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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Learning Russian Right Now

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Learning Russian Right Now

Russian is the official language in many countries around the world, including Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. Russian is also taught in schools as a second language in neighboring countries like Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the Baltics and a number of others.

On the list of the most widely spoken languages globally, Russian comes eighth. Believe it or not, it’s the most spoken language in Europe. In terms of sheer geographic access, learning Russian will open doors for you.

When it comes to choosing important languages to know, Russian should be at the top of your list for all of these reasons and more. So consider these five pointers for why you need to learn Russian.

1. Russian Is Part Of A Larger Family

There are three subfamilies:

  • the East Slavic languages, which all use the Cyrillic alphabet (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian)
  • the West Slavic languages, which use a modified Latin alphabet (Polish, Czech, Slovak)
  • the South Slavic languages, which either use the Cyrillic (Bulgarian, Macedonian) or Latin (Croatian, Slovenian) alphabets

Even with just a beginner’s grasp of Russian, you can quickly understand the other Slavic languages.

As soon as you learn a bit of Russian, a whole range of other languages is suddenly accessible to you. Russian is a member of the Indo-European language family, and specifically the Slavic family.

2. Gain an insight into another world

Learning the language is the very first step to understanding this enigmatic place. As the writer Fyodor Tyutchev wrote: “Умом Россию не понять“, which means “Russia cannot be understood with the mind.”

Russia and the Russian speaking world are places that never cease to fascinate. Due to the history of Communism, and their relative remoteness, life in places like Russia, Siberia and Kazakhstan is quite different to in the rest of the world.

3. It’s Also A Language Of The Past

Russia is heir to a rich historical and literary tradition. And if you’re the kind of person who values history and literature, you might consider it a lofty (but worthwhile) goal to one day be able to read the works of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov,  Akhmatova, and Pasternak in their original form.

4. The Russian language is actually a lot easier than it sounds

  • Flexible word order. The flexible word order allows you to start speaking before you know exactly what you want to say
  • Simple Russian pronunciation. Russian letters are pronounced the way they are written (except for the ‘О’)
  • Russians don’t speak English well. So you MUST learn Russian if you’re traveling to Russia.
  • That’s great, because you don’t need to remember them. And if you compare it to a language such as French or German, where you need to remember a random article for each noun, Russian is suddenly a lot nicer to learn.
  • So this means that if you can push through the beginning stages, everything will become a lot easier later on. Also, since relatively few foreigners learn Russian, it’s easy to stand out

5. You can now communicate with 300 million native Russian speakers

  • If you take Russia and all the former Soviet Union countries, you get around 300 million Russian speaking people. Most of them speak Russian as their native language.
  • And a lot of them speak it as their second or third language.
  • The reason why this is important is that it opens up a complete new world to you.
  • You’ll be able to travel through the large forests of Siberia, to the steppes of Kazakhstan, to the bustling metropolitan life in Moscow.
  • I’m not a big fan of the ‘the more people speak the language, the more useful it is’ mentality. As this on its own will not give enough motivation to learn a language to a good level.
  • But Russian is one of the languages that does give you a lot of opportunities to meet interesting people.

6. You will improve your memory and become smarter

  • Now, you could do crossword puzzles or use apps designed to improve your memory. But that’s quite useless in the real world.
  • It’s much better to learn Russian, as it practices all the cognitive skills you find important. And at the same time you learn a useful cool language.
  • Another thing I noticed is that my verbal fluency has increased. Also in English and Dutch.
  • Because I have spent so much time speaking Russian, it has trained my verbal skills a lot. I wasn’t too bad at this before, but after several years of speaking Russian, I find it much easier to form meaningful sentences in other languages too.

7. Russia Isn’t A World Away

  • No question about it — the land of the Tsars has a quality of remoteness, straddling many of the cultural traditions between Europe and Asia.
  • Maybe that’s why so many people think that Russia is somewhere way off in the distance and has nothing in common with the English-speaking world.
  • But actually, you can fly to St. Petersburg from London in just a little over three hours, which is shorter than the time it takes to get to Athens. Even for individuals based in the U.S.,
  • Canada and Australia, most of Russia’s top travel destinations are in continental Europe, so it’s not out of the way if you’re planning a grand tour of Europe!

8. Learn some mind-boggling idioms

If idioms are like colour in a language, then Russian is one of the most colourful languages imaginable. They involve all sorts of farm animals, foods, and political officials. For an impressively exhaustive list, see here.

This low popularity is a shame because there are a number of economic opportunities currently arising in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

You may be surprised to learn this too, but it became the internet’s second most popular language in 2013, replacing German, and has remained in that position since.

The fact is, Russian is far less popular as a second language than, for example, Mandarin — another language even more difficult for English speakers to grasp.

9. It’s Also A Language Of The Past

Russia is heir to a rich historical and literary tradition. And if you’re the kind of person who values history and literature, you might consider it a lofty (but worthwhile) goal to one day be able to read the works of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Akhmatova, and Pasternak in their original form.

10. Russia is a growing economy that you can tap into

  • People have different views on the Russian economy, but you can’t deny that Russia is a major player in the world. They have so many natural resources ranging from gas to gold to wood to precious metals that it’s difficult to ignore them.
  • So basically any country in the world needs to have some contact with Russia.
  • That means that there will always be a need for foreigners in other countries to speak Russian. Just to be able to communicate with Russian companies.

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20:2+10*2-6:2+10*2:2=? ( )