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View Full Version : Who Speaks Russian? How well? Why? Why not?



Pechorin
18-07-2008, 18:05
Just curious. How many ex-pats speak fluently? Pretty well. OK. Not so well. And hardly at all.

And why learn Russian, or why not.

Me? I think I speak pretty well, but sometimes I realize merely OK might be a more honest assessment. And it's hard to know what to think of locals' evaluations as they tend to be favorably impressed if you speak at all.

And why study Russian? I think it's hard to understand the culture if you don't, and why be here iif the people and culture don't interest you? And people react well when you speak their language. And the literature, folk expressions, etc etc really are great.

But man do I meet a lot of ex-pats who can barely speak at all.

SalTheReturn
18-07-2008, 19:16
Just curious. How many ex-pats speak fluently? Pretty well. OK. Not so well. And hardly at all.

And why learn Russian, or why not.

Me? I think I speak pretty well, but sometimes I realize merely OK might be a more honest assessment. And it's hard to know what to think of locals' evaluations as they tend to be favorably impressed if you speak at all.

And why study Russian? I think it's hard to understand the culture if you don't, and why be here iif the people and culture don't interest you? And people react well when you speak their language. And the literature, folk expressions, etc etc really are great.

But man do I meet a lot of ex-pats who can barely speak at all.

Same for me, most of the expats I knew did not a word of Russian and told me they did not feel ashamed.
The only reason I studied russian was because I cannot tell an employer I lived in Russia 18months and do not speak the language.
Also lets stop this crap about the literature, the culture, etc...russian is nowadays a useful business language and thats all.

To reply your question: my russian is advanced.

ultimotattie
18-07-2008, 19:25
My Russian is not very good, and strangely enough we only get taught for just under four hours per week. Hopefully when I am there it will improve a lot more!

Pechorin
18-07-2008, 19:28
oh I have to disagree. I actually do like Russian poetry, and I find that you get a lot of credit with locals if you know some anecdotes and poslovitsi. But sure, knowing the business Russian is more important, and currently one of my main learning goals, although for me it's hard because I deal with finance, real estate, oil and gas, manufacturing, etc etc so it's a huge amount of vocabulary to learn.

Transparent Theatre
18-07-2008, 20:19
My Russian is so-so.

SalTheReturn
18-07-2008, 22:05
My Russian is so-so.

weird, you have often acted on this site as Mr.TheLinguist

TT, as you see I have not wasted much of my time with you but in a few words I would like to tell you that about Ukraine you were dead wrong.

Transparent Theatre
18-07-2008, 22:54
weird, you have often acted on this site as Mr.TheLinguist

TT, as you see I have not wasted much of my time with you but in a few words I would like to tell you that about Ukraine you were dead wrong.

Maybe we're not all full-of-ourselves Italian onanist braggart fools, Sal.

quincy
18-07-2008, 22:57
But man do I meet a lot of ex-pats who can barely speak at all.

Those who don't or don't want to learn (even to read), compensate by raising their voices in their own language in public (usually it's English that's overheard)

SalTheReturn
18-07-2008, 23:23
Maybe we're not all full-of-ourselves Italian onanist braggart fools, Sal.

what does it mean? it is something I can report to AndyB?

smatts
19-07-2008, 12:28
I do because I live in Russia. To those who don't, whats wrong with you?

Benedikt
19-07-2008, 14:58
...and had to learn the difference between peas and beans,:bookworm:
and ox and cow and bull meat is all beef,and nothing was good for a decent steak....
well, i still can't read pushkin but it is enough for the russian penthouse and i can tell my dog that we go for a walk ( for that on the other hand he needs no language).
i was working around many countries and always tried to learn at least the basics of the local language, sometimes not much when you are on a 2 year contract only.
and since there are only five letters different from the latin ABC, i think it is not to hard...
It just needs a little bit of an effort a positive attitude and one must WANT to learn and not HAVE TO. that makes it already half the success.

UserRu77
19-07-2008, 23:50
well, i still can't read pushkin
My 14teen year daughter reads Tvardovskii: Vasiliy Turkin (Твардовский: "Василий Теркин") and constantly ask me to explain some places... and she russian and born in Moscow and not last at school.

