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Everything You Need to Know Before Starting to Learn Russian

Being versed in multiple languages can be a tremendous advantage both in your personal and professional life. I am sure you are aware that languages are highly sought after in some career paths. Especially job roles that deal with customers around the world. More recently, the Russian language has been a huge advantage for those working in the tourism industry. In 2019 between the months of January – December, Russia welcomed more than five million tourists, which was a 20% increase from the previous year. They are also looking to make the visa process more simple so that more tourists are inclined to visit the country.

In Europe the Russian language is extremely useful. It tops the list at number one of the most spoken languages in Europe with 154 million native speakers in the continent, and around 265 million around the world. So it’s definitely a very valuable language to know, especially if you’re based in Europe.

Whether you’re looking to learn Russian, German, Arabic, or even Mandarin, Learn&Co provides numerous one-to-one lessons. These are with trained and professional native speakers who will help you reach your language goals.

Here are a few things for you to know before going ahead and learning Russian:

  • Manage Your Time Accordingly
  • Ignore The Myths That Surround Language Learning
  • Start Off With Small And Manageable Goals
  • Find Your Reason For Learning
  • Making Mistakes Are A Common Occurrence
  • Consider Learning With Others

Manage Your Time Accordingly

Before learning Russian, something very important to know is that you will not learn it overnight. As with everything, it takes time and effort. You will have to understand that reaching an advanced level – where you are completely fluent and able to converse with others with no difficulty – will definitely take a long time. Have patience and understand that it will be a long process and require a considerable amount of your time. But of course, if you’re determined to learn, nothing will stop you.

Managing your time is one of the first steps in your journey. Decide how much time you want to put aside everyday or every week for your study sessions. Create a timetable for yourself where you include everything else you also need to do throughout the day. This will help you to understand when you will be able to set some time aside for your lessons. Repetition and practice will be your best friend for learning simple vocabulary words. Going over them on a daily basis will help you memorise everything.

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Ignore The Myths That Surround Language Learning

Although it is true that children learn new languages faster, this doesn’t mean that you as won’t be able to learn as an adult. With the right coaching and learning plan anyone can learn a language in time.

Adults and children learn in different ways and have different drives. With the help of your tutor, you will be able to find different ways of learning that will work for you. Don’t look at others to see what works for them and find what works best for you. Some people struggle with auditory learning, meaning that they struggle to sit and listen to a person give a lecture. This is common in people with ADHD. However, there are other ways. Research shows the majority of people learn best with both a mix of auditory and visual learning, so it’s best to understand yourself and how you feel comfortable learning.

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Start Off With Small And Manageable Goals

You might want to dive head first into learning. However, Russian is a difficult language to learn for native English speakers and is at a level lll. It requires about 1,100 hours just to reach an intermediate level. So if you don’t start off with small and realistic goals, you will quickly end up being overwhelmed and lose the interest to continue learning. Try learning for just an hour a day. Start off with small words and simple sentences. Learn them in context so that you’ll be able to use them right away.

Set goals for yourself before you start your language courses. No matter how small, they will be a good way for you to keep track of your progress. They will also allow you to understand what you want to achieve in both the short and long term.

For example, you could note down where you want to be in three month’s time, in six month’s time, and in a year’s time. At your first marker your goal could be to understand simple sentences and being able to use complex vocabulary, and so on. 

A good thing to know before delving deep into your Russian learning is the Russian alphabet. This may sound like an obvious thing to do but learning it early on will help you decipher words down the line. It may be quite daunting to begin with as the Russian language has it’s very own unique alphabet and an extra six letters compared to the English 26. But if you’re familiar with the alphabet, you will find yourself being able to recognise certain letters in words and sentences. Even if you’re struggling with the words as a whole.

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Find Your Reason For Learning

Motivation comes from having a motive. As such, something to know before learning Russian is what your motivation is. Why you’re learning the language. You might be learning it for your career and want to advance your skills so you seem more employable on your CV. Especially as Russian is one of Europe’s most used languages. It’ll definitely help you stand above the rest. Or it could be as simple as you learning it for travel purposes. You may have a passion for the language and the country and feel as though learning the language will bring you closer to their culture and way of life. Reminding yourself of what your end goals are will help to keep you motivated and keep you excited to learn more and improve yourself. 

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Making Mistakes Are A Common Occurrence

When learning anything new, making mistakes is going to be inevitable. If you’re worried about making mistakes when engaged in conversation, believe me it’s okay. You’re not the only one. You have to understand that making errors is a part of the learning process. When you make mistakes, you’ll know what needs improvement. You can’t expect to be an expert from your first lesson. People would much rather you try and communicate with them using their language rather than just in English. And they’ll definitely be more impressed even if you make small mistakes.

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Consider Learning With Others

Having the support of someone else while learning is a good motivator. You could learn with a sibling or a friend, and if that’s not an available option for you, it will be a good drive for you to try and make a friend on the course. Try to speak only Russian with your learning buddy. This may feel strange at first, but soon you will fall into a natural rhythm. This will definitely help you to improve faster as you would be using the language out in the real world and receiving instant feedback. The support you will have from the other person and vice versa will encourage you to work harder, and also compete with each other to reach your desired goals. 

Be patient with your learning. Your barrier to learn a new language caps off at around seven years old, so as an adult it may be more difficult. But all it takes is dedication, practice and patience. You have to retrain your brain to get into the habit of learning a second language. The more you immerse yourself in the language the easier the process will seem to become. 

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Hopefully after reading this article you will have a more clear understanding of the important things to know before approaching learning Russian. Some things will require you to continue to think about and work on once you start learning. For example, regularly setting yourself new goals to help keep track of your progress and understand where you may need to improve. Whatever your end goals are, we hope this article has helped you to find a starting point in your language learning journey. We also hope it provides you with the understanding of how to approach languages more confidently in future. 

If you need some assistance about where to start, at Learn&Co we can provide you with a free consultation. Then, we can set you up with a Russian language tutor that will be a perfect suit for you.

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