How to Learn Russian
Russian claims to be the mother tongue of 175 million people around the world and is spoken as a secondary language by approximately 125 million people. This storied language is recognized as an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Gagauzia, and Transnistria. Russian is also recognized as a minority language in Ukraine, Moldova, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Israel. This misunderstood language is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Russian is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages and the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia. It is considered to be the 8th most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers and 4th in the world by the number of total speakers. The large number of people who go out of their way to learn Russian should attest to the importance of this difficult language. The desire to learn Russian is partially attributed to the rarity of finding a native Russian speaker who speaks another language. Because of this, Russians generally become very excited when a foreigner begins to speak to in their native tongue, and they are very forgiving of poor grammar and pronunciation. They realize that their language is difficult, and they are very appreciative of a foreign speaker taking such a strong interest in their storied culture.
Russia is the descendant of one of the greatest empires in the history of the world. The impressive feats accomplished by this empire include connecting Europe with Eastern Asian countries in terms of trade and annexing territory that extended from the Arctic Ocean in the North to Black Sea in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean on the East, to the Baltic Sea on the West. The Russian Revolution of 1917 ended Russia’s reign as a major world power, but the power of this great dynasty can still be experienced through the elegance of St. Petersburg.
For students of the Russian language, it will be easier and more enjoyable to learn by reading and interacting in the language. Russian Stories: A Dual-Language Book is a wonderful learning tool consisting of Russian stories translated in both Russian and English. Reading Russian tales will prove to be an enjoyable way to learn the language. Another fun tool to help you learn Russian is the book, Dirty Russian. This book will teach you Russian slang terms and phrases ranging from “What’s up?” to swear words. This is a fun and useful tool for a language in which slang is so prevalent.
For travelers who are looking to learn just enough Russian to get by, I would recommend the book In-Flight Russian: Learn Before You Land. This book will teach you everything you need to know to loosely communicate in tourist situations. These books are excellent sources of information crammed into a one hour course.
If you are trying to learn just enough Russian to impress your Russian girlfriend or boyfriend and his or her family, Russian Phrase Guide for Lovers is the tool you have been looking for. This tool is divided into 3 parts for each stage of a relationship: Part 1 is for communicating in the beginning stages of a relationship, part 2 is for dating, and part 3 is for communicating in serious relationships. Part 1 will teach you proper pronunciation, introductions, greetings, questions to get to know someone, expressing interest in someone of the opposite sex, getting acquainted, telephone conversations, and Russian dating etiquette. Part 2 includes lessons on giving compliments, asking someone’s opinion, basic love phrases and vocabulary, and this course even comes equipped with seven realistic dating scenarios. Part 3 includes nicknames and terms of affection, talking about feelings and emotions, meeting someone’s family, casual conversations, celebrating important occasions, marriage proposals, advanced love phrases, and more useful vocabulary. Russian women are the epitome of everything a woman should be: good-natured, caring, and beautiful. Russian men are burly, strong, and powerful. This collection will teach you all of the Russian you need to have a relationship with someone of Russian descendant.
The most important tool you will utilize on your quest to master Russian is going to be the interactive software from Rosetta Stone. It will be very difficult to conquer the difficult pronunciations of Russian without the voice recognition software from Rosetta Stone. This software will have your accent in perfect form as you are coached on the vocabulary and grammar of this Slavic language. Russian is considered by many to be one of the more difficult foreign languages, but with the help of Rosetta Stone’s award-winning software.
Russian is a beautiful language spoken by a storied people. Home to some of the most elegant structures the world has ever seen, Russia is a must stop for any world traveler. Whether you are learning the language for business purposes, to embrace the culture of your significant other, to see the remains of one of the world’s greatest empires, or simply to enjoy the challenge, Russian is a very opportunistic language. An understanding of this language is sure to present you with a plethora of life experiences that would otherwise pass you by.