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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In this class, you will learn how to write and talk about yourself and your family, as well as learn simple Russian expressions to carry on a basic conversation. You will learn the vocabulary needed for a variety of different settings, including asking for directions, telling the date and time, going shopping, and conversing over the phone.

With 180 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers, it is the seventh most spoken language on Earth and is the lingua franca of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. This opens up a huge swath of the globe for you to experience: from Saint Petersburg on the Baltic, to the Caspian Sea in the south, to Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan.

Some people say that the Russian language can be hard to learn. This is not really true, learning Russian is no harder than learning other languages. The main difficulty for a lot of people is learning the new grammar structure. If you have learnt other languages before you will already be familiar with some of these grammar concepts, such as gender and cases.

In fact, there are many things that make Russian easier to learn than other languages. The key is to use these things to your advantage. Here are some things that make Russian easier.

  • Once you learn the alphabet, you can pronounce almost all words quite accurately. With Russian the pronunciation is normally quite clear from the written form of the word.
  • Russian does not use complicated sentence structures like English. You can normally say exactly what you want with just a few words. For example, in English to be polite we would say something like “can you please pass me the salt”, however in Russian they would say something simpler like “give salt please”. Speaking so directly may even feel unusual for an English speaker, however it is perfectly normal, just add the word ‘please’ to be polite. This makes it easy to say what you want in Russian, and it will probably be correct. Less words also makes listening to people easier, as you can just pick out the important words.
  • Russian uses the case system. Instead of having a strict sentence word order like in English, you just need to change the ends of the nouns. This makes Russian a very expressive language, because you can emphasise a point by changing the order of the words in a sentence. It also helps you understand what people are trying to say.
  • Russian does not use articles. (Like “a” and “the”)
  • Russian has fewer tenses than English. Russian does not bother with the difference between “I was running”, “I had been running”, etc.

 Tuition is $125 (+$20 registration fee). 

Register Now for Fall  II Classes

Our 7-week Fall II Term is November 5th - December 21st

Unless otherwise noted, all language classes are 90-minutes and meet once each week

New Student Special!

The Russian Alphabet

In our first lesson you will learn the Russian alphabet. If you can sound out words and place names then you have a huge advantage while travelling in Russia. There are may Russian words that are similar to English they just look different. If you know the Russian alphabet you can also read signs, menus and place names. It may surprise you to learn that the Russian alphabet is easy! Unlike English, the Russian alphabet has one letter for each sound.

The following letters are exactly the same in Russian and English

А, О, К, М, С, Т

These letters look like Latin letters, but have different sounds

У, Е, Ё, Н, Х, В, Р, Я, И, Й

The following are completely Greek-derived letters

Some of these letters will look familiar to anyone who remembers math class or, through the veil of inebriation, their fraternity or sorority days: Г, Ш, Ф, П, Л, Д, Э, Б, Ю

And then there are a few outliers that only occur in Cyrillic

Ж, Ц, Б, Ч, Щ, Ы, Ь, З

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