Reverend
20-07-2008, 09:22
I do because I live in Russia. To those who don't, whats wrong with you?. It is a difficult language to learn, the number of Russian speakers is declining by almost 1M per year, and it is not useful outside of Russia. Mandarin or Tamil would be more useful in the long run. It doesn't help that Russians are generally not tolerant of any level of mispronunciation.

While I do understand why people find it helpful to learn Russian - workwise, to be able to appreciate the literature, stay current with local news, and generally be able to better appreciate the culture - it is shocking to me how few Russians know any English.

If you travel to China people BEG you to speak English with them. They know the future and it isn't Russian!

SalTheReturn
20-07-2008, 10:06
. It is a difficult language to learn, the number of Russian speakers is declining by almost 1M per year, and it is not useful outside of Russia. Mandarin or Tamil would be more useful in the long run. It doesn't help that Russians are generally not tolerant of any level of mispronunciation.

While I do understand why people find it helpful to learn Russian - workwise, to be able to appreciate the literature, stay current with local news, and generally be able to better appreciate the culture - it is shocking to me how few Russians know any English.

If you travel to China people BEG you to speak English with them. They know the future and it isn't Russian!

Russian is not useful outside Russia??? Utter nonsense.

vox16
20-07-2008, 18:20
It doesn't help that Russians are generally not tolerant of any level of mispronunciation.[quote]
If it was so. they could not buy anything on rynoks but they can.

[quote]
...it is shocking to me how few Russians know any English.

Do you consider all Russians, or just people walking on the streets during business hours?

DJ Biscuit
20-07-2008, 20:27
Reverend, wait a damn minute here. It is you who should speak Russian and not Russians who should speak English if you are in Russia. You are a guest in their country and their language is Russian whether you believe it is an international language or not. That is what they speak here and I believe any foreigner spending a large amount of time here should make an effort to speak the local language to some extent. It's called respect.

MissAnnElk
20-07-2008, 21:56
what does it mean? it is something I can report to AndyB?

No.

But back to the topic: I've had lessons since I arrived. I can now read Cyrillic, but butcher the pronunciation regularly. My ability to speak is extremely limited, but I can understand when people ask me for directions on the street; sometimes I know the answer and can reply, sometimes I just gesture. I can say, in Russian, that I am sorry, but I don't speak Russian well. I can read a menu in most places as long as the food isn't called something like "Three Delicacies over Sun-Moon Lake." I understand most numbers and can say most numbers. I would like to be able to do a little more, if only because I can't stand being so 2-dimensional. But I am not driven to assimilate/blend in, and therefore will never be good at this language. I was more motivated to learn Spanish when I lived in a Spanish-speaking country.

Transparent Theatre
21-07-2008, 00:16
No.
I was more motivated to learn Spanish when I lived in a Spanish-speaking country.

Because of different circs, or a different time in your life, or something to do with Spanish itself? (genuine curiosity) I've just been in Spain on holiday, and although I learnt-up the usual phrasebook survival stuff, I can't say I came back with any burning desire to learn Spanish?

(In fact I've just started taking Chinese lessons).

DJ Biscuit
21-07-2008, 00:20
I would love to speak Spanish. It's a beautifull language and it is a bit of a dream of mine to somehow get out of here and live in the Canary Islands with a small place by the sea. I would prefer somewhere more exotic or expensive but even dreams have to be practical if they are to become reality.

quincy
21-07-2008, 01:23
I would love to speak Spanish. It's a beautifull language and it is a bit of a dream of mine to somehow get out of here and live in the Canary Islands with a small place by the sea. I would prefer somewhere more exotic or expensive but even dreams have to be practical if they are to become reality.

I would urge you to go somewhere more exotic and cheaper. Try Guayaquil in Ecuador if you want somewhere Spanish speaking. The Canary islands are too commercialised, bland and predictable, even allowing for the weather.

MissAnnElk
21-07-2008, 02:16
Because of different circs, or a different time in your life, or something to do with Spanish itself? (genuine curiosity) I've just been in Spain on holiday, and although I learnt-up the usual phrasebook survival stuff, I can't say I came back with any burning desire to learn Spanish?

(In fact I've just started taking Chinese lessons).

Oooh . . . Chinese is great fun! I probably can pull some out of my hat if required, but my tones will always suck.

