Learning to speak Russian can be an exciting challenge. It opens up a whole new world of ideas and possibilities. Many great thinkers and writers such as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky penned major works in this language, and reading them in their original form can be a rewarding experience. That’s not the only reason why it’s beneficial to learn to speak Russian though. It’s one of the most widely spoken languages in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It’s an official language in 5 countries, and is widely spoken as a lingua franca in many regions. It also shares roots with many other Slavic languages such as Ukrainian, Polish, and Czech, which can help considerably when learning these languages or traveling in these regions.
Russia itself is a vast country, with many beautiful and historic places. Unfortunately, only about 5.5 percent of Russians are able to speak English as either a first or second language, so being able to speak even a little bit of Russian is important if you plan to go anywhere other than the major tourist hotspots of Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
A trip on the world famous Trans-Siberian Railway is one such example. This almost mythical train journey is one of the best ways to experience the vast beauty of this country and visit some of it’s most far-flung locations which you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. While it’s possible to make the journey without speaking Russian, your trip will become infinitely more interesting and memorable if you’re able to interact with the people you’re sharing your journey with, and soak in the famously warm hospitality of the Russian people.
Russian is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. It has a lot of rules which must be followed, however, the good news is that there are very few exceptions to these rules. Learning them all can seem overwhelming, but by speaking with native Russian speakers you might be surprised how quickly you can internalize them.
For instance, there are 6 different cases in Russian; Nominative, Accusative, Prepositional, Genitive, Dative, and Instrumental. By contrast, German, another difficult language, has only four. These show how the words in a sentence relate to each other i.e., who is doing what to whom. These cases have largely disappeared from English, so it can be tricky for English speakers to wrap their heads around. But by practicing with a native Russian speaker you can master all 6 in no time.
While spending time in Russia would be the ideal way to learn Russian, the Internet has given us the ability to immerse ourselves in another language without having to travel to another country. There are many sites online where you can find language partners, and you can even use Skype to practice speaking with other language learners. However, you still have to deal with scheduling a time to speak, and some sites even cost money to use.
Right now on Tandem you can find thousands of Russian speakers who are looking to practice their English with a native speaker. You don’t have to schedule a time to speak, or pay to sign up. All you have to do is log on, find someone who looks interesting and give them a call. Talk for as long or as short as you like, without committing to a class or scheduling a meeting. Plus, you never know who you might meet. On Tandem, you can:
Whether you’d like to take a tour of Moscow, stroll the streets of St. Petersburg, or go on an adventure through the wilds of Siberia, you can find someone on Tandem to tell you everything you need to know before you go. It’s an all-in-one language learning community which connects you to the world at the touch of a button. Try it out today and see how easy it really is. After all, it’s totally free.
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