Have you ever thought about learning Russian? Ever tried to take up the language, perhaps even made a few steps to start learning but just quit along the way? Well, if you at least started, congratulations! Many people fail to even take that first step thinking the language is too hard. But why?
Well basically, Russian is different from the Romantic languages (Think English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) It belongs to a group of languages called Slavic. The Russian alphabet alone can seem foreign enough to give you cold feet and make you abandon all your efforts to learn the language. But is it really hard?
It would be a lie to say Russian is easy for speakers of Romantic languages, but there are certain things you can do to make the task manageable. Before looking at how you can learn the language, here are ten reasons why you might want to oil your tongue for Russian.
10. Reasons to Learn Russian
1. For Business
Russia is an important player in the global economy. It imports and exports a wide range of both finished products and raw materials including wood, machinery, vehicles, minerals, and food. If you wish to spread your business wings far and wide, Russia might be a good place to look at. For smoother business interactions, it would be prudent for you to know at least some conversational Russian.
2. Russian is Important in Scientific Study
If you have even the faintest interest in science, especially space exploration, then you should know that Russia was the first country to send an astronaut by the name of Yuri Gagarin into outer space on April 12, 1961.
Although the country's scientific exploits are currently not as remarkable as the Yuri event, you can bet it's still at the forefront of scientific discovery and experimentation. Learning Russian will give you direct access to the scientific reports, journals and papers published by the country's scientists.
3. You Want to Adopt a Russian Child
If you would love to have a Russian family member, you can adopt a child providing that you meet the requirements set by Russia’s Adoption Authority. The country has a lot of children on the adoption waiting list and your move might just answer a child's prayer.
But to connect with your new family member, basic Russian may go a long way. Those first moments are important in the establishment of your relationship. If you can manage to communicate with the child, the better.
4. For Better Understanding of Russian Culture and History
Russia has a fascinating and rich culture. From visually stimulating folk tales to scrumptious traditional cuisine, Russia has it all. Learning Russian will usher you into a winding journey through the country's history filled with stories of love and war, oppression and
freedom, and heroes and villains.
5. To Enrol For Undergrad And Postgrad Programs
Russia has a robust educational landscape and every year, the country admits a good number of students from different parts of the world. There are admissions for graduate and undergraduate students that are sometimes offered on a scholarship basis.
Students graduate from Russian universities in different kinds of disciplines including medicine, agricultural science, engineering, and social sciences. If you ever plan to study in Russia, you might want to start honing your Russian language skills now.
6. Russia's Fascinating Art and Literature
You probably know about ballet: that dance art where lean men and women perform bone-defying dance moves? Well, as evidence for the country's advanced arts, ballet developed as a concert art in France and Russia.
All enthusiasts of classical music must be familiar with Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the composer of the popular '1912 overture' and 'Swan Lake'. He was Russian and his compositions are known all over the world.
For the lovers of literature, Russia has more than enough to offer. Truth is, every time a novel is translated, it loses a part of that original flame and emotion. By learning Russian, you can connect with your favourite Russian composers better.
7. You Simply Like Traveling
Russia is a well-known tourist destination with its enchanting cathedrals, fascinating museums, and unique zoos and national parks. If you love adventure, Russia should definitely be on your bucket list.
But you may have a tough time if you can't utter a word
in Russian. True, the warm and welcoming people might try to speak some English, but if you really want to have a smooth time, learning the language is a great move.
8. For Romance
Romance is the one subject all cultures can relate to. It's a universal language and indeed, it's no surprise that romance is a reason you might want to learn Russian. Should your heart wander into the Kremlin country and be trapped by a Russian maiden or prince charming, having the Russian language at your fingertips may help fan your flames of passion hotter. Thinking about getting a Russian partner? Then start learning the language.
9. For Work Reasons
Do you fancy the profession of interpreters? If you do, Russian might be a good language to set your sights on. There is a lot of interpreter jobs for a good Russian-English speaker. Opportunities range from business, conference, and medical interpreting. You can also work with organisations in neighbourhoods that have Russian as their predominant language.
But interpreting is not the only work-related reason you would want to learn Russian. Whatever profession you might be, you stand a good chance to work in a Russian speaking country. Many corporations are multinational and if you can speak English and Russian, you might be an asset they would treasure.
10. It is Widely Spoken
Russian is a widely spoken language. If you are one that like to connect with people, learning Russian might increase your reach. The language is not only spoken in Russia alone. It is also popular in Ukraine, Moldavia, and Georgia plus many other regions. Especially with the internet, you are bound to meet at least a few people that you can converse with in Russian.
How Difficult is Russian?
It would be wrong to say all languages have the same difficulty. Indeed, some are harder than others. Russian is generally considered to be a hard language, but again that depends on your background, how easily you can pick up language, and your method of learning. It's like everything else in life: Practice makes perfect, so just dive in.
How to Learn Russia
You can choose from different methods. Some may cost you money, others may be free, and of course, some are more effective than other.
1.Hire a Tutor
If you can have access to a one-on-one tutor, your grasp of the Russian language can improve dramatically. This is more effective than most learning methods because of the individual attention you will get. But this arrangement can be hard to come by, and it may be costly.
Attending Russian classes can be almost as effective as hiring a personal tutor except that the group arrangement may water down the efficiency. Check around your city to find the nearest classes. Such information can be found online with ease.
3.Paid Online Lesson
With the internet, you have access to the whole world and that includes Russian lessons. A short Google search will reveal to you an ocean of paid lessons which you can take up. If you search deep enough, you may find some good free lessons as well.
4.Free Unguided Online Learning
There are tonnes of blogs online where people share Russian lessons for free. These are definitely not effective since they are not structured. Besides, anyone can post things online even if they are wrong and so you have to be careful.
5. Befriend a Russian Speaker
While it may be morally questionable to befriend someone just so you can learn a language, it can still work. If you can find a friend that can speak your native language and Russian, you can learn the language in your day to day interactions. That can be fun, too.
How Russian Works
Russian is a language of patterns. By mastering how the puzzle pieces fit together, you can come up with your own sentences easily. Here are some basics you have to know about Russian.
1. There are No Articles
Forget about articles. They do not exist in Russian which must be a relief. In English, you say 'a café' or 'the café'. But in Russian, you just say ‘kafe’.
2. No Present Tense to Refer to the State of Something
There are no words like 'am', 'are', 'is'. In English, you say, 'I am a businessman.' However in Russian, you say 'I-businessman', which is 'Ya - beeznysmen’
3. Gender of Nouns
Russian has three gender nouns: Masculine, feminine, and neuter. Telling them apart is easy. Just consider how a word ends. Masculine nouns have a consonant or -ye at the end while feminine nouns have -a or -ya as their ending. Neuter nouns may end in -o or -ye.
4. How Are Russian Vowels and Consonants Pronounced?
Vowels and consonants are the building blocks of speech and these vary from language to language. Here is the correct way of pronouncing Russian vowels and consonants.
a as in matter; ye as in yet; yo as in yoke; ee as in sheep; y as in boy; o as in torn; oo as in shoot; e as in beg; yoo as in unite; ya as in yarn
b as in bad; v as in vision; g as in goofy; d as in dump; zh as in leisure; z as in zap; k as in kite; l as in late; m as in moose; n as in node; p as in pit; r as in ranch; s as in sip; t as in tent; f as in funnel; ch as in loch; ts as in lots; ch as in chickpeas; sh as in shine; shch as in brownish shoe