Is Learning to Speak Russian Easy?

July 9th, 2009 by Mark Leave a reply »

It’s funny how goals change.

When I first got into Russian, all I wanted was to know enough to order food, hail a cab, and buy tickets to the Hermitage. But as I fell in love with the language, my goals changed. I wanted to be able to talk with people. Have conversations. To really, truly communicate.

Boy, was I naieve.

Anyway, to answer the question at hand: Learning Russian can be easy. It can also be difficult. Let me explain.

To have a conversation means you don’t just give information or ask questions — you have to be prepared to receive information, to understand the replies.

In short, to have a conversation means:

You have to know a lot of Russian words.

If this is your goal, then it can still be easy, but it takes time. Of course anything worth doing takes time as you know. You’ll want to read my next blog, because I will list for you the sources I found to be most helpful when I started getting serious about learning Russian.

Here’s a few to help you get started:

  • Make flashcards. Write the English on one side and the Russian on the other. I know, I know, it seems like school but they are great for learning. Keep them with you, and any time you have a free moment, whip them out and test yourself.
  • Study a bit in the morning and a bit at night. A bit can be fifteen minutes, or 45 minutes, but either way, it’s better to break it up.
  • Practice listening. Use the rescources on this site, or better yet, MAKE YOUR OWN RECORDINGS of your own Russian speech. This allows you to critique your pronunciation, and let’s you practice listening to the words which are in your specific vocab.
  • Don’t worry about grammar, and about making mistakes. You will be understood and people find mistakes charming. It’s a win-win!
  • By the way, if your goal is (for now) just like mine was, to learn Survival Russian, just the most important, most useful words, then definitely watch the 30 PowerPhrase videos on the site and you’ll see that learning Russian doesn’t have to be difficult. It can even be fun! Just follow the step by step process, and keep in mind the tips above, and learning to speak Russian can be easy.

    Cheers from Sevastopol,


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    1. Dave says:

      Hey Mark, I’m learning russian too. Beautiful language, thanks for the videos. I will try to stay in touch. best regards~D

    2. Mark says:

      No problem, Dave. Thanks for the kind words.

    3. Camilo says:

      Mark, I appreciate what you doing,
      you are helping people, and as you may know only a few keep doing that nowdays,
      im very interested in learning how to keep a telephone conversation, it could be just the basic just to start off, let me know when you have sometime to post something about telephone conversations.

      With love.

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