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All You Need to Know About Russian Language and Culture!

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Russian > A Comprehensive Guide to Russian Language and Culture

Russia fascinates as much as it intrigues: the largest country on the planet, it spans two continents. The Russian Federation gifts its literature, its Russian architecture and its incomprehensible language to the interested Anglophone.

However, deciphering Russian writing or Russian culture is not so complicated as it may seem: the Nordic country also wants to encourage Anglo-Russian friendship!

By immersing yourself in Russian culture, you will be able to increase your language skills, organize a language study trip or even have an experience abroad with an international career.

So, let’s try and find the answers to your questions about Russia!

Is it Difficult to Learn the Russian Language?

A Language Close to French

Because its signs may appear confusing to the American eye, our compatriots tend to think that Russian is impossible to understand!

Russian ballet, theatre, cinema. . . why not discover the art history and culture of the Russian people?

However, the Russian language, like the French language, is part of the Indo-European languages and has, as such, many similarities with western-latin-based language. First of all, remember that English and Russian are bicameral and built on the same system of consonants and vowels.

The Russian language even tends to include some French simplification, so if you speak French, you may have a leg up!

Another asset: the personal pronouns are similar to the French model (3 personal pronouns in the singular, 3 personal pronouns in the plural).

Russian personal pronouns are:

  • я,
  • ты,
  • он,
  • мы,
  • вы,
  • они.

As in other Indo-European languages, Russian does not systematically use pronouns. The simple conjugated form of Russian verbs allows speakers to guess the subject of the verb.

There are also many Russian words borrowed from French, such as:

  • Актёр: actor,
  • Anarchy: anarchy,
  • Идеология: ideology,
  • Clinic: clinic,
  • Математика: mathematics,
  • Паспорт: passport,
  • Profesor: professor,
  • Силует: silhouette,
  • Televizor: TV …

Connecting you linguistic skills and drawing associations…. a great way to facilitate the learning of Russian vocabulary!

The Russian alphabet itself is close to the Latin alphabet: it even has 7 Latin letters out of the 33 that compose it. The student will be able to easily calligraphy Russian signs that are not, like Chinese or Japanese, in the form of pictograms.

To practice writing the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, it is advisable to install a Russian keyboard on your computer – or change the language of the interface in the settings – to become familiar with Russian writing.

A Puzzle of Linguistic Rules

As in all languages, there are grammatical rules within the Russian language that are not easy to understand!

The biggest challenge is the Russian pronunciation which varies according to declensions since Russian is an inflectional language. However, in the Russian language, each sign corresponds to a phonetic sound: by studying the IPA (international phonetic alphabet) and knowing how to decrypt the phonetic transcriptions, the learner will be able to pronounce new Russian words more easily.

The formation of Russian verbs also differs from English with two modes:

  1. The perfective, which describes a past action that is completely finished, a single action or a future action,
  2. The imperfective, which describes a present action, an action that repeats itself in time or an unfinished past action.

It will therefore be at the level of pronunciation, but also of the agreement or the syntax that the future successor will have to show a lot of motivation.

To learn to speak Russian, the best thing is to work with a Russian teacher – or even… to go to a language course in Russia!

Reasons to Learn Russian

Going to Visit Russian Speaking Countries

Fed up with England or Spain?

Why not go visit countries in Eastern Europe!

 

Moscow and St. Petersburg have become major tourist destinations in Russia.

Official language of the Russian Federation, Belarus or Kazakhstan, Russian will be a major asset if you want to travel to Asian and Eastern European countries!

A natural barrier between Europe and Asia, Russia is currently experiencing a boom in tourism. Whether to see the Bolshoi ballet or admire the winter landscapes of the country, American and international tourists rush to discover Russian culture and architecture recognized in the land of the Tsars.

With a good command of Russian, the anglophone can visit cities such as:

  • Moscow,
  • Saint Petersberg,
  • Novosibirsk,
  • Yekaterinburg,
  • Nizhny Novgorod,
  • Kazan
  • Samara,
  • MKO …

So many good reasons to learn Russian!

