The Russian Language: why do we need to learn it and how to do it
WHY WE NEED TO LEARN RUSSIAN
The Russian language is incredibly beautiful. It can easily make you fall in love with it. It is typical of human beings to get what they like. If it concerns a language, it means learning it.
Russian is an international language. There are 167 million native speakers of Russian, it is a second language for another 110 million people.
Russian literature is absolutely beautiful. Translation will never be able to express the wonderful language of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev, Bulgakov… To read Russian literature in the original is an excellent goal!
There are about 130-150 million Russian people in the world. They live in different countries. Many of them are interesting people who are nice to talk to. Not to mention the legendary beauty of Russian women!
Russia is the biggest country in the world which has always played a great role in the world. It is not a secret that a lot of political decisions of Russia make European and American politicians raise their brows, which often causes conflicts. If we want to settle conflicts in politics as well as in private life, we need to try to understand the reasons for other people’s actions. In order to understand Russian mentality, it is absolutely vital to speak Russian!
Russian was the first language to be used in space. At present it is an unofficial language for communication on man-made flights in the low earth orbit. Conversational Russian is a must for all astronauts who work at international space stations.
Learning Russian gives an excellent opportunity to train your memory. Would you like to keep fit intellectually?
HOW TO MASTER RUSSIAN
All you need is love
No pain, no gain
1. Enjoy learning Russian. Love its beauty, its being different from your mother tongue and being the language of so many books. Love it for being spoken by 1/6 of the world population, by the people who are incredibly nice and great to talk to. Finally, you can love Russian just because it makes your brain work intensively. It is like muscles – if you do not train them, you age more quickly than usual. The Russian language gives your brain an excellent practice. You should appreciate it!
2. Enjoy learning grammar. If somebody tells you that learning the grammar of a foreign language prevents you from making progress, do not believe them! You should not believe them especially about Russian. It is a synthetic language, i. e. words are changed by means of inflections. If you do not use them correctly, you will not be understood. Then do not waste your time rejecting grammar, it is pointless – love this grammar instead! Love helps to do everything faster! Your teacher can help you choose a better grammar book. Spend time on grammar – and you will be rewarded!
3. Find a teacher for you. Learning a foreign language without professional help is a hard, lengthy and ineffective process. You try to save money but waste plenty of time. The modern society has learnt to optimize all the processes. Keep up with the times! If you learn Russian with a teacher, you facilitate your learning process because a teacher is a person who manages this process effectively. Besides, you can’t work with any qualified teacher. Your teacher is a person you like and enjoy working with. A certain degree of affection is a necessary element of the learning process.
4. Learn Russian every day. Make a decision from the outset which part of the day is for studying and make it your routine. Learn words, watch films, listen to the radio, read texts – use every single day to revise the material covered and learn something new.
5. Read in Russian! Find a simple book you like and read for 15-20 minutes every day. Write down useful phrases into a vocabulary book. Look through what you have written from time to time. Try using these phrases in speaking and ask your friends and teacher if you have used them correctly.
6. Do not be shy – speak! Use very opportunity to speak Russian. Especially if you happen to be in a Russian-speaking environment. At the market, on a tram, outside – smile and talk! Ask about the price or availability of the product, ask for directions – it does not matter that you know this information. Remain friendly, keep smiling: perhaps the person in front of you has never learnt a foreign language and doesn’t have a clue how brave you are. People do not understand you? Paraphrase! Use simple words to get your message across. You explained something 10 times and nobody understood? Cheer up! At home you can look up the words you needed to communicate and learn them. Or ask your teacher of Russian about the correct variant. Then use another opportunity to explain it on the first try. A foreign language is like a child who needs patience. Do not rush and be angry, let it grow up and improve!
7. Write ideas in Russian. For example, start ‘a Russian diary’ and write a few sentences every day. First, there might be very simple things: where you were, what you saw, what you had for lunch. You can even write down some Russian words you have come across today. Or it can be an expression. Then you can make the content more complex, write not only about the fact but also about your feelings and thoughts. Spend 15-20 minutes every day, and you will notice that you begin seeing and correcting your mistakes on your own. Make Russian a part of your routine, take notes in Russian. Make a to-do or shopping list in Russian.
8. Avoid using the Google Translator or any other electronic translator. They make your natural learning slower. Make sentences yourself. If do not know how – ask your teacher. Or a friend.
9. Keep your ‘success story’. Take a note of what you have achieved this week, this month or this year. For example, one month ago you were terrified by a word in Cyrillic - now you can effortlessly read short Russian texts, understand and retell them. Remember about this achievement! When you see your own success story, you feel motivated to move on.
It is not easy to learn Russian, but this learning process is exciting and enjoyable. Indulge yourself!
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