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Buck
16-10-2003, 07:21
I know this has probably been ask a million times but I'm considering moving to Moscow with my wife who is originally from Moscow, & I'm worried about being dependant on her too much. I've never learned another language & I'm a bit worried that it might take me quite awhile to learn. I guess what I'm trying to ask is will I be able to get around on my own & be able to comunitate with some people.

polly
16-10-2003, 08:42
sure you will. dunno about "communitating" (j/K) but seriously, if you make an effort to learn the language, you'll be in the best place to really learn it. it might be frustrating for the first couple of months, but you'll get over that hump. it also helps if you branch out and meet other expats.

Buck
16-10-2003, 09:06
polly, Alcohol Slurvivor,

Cheers for your response. I to am a slurvivor & should do ok "immersed" in it. Have you been to Moscow? I can't imagine there being to much tourist orientation. Meaning signs & stuff.

dacha_culture
16-10-2003, 09:46
Buck,

I've done just what you are asking about. I moved to Moscow back in July to live with my wife here. Didn't speak the language at all.

First off, to get around, it isn't necessarry to know Russian. I use the metro - it's not complicated. As for buying things (food, clothes, etc.) it can be done without knowing Russian. Many store here now let you choose what you need and bring it to the register (as opposed to asking for items from behind a counter), and prices can be read from the cashier display (or calculator). I also have a debit card, which is easier than using cash anyway.

However, if you come here, to some extent you will still be dependent on your wife. It's not something that you can avoid.

For learning Russian, I would suggest planning on taking courses when getting to town. That being said, I am teaching myself Russian, but as you can imagine, the process is slow. The grammer of the Russian language just takes awhile to digest.

As for communicating, as Polly said, there are always expats. However, I don't think that is your only option. Many people here have some education in English (and others are fluent - but just don't expect that everyone who knows English will be willing to communicate in English). I communicate with my wife's friends, most of which speak English at a conversational level. And as much as possible, I try to speak with everyone in Russian.

Hope this helps.

polly
16-10-2003, 10:02
Originally posted by Buck
polly, Alcohol Slurvivor,

Cheers for your response. I to am a slurvivor & should do ok "immersed" in it. Have you been to Moscow? I can't imagine there being to much tourist orientation. Meaning signs & stuff.

i lived in moscow for about four years and am definitely going back to visit this winter and possibly going back to live in the summer, job willing. otherwise i'll be taking my muscovite back to the states.
there's *some* tourist orientation, like the idiot transliteration of some street names and metro maps, and it is increasing (albeit at a maddeningly slow pace) but beyond that you're pretty much on your own.
immersion is best, in my opinion. everyone has different ways of learning. i do really well by listening and picking stuff up after receiving a general foundation; others do better in a more traditional classroom setting. if you've not learned other languages before, i'd give some lessons a try at first and see what you think. and at least to get the grammar down. the grammar's a biotch.

Buck
16-10-2003, 10:02
dacha_culture,

Ok man I'm going to get in touch with you when we get there but it won't be until spring at least. Hope you're liver can hold out until we get there 'cause it's going to take a hammering. So is it good fun? Thanks so much for the long reply so early in the morning for you. I'm here at work in Perth, Australia in the middle of the afternoon.

Jenny1
16-10-2003, 10:40
It would help to at least learn the Russian alphabet in advance shich shouldnt take too much time. However, you get whatever you need speaking English although it might get frustrating to always have to look for someone that speaks it..
Russian lessons are quite affordable, so if you are willing to spend some time studying zou should be able to make yourself understood quite quickly..

Good luck!

dacha_culture
16-10-2003, 17:16
Buck, no problem...your situation is so similar to mine that I had to write you something.

I'm not as much worried about my liver as much as the Russian winter. I'm almost too skinny to be living in such a climate :)

I agree with the other replies...everyone learns differently. Maybe you can pick up this language easier than I have been able to. Some people are talented that way. I was told of someone who came to Russia and withing days was speaking the language. But for those of us who are less fortunate, a lot of patience is needed to learn Russian.

psyhea
17-10-2003, 03:30
Oh, it's so easy for english-speaking expats to live in Moscow - especially in the language aspect. Almost 60, maybe 70% of it's population I think are able to communicate in English, or to say simple things at least. So if you aren't going to work in a Russian company or smth like that - take it easy, have a good time in Moscow!

Buck
17-10-2003, 04:26
Thanks psyhea & everyone else that responded. You've given me alot more confidence. Is there alot of new bars around that you can see live music? & how is the safety issue? Dispite the cold, which I'm kinda used to comming from Canada, is it fun to live there in general or is it a chore? I'm not trying to whine, 'cause I'm up for any challenge, but I mean is does it get depressing sometimes when you cant do things easily?

Akila Pils
17-10-2003, 19:21
don't underestimate the life in Russia. The language is a bigger stepstone than you'd think, not to mention the icecold mentality of the Russian people, AND the unhuman climate.

I hated it for the first year, started almost loving it since then, just for the same reasons.

But hey, I'm still here, and this for another few years, and I consider myself a happy man, but it took me a lot of time to get into it. And I never ever considered staying here forever, allthough I earn a lot, and live 'THE life' here. I'll always long after home.

I think it all depends where you come from. i came from (south)European small cities. That's a big difference. If you come from Australia major cities, married to Russian woman, I guess then it's easier.

jheisel
17-10-2003, 19:32
Originally posted by polly
there's *some* tourist orientation, like the idiot transliteration of some street names and metro maps, and it is increasing (albeit at a maddeningly slow pace) but beyond that you're pretty much on your own.

THat reminds me, some "tupik" near Taganskaya says "blind alley" in the English translation.

In any case, what Polly said + drink heavily with Russians. Your language skills will improve with every shot.

dacha_culture
22-10-2003, 12:31
Originally posted by jheisel
In any case, what Polly said + drink heavily with Russians. Your language skills will improve with every shot.


I'm not a believer in this myself. When I drink with the Russians, I find that it is much more likely that their English skills will improve, instead of my Russian skills...

DaveUK1965
22-10-2003, 13:42
Hi Buck !

Any language barrier is like the sound barrier - it used to be thought of as impossible to get through. ;-)))))

Seriously, whilst you DO need some Russian to get by, it`s much more rewarding to learn some of the basics. You will, believe you me. ;-)) Even in Holland, when I didn`t need to speak Dutch, I picked it up fairly quickly - I brushed up my German when in Germany to a good level of competence - after 48 hours in France, all my schoolboy French comes back to me...... you`ll be OK, honestly.

The biggest initial hurdle is learning the Cyrillic alphabet, but once you get that (and it`s not too difficult) - simple words are pretty easy to pick up. A lot of Russian nouns have latin roots - quite a few don`t - but you`ll get there, no worries. One thing though - to really understand Russia - well, as much as anyone ever can, you have to understand the Russian language. Funnily enough, if I read a translated text in Russian, somehow I get more "feel" for what the writer is saying.... if I just look at the Russian. ;-))

No worries and - you`ll be fine, after all those strange Russian letters start making sense to you. And ! Have fun !!!

DaveUK1965
22-10-2003, 13:43
Well, if your language skills don`t improve, your tolerance to samogon will...... ;-))))))


Originally posted by dacha_culture
I'm not a believer in this myself. When I drink with the Russians, I find that it is much more likely that their English skills will improve, instead of my Russian skills...