5 Most Difficult Things about Learning Russian

While Russian is a beautiful languages, with rich history of art and intellect, it can be a challenge for foreigners to learn. Below are some of the biggest challenges you’ll face.


Difficult Russian

Different Alphabet

Before even starting to learn Russian, you have to learn to read it. It uses the cyrillic alphabet, and memorizing a new set of characters is hard mental work. Plus there are a lot of letters that look like Latin ones but make a completely different sound!


Case System

If you’ve ever studied German you’ll know why the case system is so difficult. The bad news is Russian cases are even more complex. The best resource I found to help learn this is Polly Lingual, which has an extensive guide with games and lessons.


Find a Conversation Partner

Unless you live in Russia, finding a conversation partner can be hard. Luckily, there are good resources online like this page where you can find someone to practice with.


Verb Conjugations

Like it’s Latin-based counterparts in Europe, the Russian verb conjugation system heavily inflects for person, number and tense. However, because the Russian language has a long history of official standardization it has fewer irregular verbs in comparison.


Even borrowed words are Russianized

While even historical Russian has a lot of borrowed words from Latin (and nowadays from English too), even these can sound heavily russianized. For instance the words “biology” and “biologiya”. While they have some resemblance, you’d be forgiven for knowing they’re the same at first glance.

Like reading Dostoevsky, part of what makes Russian worth learning is the feeling overcoming the challenge. Now that you know about these common difficulties you’ll be better prepared.


Author: Guilherme from SlowSpirit.com