know what vocabulary to learn, but with this book I just carried on until the end of the book, knowing that by the time I reached 10,000 words the chances of meeting that word were just one in a million! It was a great confidence builder.
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on 30 December 2005
Learning Russian is a difficult task due to the unfamiliarity of vocabulary compared with most European languages. I have been using this book since my first year of university and have found it to be the most useful weapon for tackling the language. Work through the book, restesting yourself regularly and you should be able to build up a formidable vocabulary with a bit of effort. Exemplary sentences are given for the first 600 words; it's a shame that this couldn't be done for all 10,000 but would make the book a lot larger. Language learning would be a lot simpler if more works like this could be produced.
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on 23 October 2007
This is by far and away my favourite Russian study aid. I used this throughout my year in Russia and my honours year. Every day I would try and learn 20 new words as they appeared in frequency order- and it was amazing when reading a Russian magazine or newspaper - they literally sprang out the page the day you learnt them.

I would say that this book is ESSENTIAL if you are to study Russian even remotely seriously. It is invaluable.
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This is an invaluable resource for anyone studying Russian who wants to work methodically in learning vocabulary. Although there is a literary slant to the list (based partially on one compiled from the frequency of written words), the editor has taken into account spoken language in this edition as well, making the volume more up-to-date.

It makes for fascinating browsing as well as structured learning, and you may well be surprised at the frequency of some words (and infrequency of others!). If you work your way through from the beginning, it's also quite nice to be able to say you're familiar with, say, the 100, 500, 1000 most frequent words in Russian and so on. I've found that since using this book in my own studies, I notice how the more frequent words are always popping up when listening to radio, watching TV and so on - it's really improved my comprehension.

Examples of the words in use are given throughout, and the book contains an alphabetical index as well so you can find out where any given word is on the frequency list.

Excellent as a reference and learning tool.
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on 27 January 2014
This book does exactly what it says it does, however an opportunity was missed that would have made this book so much more useful for solo learners. You see the first 1500 words come with example sentences which is great and allows you to understand how the word you are learning can be used correctly. However after the 1500 mark explanations or example sentences cease for the majority of the remaining 8500 words. This makes it hard to know how the word in question is used correctly as I have found out on numerous occasions when trying out a new word with a Russian friend. It means you really need to check each word with a native speaker which not everyone can do. The creators of the book should at least of carried on writing example sentences to the 5000 mark. That would have made this book pretty much perfect so an opportunity missed. As it stands now that I'm up past the 1500 mark I need to spend ages cross referencing words with Google translate to get the context of words and even that is no guarantee of accuracy.

So, great book yes, highly recommended but it could have been better with a bit more effort.
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on 11 January 2010
Being a foreign student and after one year studying russian at the university I wondered how to go on. So I decided to start to read a russian newspaper ( Argumenti i Fakti) , read books and look at the internet for television broadcasts. For reading newspapers and modern books this dictionary/studybook is fulfilling my wish to expand and check my vocabulary. Listening to the radio or television is a little bit more difficult because of the speed of the language and the pronunciation. The author put stresses on the words that are very helpful but I would like an extra possibility bij providing extra cd's with many texts from a newspaper on different topics. For that purpose I started to listen ( and read at the same time) to audiobooks too.

Joeri Vrooland
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on 3 September 2012
This book is an excellent addition to any Russian speaker's library.

It is a text that the reader can use in the way that their needs require:

- If you are a beginner you can learn the first few hundred words by rote learning
- GCSE and A-level students can randomly test themselves on the first 800-1000 words
- Undergraduates can make word lists of unknown words from the few thousand entries having already learnt most of them from other sources
- Teachers can pick out nouns, verbs, adjectives that fit into a theme and incorporate them into lessons

Nothing can substitute reading fiction and non-fiction or speaking with and listening to native speakers when learning a language. This reference book can, however, aid and speed up the learning process when learning the Russian language.
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on 17 November 2011
I agree with what most other reviewers have said. This is an excellent, and possibly essential, book for serious students of Russian. It helps you to focus on the words you really need to know. On the other hand, I have given it four stars, rather than five as I consider it to be overpriced, especially when its target market is students.
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