Learning a second language can be challenging as it requires students to learn new words, memorize grammar rules, and construct new cognitive structures.
Learning the Russian language is no exception. Russian is allegedly one of the most complex languages to learn; its Cyrillic alphabet is enough to scare you away. In fact, the Foreign Service Institute classifies it as a category-four language. But don’t let that intimidate you. Learning the Russian language is far from impossible.
Here are three reasons why learning Russian is actually easier than you might think.
How Hard Is Learning Russian, Truly?
Unlike other European languages, when learning Russian, you have no advantage of having the same alphabet. Most European languages use the Latin alphabet. Though there are a few similar words, you will learn a new alphabet and complex grammar rules to understand the language.
All the Russian nouns lie in the three categories of gender, which are feminine, masculine, or neuter. The gender of the noun is directly related to the thing it is referring to. Unlike many languages with gendered nouns, Russian has no reliable way of guessing the gender, meaning you have to memorize them. But for students who truly want to learn the language, these challenges can be easily overcome with passion and dedication.
3 Reasons Why the Russian Language Is Not Hard to Learn
1. Russian Pronunciation Is Only Problematic When Textbooks Make It More Complex
The best way to learn any new language is by imitating what you hear, and Russian is no different. One of the biggest mistakes you will make is learning Russian pronunciation by following a guide. Textbooks will explain the process in a complex manner which will overwhelm you and make learning complicated. You need to hear and imitate how your language instructor pronounces the words to understand the Russian language effectively.
2. The Russian Language Has Lots of Cognate Words
The Russian language is abundant in many English cognate words than other non-European languages. Some words in Russian look similar to English words and subsequently have the same meaning.
Here are some examples:
- студент (student) – student
- класс (klas) – class
- иде́я (ideya) – idea
So how hard is learning Russian with this kind of relationship? Cognates will give you an upper hand and a smooth ride when learning Russian.
3. Long Russian Words Are Not Complex if You Take Them as Compound Words
Like German, Russian has long words which might frighten you, but the trick is carving the long words into two halves.
Let’s say a word like;
Здравствуйте = hello/greeting
At a glance, the word looks too hard to read, but you can break it into:
The two pieces will be more manageable for you to say than a single unit. You need to practice the two pieces until you master them and then communicate them together.
How Can LanguageBird Help You Learn the Russian Language?
LanguageBird courses feature 100% live 1-to-1 language instruction and allow for flexible scheduling. We connect students with native speakers in their language of choice and customize our lesson plans to specific strengths, weaknesses, and areas of interest. Contact us today or download your free ebook below to learn how we can help students master even the most difficult language challenges.