Spanish: I dunno. I just like it. I didn't study it in high school/college because, growing up in the American Midwest, it was the language of the migrant farm worker (I took French instead). But after time in Miami and Spain, I saw it was something else, too. It is an easy language for an English-speaker to pick up, and, probably most importantly, I wanted to do it. I wanted to talk to the locals. I didn't want to stick out like a tourist.

(And, although this is a gross generalization, I think Spanish-speaking men are often cute.)

Reverend
21-07-2008, 02:43
Russian is not useful outside Russia??? Utter nonsense.. I never said it isn't useful outside of Russia. However, the formerly occupied/captive countries - Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, all 3 Baltics, the former Yugoslavia (except for Serbia), Romania, etc - with the possible exception of Ukraine and Bulgaria are all losing Russian as a language. Fewer speak it every year and fewer still will admit to it. I took a Russian friend to Hungary where he tried to ask a question in English to no avail. He then asked in Russian and the Hungarian actually RAN away.

In recent years the number of Russians has declined by around 600,000 - 800,000 each year. (This decline has slowed somewhat in the last two years but is still significant.) The number of Universities offering Russian and Russian studies has declined dramatically over the last 20 years.

The number of Russian speakers is declining each and every year by a significant factor while the number of Mandarin/Cantonese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, and English continue to increase.

So...learn it if you find it easy enough or in your interests to do so. For my children, though, there are more useful languages that are less challenging and which will benefit them more in their adult lives.

LalaLu
21-07-2008, 02:49
my level, intermediate. when I arrived here one year ago I was not able to say hello. I found the language easy to be pronounced and to remember the words, but grammar, very difficult. The alphabet makes the reading harder. What it fascinates me in Russian is that in day by day language they are using a lot of adjectives to describe things or situations, like for eg приятно or вкусно, in my language we will use good or beautiful or bad, but Russian used day by day is more rich.

I think that is more easy to have conversations in Russian with girls than with men. Girls can have more patience, can help me in finding the right words and generaly more appreciation that I am trying to speak in their language.

but my true dream is to complete my French and that you mentioned Spanish...goes straight to my soul this language.

repojock
21-07-2008, 03:56
.

The number of Universities offering Russian and Russian studies has declined dramatically over the last 20 years.
.

like you can take hungarian or chech in a university it is not like russian is a tribal click language......

米乐龙
21-07-2008, 09:40
(In fact I've just started taking Chinese lessons).

Is that so you can insult the Chinese in their native language instead of just in English???

Happy that you are interested in learning about Chinese culture though. Perhaps your view of the Chinese will be more than just "Chinese Communist thugs".

Reenie
21-07-2008, 09:50
Just curious. How many ex-pats speak fluently? Pretty well. OK. Not so well. And hardly at all.

And why learn Russian, or why not.

Me? I think I speak pretty well, but sometimes I realize merely OK might be a more honest assessment. And it's hard to know what to think of locals' evaluations as they tend to be favorably impressed if you speak at all.

And why study Russian? I think it's hard to understand the culture if you don't, and why be here iif the people and culture don't interest you? And people react well when you speak their language. And the literature, folk expressions, etc etc really are great.

But man do I meet a lot of ex-pats who can barely speak at all.


I am British and am learning Russian (it is very difficult). I have been here for 6 months and would say my Russian is okay, I can have basic conversations with people now and tell my Russian driver (who speaks no English) what I want to do and at what time.

I decided to learn Russian as I work in a Russian company with no other expats so it makes life much easier knowing a few key things. I get lessons 3 times a week at my work by an excellent Russian teacher and I get about 2 hours of homework every evening! On top of a normal job - I didn't study this hard in my final year at Uni!

I get a huge amount of support from the Russians around me and it delights them when I speak in Russian (they get even more excited when I write in Russian on the whiteboard during meetings)!

The only problem is that people forget my Russian isn't that good and they speak to me very quickly when my interpreter isn't around (about work) and think I understand what they say (sometimes I can)!

I enjoy learning Russian and I like being able to talk to people in their language!

quincy
21-07-2008, 10:07
. I never said it isn't useful outside of Russia. However, the formerly occupied/captive countries - Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, all 3 Baltics, the former Yugoslavia (except for Serbia), Romania, etc - with the possible exception of Ukraine and Bulgaria are all losing Russian as a language. Fewer speak it every year and fewer still will admit to it. I took a Russian friend to Hungary where he tried to ask a question in English to no avail. He then asked in Russian and the Hungarian actually RAN away.

