As was well-documented, Russia and the United States have had a strained relationship over the last 70 years. Times are different now, and both countries cooperate over trade and tourism.
To capitalize on this cooperation, learn Russian, and explore the country for yourself!
Russian was widely spoken in the USSR and was also the first language to breach the stratosphere, as Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
This Slavic language was heavily used in scientific journals and literature and still thrives as the eighth-most used language globally with 155 million speakers.
Unfortunately, Russian has not gained the kind of popularity that other European countries have. But that is fast changing. Russian is rapidly climbing the charts as a popular choice for modern Millenials.
Unlike New York, the Windy City does not have a large Russian diaspora to boast. Many residents would have difficulty finding Russian lessons in Chicago. But that's no longer the case.
If you're a Chicagoan, you no longer need to waste your time searching for 'Russian lessons near me' on various online forums. Superprof is your solution to find a Russian teacher of your liking in Chicago!
Why Should You Learn Russian?
Russian doesn't often get the attention its history warrants. This is because people from other parts of the world choose to learn familiar-looking languages.
You will also notice that most schools will offer Spanish or French classes, but you will have to search hard to find people in America that want to learn Russian!
Read on as we give you reasons to choose Russian over the other options:
English Is Useless In Most Slavic States
Russian is the lingua franca of the former Soviet Union. This is why countries that have a historical relationship with the USSR are also familiar with it.
If you're looking to visit or move to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, or Central Asia, Russian will be of more use to you than English!
Furthermore, English still has not become as popular in the Slavic states, with only 5.5% of Russia's population speaking English.
Russian Is Important For Science
Russian is a language of science and literature. USSR was the first country to send a man into outer space, and ever since, they've been on the United States' tail.
The cold war saw both countries competing with each other in the realms of science and technology. This period saw both countries make monumental strides in scientific research and have published educational journals in their respective languages.
The Relevance Of Russian Literature
The Russian language has given us masterpieces like Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
Russian literary scholars and authors have shaped how modern literature is seen; individuals like Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky are revered in the literary fraternity worldwide.
Their influence has crossed borders and redefined the boundaries of story-telling!
This relevance of Russian culture and literary tradition has made Russian very important worldwide; it is not rare to find Russian speakers in cities across the states, be it Houston, LA, etc.
As a beginner, here are few pointers bound to help you in your Russian classes:
Master The Cyrillic Script
Most beginners are hesitant to learn Russian because of its Cyrillic script.
Suppose that's the only reason, then you should reconsider! Although complex, the orthography is quite similar to English and other Latin scripts.
Apart from the very visible difference, most alphabets can be likened to the English script!
However, some can completely throw you off! The Cyrillic letters "P" and "H" do not sound anything like the English P and H. Rather, they are pronounced like the English "R" and "N."
If you've used Greek alphabets in your high school math class, you'll find it easy to grasp Cyrillic alphabets. The Greek letters "λ" and "φ" are the same as the Cyrillic "Л" and "ф."
Also, many words in Russian are similar to English words, such as the Russian word for the airport- "азропорт."
The chances are that even if you don't study the vocabulary, you can still figure some written words by sounding them out. It's a good start for someone who wants to learn how to speak Russian.
While there are transliteration options available for Cyrillic, an experienced Russian teacher would advise you against it. If you want to learn to speak Russian like a native, you must train yourself to read Russian right from the get-go.
Whether you're in Houston, Chicago, or elsewhere, Superprof tutors can help you understand Cyrillic through comprehensive, one-on-one sessions!
Immerse Yourself In Russian
Immersing yourself in the language is the quickest way to learn it – kind of like learning to ride a bike – no amount of theoretical research will help you the way tutoring classes can.
Generally, going to Russia on an exchange trip would be a great start, but if you can't do that, there are plenty of options available at home! Find qualified teachers nearby who can help you experience the country vicariously!
Simple things like reading Russian magazines, watching Russian movies, and listening to Russian songs are good practices to accompany tutoring sessions.
Even listening to a Russian podcast on your daily commute will help attune you to the language.
Think of the ways you can include Russian in your daily routine. Maybe dinner at your local Russian restaurant? Maybe watch a Russian ballet rendition of Swan Lake at the Boston Ballet?
Immersion would mean that you completely delve into everything Russian; go the extra mile and label things in your house in Russian.
Practice With A Native Speaker
There's no better way to learn a language than to practice it with a native speaker.
Those living in inland cities like Philadelphia might not be as lucky as those from bigger cities because Russian speakers might be hard to come by. But that's no cause for worry.
It is a foregone conclusion that you will have to find yourself a qualified Russian tutor to learn the language. Also, ensure that your tutor can offer added time for casual Russian conversation!
Additionally, in the internet age, it's easy to make Russian friends across the globe. It's possible to sit in LA and chat with a Russian speaker from Moscow.
While a classroom arrangement is helpful, the best way to practice is through one-on-one interactions with native speakers.
The tete-a-tete will help you learn Russian organically and retain it much better!
Practice Before You Start Your Russian Lessons
A language that requires you to learn an entirely new script can be daunting unless you have a native Russian teacher to assist you.
Before you begin one-on-one sessions with your choice of tutor, it may be beneficial to look over basics such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, and tenses.
Educate yourself on the basics and find a Russian teacher near you in LA, Houston, or wherever else you may be in the United States of America.
Learn Basic Nouns And Adjectives
The first area of focus when learning Russian should be basic nouns and adjectives to build your vocabulary.
Begin with nouns that you encounter daily, like fruits, animals, and basic household items. Use basic adjectives to describe their shape, appearance, and color.
Although your tutor will create an all-encompassing schedule for you, work with them to develop interactive homework activities.
Many Russian and English words share the same roots. Focus on cognates — these are words that sound alike in Russian and English. They are much easier to remember than other words.
Furthermore, learning nouns will also help you practice your Cyrillic. You don't need to focus much on grammar at this point because your tutor can help with that.
Russian nouns have grammatical gender; this can be hard for English speakers to grasp, but the more you practice, the easier it will be to remember.
Perfect The Verbs And Tenses
Try to start with simple verbs to describe your everyday activities. To get your ideas across, you will need to use verbs, which describe modes of action.
The more verbs you know, the more ideas you can communicate. Start with basic verbs in the present tense, such as eating, walking, and standing.
Luckily for beginners, conjugating is quite simple in Russian than in other languages; this includes most languages we commonly hear in the States.
Although it isn't necessary to do, learning the correct usage of verbs will make it easier to create a customized schedule with your Russian teacher.
Master The Cases
If you have studied the German language, you'd be well aware of case systems.
For English speakers, it can be a hard concept to grasp and requires some practice to learn.
To help you understand cases, think of the 'apostrophe + s' added to nouns that denote possession in English. In Russian, the ending of a word might change depending on the role it plays.
The case endings add meaning to sentences without adding in unnecessary words. For native Russian speakers, they are highly efficient and time-saving.
In contrast, beginners find them nerve-wracking. Most Russian teachers report that students find it the hardest part of learning Russian. With time, you will master them.
With the help of a seasoned Russian language instructor, you will understand the use of cases in no time!
Russian Lessons Near Me In Chicago
After discussing the complexities of Cyrillic and Russian as a whole, you may be second-guessing your decision to learn Russian; however, Don't!
We have versed you in the hardest aspects of learning Russian, and with the help of a tutor from Superprof, you will find the process to be seamless.
Superprof has thousands of qualified Russian teachers on their platform. Choose a tutor according to your budget and time preferences, find one near you in Chicago, and start your Russian journey today!