Learning a new language is always a challenge. If you want to learn Russian but you don’t know where to start, follow our five tips that will make learning the Russian language easy. If you want to speak Russian and get fast results, the best way to do that is to learn with a tutor.
1. Start with the Basics
Let’s be honest: Learning Russian is difficult. The myriad rules of grammar seem impossible to remember, and you might be tempted to give up. Our advice is to learn basic phrases such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” After you learn them, try to use these phrases as often as you can.
2. Learn the Alphabet
The Cyrillic alphabet is something entirely new to many people. Instead of reading transcriptions, take your time and learn these letters. Even if you don’t know a certain word, it will be possible to at least read the new word.
Some letters in the Russian alphabet are pronounced nearly the same as the English ones, but others are not. It’s very difficult to understand the difference from the transcription. For example, the pronunciation of the Russian letter “o” is like that of the English “o.” However, the letter “р” in Russian is a rolled “r” sound.
3. Use New Words in Context
Every time you learn a new word, try to use it in context. Ideally, try to build a sentence in Russian with the word you’ve just learnt. If you can’t do it yet, use the word in an English sentence. For instance, “багаж” (bagazh) is luggage in Russian, so say, “How can I get my багаж (bagazh)?”
It may sound weird, but it will help you to remember words.
4. Learn Shared Words
Learn all the words that are the same in English and Russian (but watch out for false cognates). You’ll be surprised at how many there are. Look at the examples below:
international – интернациональный (internatsional’nyi)
airport – аэропорт (aeroport)
park – парк (park)
Another trick is to learn the Russian words adopted from English. It’s the quickest and easiest way to expand your vocabulary. For example,
cheesecake – чизкейк (chizkeik)
jeans – джинсы (djinsy)
5. Change the Word Order
Although the most common word order in Russian is subject-verb-object, it’s not fixed. It means that you can rebuild the same sentence several times without losing the meaning. This trick will help you learn and practice several patterns of sentence structure. For example:
Кошка поймала мышь. (Koshka poimala mysh’.)
The cat caught the mouse.
Мышь поймала кошка. (Mysh’ poimala koshka.)
The mouse was caught by the cat.
Поймала мышь кошка. (Poimala mysh’ koshka.)
The cat caught the mouse.
Learn More Study Tricks
Try to use these tricks to achieve faster results when you’re learning Russian. When you experience any difficulties with your studies, order a Russian lesson and get a full explanation from a teacher.