I am a member of an ACROD group on FB and i stated on there that I would be interested in learning Rusyn. I got 3 different responses. One told me to learn Russian, another Ukrainian, and another Slovak and they all swore that each was the most similar to rusyn. needless to say I still have no idea how to learn rusyn.
Literary Rusyn was first transcribed in the 19th century by Father Alexander Duchnovych, a Greek Catholic priest (of partial high Russian aristocratic lineage) and a man regarded as the 'father of the Rusyn national movement' of the era. He is the author of the national hymn of the Rusyn peoples - 'Ja rusyn byl.' http://rdsa.tripod.com/peoplewithout.html His transcriptions have a bias towards literary Russian of the time and were not readily understandable by the average Rusyn - most of whom were not literate in Europe of that era, but who became literate in the Americas. (It has been hypothesized that the rapid Russification of many Rusyn immigrants to America in the early 20th century came about as a result of the form of the literary language and the ease which Russian speakers had in becoming understandable in 'po nasemu.' (Argument for another day though......) )
Rusyns from what is known as Transcarpathia, now part of the nation of Ukraine speak a dialect of Rusyn which more closely resembles modern Ukrainian, albeit with certain distinct idiomatic expressions and pronunciations. It can be a bit jarring to one native to formal Ukrainian as the accents often mirror a more Russified tone than does modern Ukrainian.
Rusyns from what is now Slovakia speak a mixture of Transcarpathian Rusyn and Slovak, the further west from the Tatras one ventures, the greater the Slovak influence. (This sub-dialect is called phonetically 'hutoratci' - not sure about spelling....)
Rusyns from America and Canada speak English. Most of our parents gave up trying to figure out all of this stuff long ago.
All Rusyns will drink a fair amount, toast each other, sing the same songs, toast some more and start a fight about who speaks proper 'po nasemu.' This is true in Europe and in North America.
All dialects avoid the Magyar influence under penalty of explusion from the local 'Russian Club'.
I am sure this didn't help, but believe it of not, I am no really not speaking totally tongue in cheek.