The Bay Area climate is certainly sweeter (or at least warmer) than that of Moscow, but if we look good and hard we can find some commonalities between the United States and Russia, even between St. Francisco and St. Petersburg ...
After all, serious seafood is appreciated by Russian elites, and vodka is also flowing in student parties on campuses in San Fran!
Here's a fun fact: Before it was renamed San Francisco, this small city by the bay was called Yerba Buena. Yerba Buena means, "Good herb" in Spanish. It was founded in 1776, but renamed in 1846. Portsmouth Square in Chinatown was the location of the public square in Yerba Buena.
No wonder many culturally thirsty Americans are interested in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, while Russian speakers from all walks of life come to work or study in and around the United States.
But, more concretely, what are the best ways in San Francisco to get acquainted with Russian phonetics and master it to perfection?
Russian Grammar in the Second Degree
Learning a foreign language in your early childhood is obviously ideal and, whenever possible, should be learned from kindergarten ...
This is of course a dream: such opportunities exist for American children to learn French or Spanish, but not as easily the dialect of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov.
If you do not have some Ukrainians or Bulgarians in your family to teach free but orthodox Russian to toddlers, you may have to wait for secondary education to enroll your little angels in Russian grammar classes.
According to Russian Life Magazine, high schoolers in San Fransisco can learn Russian at the School of the Arts.
You can also enroll your kids in the Private Russian-American School in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Russian-American International School prepares students through a bilingual integrated curriculum with a strong emphasis in Math and Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology). Russian and English speaking teachers cooperatively teach each grade level to meet school and state guidelines. Art, music and physical activities are systematically integrated into learning activities.
Students spend half of their day learning in Russian and half of their day in English. Skills in both languages are taught and reinforced as part of instructional units.
Recent studies of children who grow up in bilingual settings reveal advantages over single language children, including both increased attentive focus and cognition. Compared to monolinguals, bilingual children, who had had five to ten years of bilingual exposure, averaged higher scores in performance on tests and had greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making, judgment and responsiveness to feedback.
And with a good Russian-English dictionary, you (or you child) can progress quickly!
Russian classes in New York are multiple.
Russian Letters in Higher Education
To study Russian at a university level. Look to San Francisco State University.
SFSU offers a Russian program through its Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
The Russian Program at SFSU has been in existence since 1953. The program offers courses in language acquisition, culture and literature. They offer exceptional opportunities for language study in small classes supported by cutting edge-technology in the newly refurbished Multi Media Language Lab and effective, enthusiastic personalized instruction.
The program also offers opportunities to join their Russian club and participate in outings to Russian restaurants, view Russian films, attend social events organized by the Russian program on campus and in the Russian community.
Extensive opportunities are available for exchange with conversation partners. Even without a formal arrangement, everything you learn in the classroom becomes current currency on the streets of San Francisco, a city with a highly visible Russian presence.
The Russian minor is designed to provide undergraduate students with an understanding of the language, literature and culture of Russia.
Beginning and advanced courses in Russian language are also offered to native Russian speakers interested in reclaiming, developing and maintaining their primary language.
Such an intensive program will allow you to pass from a beginner or an intermediate level to the acquisition of the most pointed idiomatic expressions, worthy of a Russian translator.
Want to learn Russian in Chicago? Many courses are available.
Learn the Russian Alphabet with Private Teachers
If a translation software or a large online dictionary can be useful for deciphering the rudiments of the Cyrillic keyboard, nothing beats the participation of a teacher of Russian as a foreign language to learn Russian easily.
On Superprof, our teachers are completely independent and do not need any institutional intermediary to give their conversation classes.
In addition, the first course is usually offered on a trial basis.
Svetlana, Sergei, Olga: so many great native Russian instructors, which are always the best teachers, are ready to help you to pronounce any Russian word without defect.
With such home courses, you will become a tsar of Russian language and culture!
After the assimilation of the perfective, the accentuation and the accusative, the transcription or transliteration will have no more secrets for you, as well as English-Russian translation!
On request, your Russian-language master may even introduce you to slang or some Slavonic dialect, whether from Moldova, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kiev or Latvia!
Want to learn the letters of the Russian alphabet for a trip to Russia? Your private course is still the best way to speak fluently the idiom of the old Lenin Bolsheviks ...
Baltic countries, Lake Baikal, Siberia, Ural Mountains, Caucasus: these are destinations that will become easily accessible to you, with a bilingual dictionary in your pocket.
And why not teach English as a foreign language in the Russian Federation?
Giving such English lessons for all levels, while being hosted by a host family, is a great way to build a small nest egg and not get tangled up with the dative or the genitive ... A Russian text by Pushkin or Gogol will no longer be a mystery!
Finding a Russian course in Boston? Couldn't be easier.
Russian Language Institutes and Cultural Centers in San Francisco
The Russian Center of San Francisco has language classes, as well as an acting and ballet school.
The Russian Center was founded in 1939 by Russian immigrants as a focal point for the preservation of their rich cultural heritage.
As a non-profit cultural organization, the Russian Center annually produces many cultural activities including:
- dance concerts,
- folk dance classes,
- social gatherings
- and lectures.
The Russian Festival, held every February, is a three day showcase of food, art, music and dance, and attracts thousands of people from all over the San Francisco Bay Area and the world.
The Russian Center is home to:
- Teremok, a State certified Russian pre-school,
- Congress of Russian Americans,
- Museum of Russian Culture,
- Russian Life Daily Newspaper,
- a library of Russian books,
- Russian folk dancing classes,
- rhythmic gymnastic classes,
- Russian Center Opera Company
- and the Russian American Chamber Orchestra.
Private lessons are available to improve one's oral expression and to be able to honestly say "I speak Russian".
The Russian Center co-sponsors the city-wide “Days of Russia” celebration. The Russian Center also presents many guest artists from Russia and other parts of the world.
The abundance of available tracks at the institute may also make you want to learn other living languages, perhaps very far from the Siberian sphere ...
In the same vein, The Russian Language Academy has classes for individuals and groups, for children and adults.
Since 1985 their students have translated Russian, worked in Russia, traveled extensively through Russia and broken cultural barriers.
Their journeys began with classes at the Russian Language Academy.
They have learned about Russian language and literature, about Russian culture and history.
A language exchange may well top it all off!
The entire west-coast is not left out since Los Angeles also offers a quantity of quality Russian courses.
Russian Culture is Just a Click Away
The digital world boosts the number of possibilities available to you when it comes to taking Russian courses online.
To use vowels and consonants, the Internet is, after all, a language school much more communicative than the French Assimil method.
Once a Russian keyboard is installed, attending Russian or other language forums is a good way to deepen one's grammatical knowledge.
Search engines will also guide you in no time towards audio files of Russian songs, while Google Books will help you find a good Russian magazine to read.
E-learning offers as many individual courses borrowed from the best platforms dedicated to the Russian world. How about summer school 2.0?
It will not be difficult to find a quality Russian film, on DVD for example.
By this means it is possible to learn Russian for free, but it will be difficult to reach an advanced grammar level through online courses, which rarely have the rigor of correspondence courses.
But every good linguist started small, at one point or another!
If you are in Miami, you can also find Russian classes.