Why is it worth learning Russian?
Russia is a country with an area of 6.6 million square kilometers, spread across as many as eleven time zones. The population exceeds 142 million people, which places Russia in 9th place in terms of human potential. This huge country is also one of the largest economies in the world. The quoted numbers should sufficiently convince you that learning Russian is a promising direction when it comes to foreign languages.
With the Russian language you have the chance to discover huge tracts of land, hidden treasures such as Lake Baikal or the golden mountains of Altai (both are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with 27 other locations in Russia). This would be much more difficult without knowing the language, as Russians know little English, especially outside Moscow and other large urban centers.
However, learning Russian will be useful not only in tourist conquests. This language will also be a useful tool in a professional career. The British Council, an international organization from Great Britain that deals with issues related to education and cultural relations, ranked Russian as 8th on the list of the most important languages for the future of Great Britain. Undoubtedly, it’s worth following the advice of the British and investing in a Russian course today to look after your professional future.
How to learn Russian quickly. First, the alphabet.
The fastest, and in fact the only way to learn Russian is by learning the Russian alphabet, Cyrillic script, or rather civil script (what we, in Polish, call Grażdanka). This is a simplified form of Cyrillic, introduced into the Russian Empire by Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century.
Why is the alphabet so important in learning Russian fast? Because it differs significantly from the Latin alphabet. It consists of 33 characters: 10 vowels, 21 consonants and 2 special characters, derived from the large Greek alphabet. Grażdanka is used in various forms not only in Russian, but also in Belarusian, Ukrainian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian. So, mastering the Russian alphabet can be a good base for learning many other Slavic languages.
How to quickly learn the Russian alphabet. First, start with letters that do not differ much in writing or pronunciation from the Latin letters, e.g. A, E, K, M, O, and T. Check the pronunciation of all the other letters, for example, using one of the Russian courses from SuperMemo.
Once you have mastered the Cyrillic alphabet and you find that the word PECTOPAH is pronounced “restoran”, and it simply means restaurant, you will find that the Russian language is not as scary as it seems at first glance.
3 ways to learn Russian quickly
1. Phrases with which to start learning Russian
Start your adventure in learning Russian with basic phrases that are useful in everyday life. If you want to learn the language quickly with a vacation in mind, your acquisition of Russian may end at the stage of these phrases. Regardless of whether you continue your studies, it is good to know how to say hello in Russian (Здравствуйте), say thank you (Спасибо), or ask what time it is (Кото́рый час?).
2. Include words in a familiar context
Build a dictionary by putting Russian words in a familiar context. For example, if you want to assimilate the word блеб (bread), every time you talk about bread, do it in Russian. This way, it will be easier for you to remember the word. If you want to enrich your vocabulary, you can also turn to the mobile Russian course Hello! Русский, in which the memorization process is supported by the spaced repetition method, individually adjusted to the abilities of each participant of the course.
3. Bet on consistency
You don’t need to spend long hours studying textbooks to learn Russian quickly. The most important thing is consistency and daily contact with the language. If you use the SuperMemo application, an important element of learning will be daily revisions of the material acquired. It is important that you spend at least 20 minutes each day on newly learned vocabulary. Then, the progress will be clear, and this is what everyone cares about.
Do you want to learn Russian quickly? Immerse yourself in it
Have you already learned the basics? Then, we can accelerate the Russian course and offer full immersion. What does this metaphor mean? It refers to immersive techniques for learning Russian (or any other language). This method involves surrounding yourself with the language and using it actively. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about immersion is moving to Russia. However, if you can’t drop everything and live in Moscow, don’t worry, there are other ways to learn Russian quickly . To immerse yourself in the language, try a few of these things.
- Change the language to Russian on all the devices that you use every day, i.e. your phone, computer (browser and social media). During the day, we click, scroll and interact with our phone in various ways, on average 2,617 times a day, so by changing the language on your phone to Russian, you will have a lot of opportunities to use this language.
- When choosing a TV series to watch in the evening, choose Russian-speaking ones. On Netflix, you can start, for example, with a popular cartoon for a younger audience. “Masha and the Bear” is a good choice for beginners. Later, you can switch to, for example, “To the Lake”, a great series about a pandemic (very timely). Fans of science fiction in the style of “Black Mirror” will be sure to enjoy the series “Better than us”. Nothing stands in the way of drawing on the rich resources of Russian-language cinematography.
- Do you like podcasts? Great! So, it’s time to get to know a few for learning Russian. We recommend e.g. Russian made easy!.
- Find yourself a partner for a language tandem. Look for a Russian-speaking person among your friends, or on the Internet, who would like to learn your native language. Meet this person and talk! It’s simple. Just be yourself and try to exchange experiences, just like with anyone, but in a foreign language.
Learning Russian at home
How to quickly learn Russian without leaving home. There are quite a lot of teaching aids and tools. The start of your adventure with frosty Russia can therefore easily take place at home. What will you need?
As we have already mentioned, our telephones are with us at every step. It is worth using them not only for entertainment or communication (e.g. with a tandem partner), but also for intensive online learning of Russian. What are the advantages of learning a language with the help of an application? Well, you can do it from anywhere, and at your own pace. Crucially, you can learn Russian both online and offline with the SuperMemo app.
Online Russian courses
Taking advantage of the benefits of the Internet, you can use online Russian courses, which are conducted in various forms, either as online lessons or as fully autonomously constructed courses in which you do not have contact with a real person. Like language applications, they have the advantage that you can learn at your own pace, without the fear that an information overload will affect your motivation and end your adventure with Russian before it begins. With the Russian SuperMemo courses just twenty minutes a day is enough to see clear progress.
What are flashcards? These are double-sided cards. One side shows a word in a foreign language and the other has its translation. It’s a handy tool that optimizes your vocabulary learning and is perfect for short, daily revision. You can use traditional paper cards, or use the MemoCards available in the SuperMemo application.
What should you consider when choosing a Russian course?
First, define the goals you want to achieve, and then first contact your friends who have already done a Russian course. Check your assumptions with them and ask for advice. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective and reliable methods of verifying the level of a given course, school or method.
It is also worth doing your own research, reading about the method, checking how long a given tool has been on the market and whether you can find many opinions about it. Of course, a lot of them can be sponsored, so be patient while searching the internet.
However, when deciding on a Russian course, you first have to match it to your own preferences. Is contact with a teacher important to you? Try a language school or traditional online lessons. This form can be useful especially at the beginning of learning Russian.
Don’t restrict yourself to the one and only correct method. It is worth supporting learning in a language school with an application (like superMemo) and practising language in various forms (books, series, podcasts, conversations). The more Russian in your life, the faster you will achieve your goals.