In recent years the number of Russians has declined by around 600,000 - 800,000 each year. (This decline has slowed somewhat in the last two years but is still significant.) The number of Universities offering Russian and Russian studies has declined dramatically over the last 20 years.

The number of Russian speakers is declining each and every year by a significant factor while the number of Mandarin/Cantonese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, and English continue to increase.

So...learn it if you find it easy enough or in your interests to do so. For my children, though, there are more useful languages that are less challenging and which will benefit them more in their adult lives.

Millions of people in the Caucasus republics and Central Asia continue to tune in to Russian TV. Russian will remain the second language in those parts for decades to come. Nobody ran away from me when I tried to communicate with people (over 30, but some younger) in Russian in the Czech republic and Slovakia

Pechorin
21-07-2008, 10:32
well, Russia is the first language on the street in most of Ukraine and Central Asia, and everyone in Caucasus speaks Russian fluently. So it is a pretty useful language.

I think if you are here only for a year or two, sure, there's no sense in trying to become fluent in Russian, since even if you work at it, just as you reach some real fluency you'll be leaving. But if you are here for more than 5 years, I think it's a bit shameful not to learn the language, well.

Man, I had a job interview with one guy who has been here 15 years, tells me he speaks fluently, then he says, "Ti chitayu po-ruskkii?"

Flieger
21-07-2008, 10:38
what does it mean? it is something I can report to AndyB?

He said you masturbate a lot - and while you certainly are more than capable of reporting this to Andy, I highly doubt Andy would take any action given that most posters invariably accept TT's comments as being quite true.

kirk10071
21-07-2008, 10:47
Also lets stop this crap about the literature, the culture, etc...russian is nowadays a useful business language and thats all.

To reply your question: my russian is advanced.


"Crap" about literature and culture? What are you talking about? Russian is a beautiful language for literature and culture. It is extremely expressive. I was reading some of the literature suggested by other members of the site (the Strugatsky brothers, for example, is great reading).

As for the level of the language, you must have improved DRAMATICALLY in the few weeks you were in Ukraine. I have studied the language off and on for 25 years and read extensively in Russian (literature and legal documents). I consider my Russian to be more or less functional.

Kartoshka
21-07-2008, 17:30
.It is a difficult language to learn, the number of Russian speakers is declining by almost 1M per year, and it is not useful outside of Russia.


. I never said it isn't useful outside of Russia.

Makes complete sense.

Flieger
21-07-2008, 17:40
What it fascinates me in Russian is that in day by day language they are using a lot of adjectives to describe things or situations, like for eg приятно or вкусно, in my language we will use good or beautiful or bad, but Russian used day by day is more rich.

As much as I love Russian, English has about five times as many words as Russian does, and is hence a much more descriptive and rich language.

kirk10071
21-07-2008, 17:59
As much as I love Russian, English has about five times as many words as Russian does, and is hence a much more descriptive and rich language.

I am afraid I must strongly disagree with this quote. I think every language reflects the culture of its speakers and has sufficient vocabulary in the areas where it is needed. Therefore, the issue of word quantity depends on the topic in question. English is rich in words for new business practices or technologies, but Russian just uses them, too. I saw an e-mail today that referred to what was agreed yesterday on a conference call (на конфф-калле). Hey, why can't konff-kall be a Russian word, too?

Also, Russian does not need to additional words to be descriptive and word order or prefixes or the use of perfective/imperfective verb aspects can provide shades of subtlety that will be difficult for foreigners to grasp.

I do not agree that Russian is less descriptive than English. I have read extensively in Russian (literature, mostly) and believe that its magic is not in the quantity of words, but the art of sentence construction and word choice. There is more there than meets the eye, trust me. :)

LalaLu
21-07-2008, 18:23
As much as I love Russian, English has about five times as many words as Russian does, and is hence a much more descriptive and rich language.

I compared Russian with my language, I wouldn't dare to compare it with English.

kirk10071
21-07-2008, 18:33
As much as I love Russian, English has about five times as many words as Russian does, and is hence a much more descriptive and rich language.

I compared Russian with my language, I wouldn't dare to compare it with English.

I am sure Romanian has its charms, too. I have only read one short story in Romanian that was not a translation from English, and, sadly, this is not enough to judge the richness of Romanian.