Once in Russia, the anglophone can take the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects Moscow to Vladivostok and whose journey lasts at least a week. By taking this mythical path, the Russian language learner will discover the natural wonders of Siberia while practicing Pushkin’s language with the natives.

To visit a Russian-speaking country in an optimal way, master the conversational bases of the Tolstoy language!

Prepositions, Russian grammar or greetings, the basic vocabulary will allow you to interact directly with the natives to benefit from their advice. In just a few months of lessons with a Russian teacher, you can easily have a conversation with a Moscovite. Why not search for Russian classes London wide, or in any UK city with Superprof. Just enter your postcode!

Get started!

 

To Travel and Work in Russia

Do you want to participate in an international exchange program? 

Why not choose Russia for your academic adventure?

 

Come as a visitor or as a student and see what the country has to offer.

Renowned for its irreproachable education, Russia offers Russian, English, French or even bilingual courses to help its youth become multilingual. Students are exempted from entrance examinations, which are deemed to be particularly strict.

Among the most famous higher institutions in Russia are:

  • Kazan University,
  • Moscow State University,
  • Moscow Aviation Institute,
  • The second cadet corps of Moscow,
  • The Polytechnic University of St. Petersburg,
  • The University of Finance of the Russian Government of Moscow …

Military discipline, arts or finance, Russia offers high quality programs at a lower cost!

Indeed, state universities are free, as in other parts of Europe.

Once the studies are completed, Anglophones can remain on site to take advantage of the booming economic sectors. Expats are also particularly well paid in the Motherland, which seeks the Anglo know-how.

Of course, it will be necessary to know the Russian language in order to benefit from the advantages of expatriation in Russia!

So, why not take a Russian course on Superprof for $23 on average?

Getting to Russia – Formalities

Whatever your country of heart, it is always difficult to immigrate to a foreign country, especially when it does not benefit from European free movement agreements!

 

Parts of Russia are the coldest on earth, prepare yourself both physically and mentally!

The fact is, going to Russia is not to be taken lightly: to avoid having a culture shock, it is necessary to be well prepared and to anticipate any possible problems.

Before leaving, it is advisable to:

  • Learn the Russian language (self-taught or with a Russian teacher),
  • Get a good score on the TORFL, TEOU or TBOU test,
  • Learn about Russian culture,
  • Have a complete medical examination
  • Buy winter clothes,
  • Find employment beforehand,
  • Find a university beforehand,
  • Apply for a visa adapted to your situation,
  • Define the length of the language course or travel to Russia,
  • Start the administrative steps between 6 and 4 months before leaving.

The administrative procedures for going to Russia are particularly complex: some anglophones underestimate the length of the process and the time to obtain a visa and must therefore cancel their expatriation at the last moment.

To obtain a visa for Russia more quickly, anglophones may be able to go through online visa agencies that take care of papers and speed up the process.

The most requested expatriation permit is the residence permit, which requires:

  • Two attached identity photos in 3.5×4.5 format
  • Completed application for a temporary resident permit,
  • A medical certificate,
  • A certificate of knowledge of the history of Russia, the Russian language and the Russian jurisdiction,
  • A marriage certificate and / or a birth certificate for children,
  • An extract No. 3 of your criminal record,
  • A copy of your immigration card,
  • A copy of your recording,
  • A notarized translation of your passport and visa.

However, you will also need a sponsor, so it is advisable to find a job in the country of Dostoevsky. Indeed, the welcoming company can provide you with a letter of invitation to obtain a work permit, a faster and more practical way to obtain a residence permit.

What’s more, the company takes care of providing certain documents, which will make your job easier!

Students can also obtain a student visa: Russia announced in 2016 its intention to welcome 15,000 students from all over the world for free. By taking advantage of the attractiveness of Russia for foreign students, you can facilitate your visa application and be quickly accepted into one of the prestigious universities of the country.

So, why not take on the adventure!

 

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