[p.s. I like your signature! It reminds me of an old American country music classic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgrWlVvuqx4]

LalaLu
21-07-2008, 19:24
:) very cheerful song, thanks for posting it.

I am not saying that Romanian is not rich or it doesn't have charm. I know that Romanian basic vocabulary consist of 1500 words, like most of the other languages. Is a beautiful language and I love it of course.

I will tell you one thing I don't like about Russian language, the diminutives. Too often used. And when this comes from men sounds even more strange.

honesty
21-07-2008, 21:15
"Never condemn those people who speak with accent. They are just several languages holders".
Guys, do not feel shame to make mistakes or to speak with accent ! :)

kirk10071
21-07-2008, 22:45
Is that so you can insult the Chinese in their native language instead of just in English???

Happy that you are interested in learning about Chinese culture though. Perhaps your view of the Chinese will be more than just "Chinese Communist thugs".

TT would LOVE China. Maybe he is planning a visit. You're not black, are you TT?

Beijing Bars told to Ban "blacks and mongolians" during Olympics // Current

svelt
21-07-2008, 22:49
Reverend, wait a damn minute here. It is you who should speak Russian and not Russians who should speak English if you are in Russia. You are a guest in their country and their language is Russian whether you believe it is an international language or not. That is what they speak here and I believe any foreigner spending a large amount of time here should make an effort to speak the local language to some extent. It's called respect.

about time EVERY SINGLE ONE of us started thinking this way...

and if you dont have anything positive to say about our host dont waste your breathe bad mouthing them.

kowalsky45
21-07-2008, 23:15
After few months my stay in Russia (from January 2008) - I can say that my russian is in 95% fluent )) .
Many years ago we must learn russian in our schools (in Poland).
This year - after more as 25 years break in my contacts with this language - I have really very fast and incredible "refresh"... . I`m working little far from Head Quarter of my company, practicaly only with my russians Employes/Colleagues.
It`s much much better for interpersonal contacts when we (expats) can talking with these peoples in russian language.
For me is much easier to leading , to implement new systems of work when I can understand, talking, discuss with my whole team - not only with english- or german- speakings....

SalTheReturn
21-07-2008, 23:20
I am afraid I must strongly disagree with this quote. I think every language reflects the culture of its speakers and has sufficient vocabulary in the areas where it is needed. Therefore, the issue of word quantity depends on the topic in question. English is rich in words for new business practices or technologies, but Russian just uses them, too. I saw an e-mail today that referred to what was agreed yesterday on a conference call (на конфф-калле). Hey, why can't konff-kall be a Russian word, too?

Also, Russian does not need to additional words to be descriptive and word order or prefixes or the use of perfective/imperfective verb aspects can provide shades of subtlety that will be difficult for foreigners to grasp.

I do not agree that Russian is less descriptive than English. I have read extensively in Russian (literature, mostly) and believe that its magic is not in the quantity of words, but the art of sentence construction and word choice. There is more there than meets the eye, trust me. :)

because it is something you saw once, should the word be used by a majority of people you can start wondering "why cannot be that russian language?"

once again the email you received is irrelevant for sociological purposes

SalTheReturn
21-07-2008, 23:23
Reverend, wait a damn minute here. It is you who should speak Russian and not Russians who should speak English if you are in Russia. You are a guest in their country and their language is Russian whether you believe it is an international language or not. That is what they speak here and I believe any foreigner spending a large amount of time here should make an effort to speak the local language to some extent. It's called respect.

again crap. it is the second rank culture who must adapt to the first rank one. this is why all educated russian speaks english.

SalTheReturn
21-07-2008, 23:27
. I never said it isn't useful outside of Russia. However, the formerly occupied/captive countries - Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, all 3 Baltics, the former Yugoslavia (except for Serbia), Romania, etc - with the possible exception of Ukraine and Bulgaria are all losing Russian as a language. Fewer speak it every year and fewer still will admit to it. I took a Russian friend to Hungary where he tried to ask a question in English to no avail. He then asked in Russian and the Hungarian actually RAN away.

In recent years the number of Russians has declined by around 600,000 - 800,000 each year. (This decline has slowed somewhat in the last two years but is still significant.) The number of Universities offering Russian and Russian studies has declined dramatically over the last 20 years.

The number of Russian speakers is declining each and every year by a significant factor while the number of Mandarin/Cantonese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, and English continue to increase.

So...learn it if you find it easy enough or in your interests to do so. For my children, though, there are more useful languages that are less challenging and which will benefit them more in their adult lives.

again nonsense, the number of business/business areas requiring russian speaking staff i9s higher and higher everywhere

MickeyTong
21-07-2008, 23:41
Sal......were you born an a**ehole, or is it something that you have gradually descended to?







(Excuse the final preposition.)

traveller
22-07-2008, 02:52
(In fact I've just started taking Chinese lessons).

TT I think it’s commendable that you are learning the Chinese language. Remember it’s not the Chinese people who are the “communist Chinese thugs” it’s those in power, the rulers of China that are the thugs.

Transparent Theatre
22-07-2008, 03:09
Thanks, Traveller :) I've always known that, and have many friends in different parts of China, who are not "the people in power".

hazelnut
22-07-2008, 21:47
the Strugatsky brothers, for example, is great reading
glad you like it :)

is4fun
22-07-2008, 22:11
As much as I love Russian, English has about five times as many words as Russian does, and is hence a much more descriptive and rich language.

English has more than five times the vocabulary than that of Russian? Is this what you are trying lead people to believe in your post? Please let me know where you found this statistic? Thus 20% of Russian that you do know would account for the amount of English you are gifted with.

petrusha
22-07-2008, 22:32
I studied Russian at secondary (high) school in England and at university in the 1980s. There are other expats here I know who could say the same, though they seem a bit of an exception among the general crowd. So I always had a pretty good level of spoken Russian and not bad written Russian. Having had a Russian wife for six years and only been in relationships with Russian woman for the last twelve has helped me retain a pretty fluent level of conversational Russian.

At work, when either chatting or discussing business stuff, my policy is to reply in English if I'm asked in English and in Russian if I'm addressed in Russian. All our people are expected to speak decent English, and I don't mind which they speak to me in. I attend business meetings where things are discussed in Russian, though I occasionally lapse into English if I have problems with a complex concept and one of the Russians there will be able to translate.

is4fun
22-07-2008, 22:49
Russian was my first language untill entering school in NA. I continued to speak and study Russian throughout my life as it was neccessary in my community in NA to do so. I think I have a pretty good handle on both languages, oh, and French also...

If you make statements based on how you feel rather than what is known there will always be a hint of contention in your posts.

SalTheReturn
22-07-2008, 23:35
Russian was my first language untill entering school in NA. I continued to speak and study Russian throughout my life as it was neccessary in my community in NA to do so. I think I have a pretty good handle on both languages, oh, and French also...

If you make statements based on how you feel rather than what is known there will always be a hint of contention in your posts.

whats this NA?

ultimotattie
23-07-2008, 02:54
glad you like it :)

Yes, 'Trudno biyt bogom' is awesome!

Now I have to try and read 'Piknik na abochinie' in Russian next. :(

pullar
23-07-2008, 08:30
again crap.

Are you really unaware that this retort is more than a little rude?

El_Desaparecido
23-07-2008, 13:45
I do not permanently stay in Russia, but maybe a week or so per month. Still I´m eager to learn the language, as it´s a great chance to take and I will have the opportunity to practice.
I am able to read but didn´t have any further siginificant success so far...

Russian is for me a far bigger challenge than English or Spanish have been, as the logic of the language is completely different to my mothertongue German or the latin ones.

I am quite surprised about some remarks about Russian and the Russians here. Neither do they have the obligation to know any English in their home country nor do I have the impression that the are intolerant to foreigners.

One of my (american) colleagues even noted that he has less problems communicating in English in Russia than in Austria (which I obviously can´t judge as I never tried English in my home country...).

Most Russians try to keep a conversation going and make themselves understood even if they know little or no English at all. That is something you would miss in some streets in the West (try that in France for example).

Benedikt
23-07-2008, 14:39
.. i had less problems speaking german than english..
at first i thought i speak english but quickly found out that it was more helpfull and got me further when i was speaking german. something that is rather unusual since the brits and french were allies and the germans and french were fighting wars since i don't know when( elsass-lothringen was ones french, than german, than french again...)
from what i had the feeling there is not much love lost for brits in france, who the hell am i to understand...

MissAnnElk
23-07-2008, 15:02
whats this NA?

North America.

Evitatomson
21-11-2008, 15:13
Couldnt resist to make a comment. I am originally from Latvia ( Baltic States) and live in UK for the last 8 years. I am fluent in Russian and i believe in English, too. No special accent though. Its only due to Account Manager's job in Holography I ve emigrated to UK. And then ....redundancies came along this April, so i was intensively searching in job market and was very surprised when agency called and said a global company will create an on-site vacancy for me due to my Russian and knowledge of Russian market. Couldnt believe it, but I am here in Moscow. One of my friends said, how ironical! I tried to get a job in UK to keep in the same industry and now I am doing the job in Russia to get my mortgage paid. Might not make a sense to anybody else but me. I dont know if Russian is difficult to learn, French is. Russian to me comes naturally, and its true, you should read Pushkin poetry, Chechov Cherry Sad, Dostojevsjiy Ivanov in Russian, otherwise its not real.
Iva
Anybody wants to communicate in Russian for conversation experience , welcome!

andymackem
21-11-2008, 21:30
My Russian is making some progress - just wish I had time for lessons. Then I might be able to structure the vocab I've acquired and actually apply it in real life.

I think my biggest problem has been working predominantly in English - either writing or teaching. As a result the immediate day-to-day need to use Russian - especially producing Russian - is limited.

My reading is getting pretty good - I can manage newspaper reports fairly well, though I wouldn't want to tackle Dostoevsky yet.

I've been a bit surprised by the attitudes to foreigners trying to use Russian here. It may reflect a generally low standard of service culture, but I often feel I'm treated like a 'dumb foreigner' when shopping etc. Not unfair, perhaps, but frustrating when I'm trying to make an effort.

On the other hand, socially my friends are delighted if I use Russian and often encourage me to do more. Which is typically disastrous late at night in a bar! I got horribly confused telling a girl I'd never forget her (никогда and навсегда always get confused, I leave out double negatives and I think I pretty much told her I'd forget her forever! She wasn't impressed).

My new year's resolution is proper lessons, and proper, measurable progress. I know I _can_ do it. I just need the guidance. Anyone care to recommend a good teacher?

robertmf
22-11-2008, 00:24
I do because I live in Russia. To those who don't, whats wrong with you?

Так. Это правильно. :rasta:

eyecandy
22-11-2008, 00:24
My new year's resolution is proper lessons, and proper, measurable progress. I know I _can_ do it. I just need the guidance. Anyone care to recommend a good teacher?

The best teacher is a russian GF...:rolleyes:

robertmf
22-11-2008, 00:30
My new year's resolution is proper lessons, and proper, measurable progress. I know I _can_ do it. I just need the guidance. Anyone care to recommend a good teacher?

Институт Иностраних Языков, Монтерей, Калифорний. :nut:

privet2009
22-11-2008, 01:09
I remember one (drunken) night in the Boarhouse that a British Guy kept saying "placebo" instead of "spasiba"... at least he knew "Piva (to the bar staff) and skolka (to the girls)"... which is about all you needed to know there.

w.meijerink
22-11-2008, 22:52
Russian I speak it with hands and feet.

w.meijerink
22-11-2008, 23:22
I remember one (drunken) night in the Boarhouse that a British Guy kept saying "placebo" instead of "spasiba"... at least he knew "Piva (to the bar staff) and skolka (to the girls)"... which is about all you needed to know there.

And forget the English word of shop.....................:duhhhh: I use it one times on the wrong moment.:jester:

andymackem
23-11-2008, 18:39
The best teacher is a russian GF...:rolleyes:

Not if she already speaks good English. She doesn't necessarily want me to understand _everything_ that's going on around me :p

kazachka
23-11-2008, 20:15
MA in Russian-near native to native proficiency across the board-in speaking, reading,writing, listening, and grammar. Been here off and on too damn long-coming up on 19 yrs since my first time.

robertmf
23-11-2008, 21:55
MA in Russian-near native to native proficiency across the board-in speaking, reading,writing, listening, and grammar. Been here off and on too damn long-coming up on 19 yrs since my first time.

Что делаете в Москве ? Еще надо Марльборо поехать по такци ?-)) :drink:

kazachka
23-11-2008, 22:20
английский преподаю....бегом занимаюсь в лесу с белочками :D
стараюсь времечко найти на:drink: