One of top 5 questions I get in emails from my readers is “How to learn Russian?” Russian is indeed one of the most difficult languages to learn because of grammar, pronunciation and exceptions to the rules. But guess what?! We, Russians, study our language for 10 years in school, yet very few people do not make grammar mistakes when they write or speak.
Foreigners often say that Russians are too direct. One of manifestations of that is going straight to the point at business meetings or in social situations. That makes people from some countries, especially Americans, very uncomfortable. Why don’t we do small talk?
I often get questions – how many languages do Russians speak? Do all Russians speak English? Aside from English, would the next favorite foreign Western language for Russians be French? Do Russian students ever have an opportunity to study Latin in school? Are Russian students interested in learning Chinese? Let’s explore.
A friend called me last week and asked, why is it impossible to set up a meeting with Russians far in advance and be sure that the meeting takes place as agreed. He also asked why there is always a need to re-confirm a meeting an evening before. I thought that it has something to do with how Russians perceive time and it is a great topic to investigate.
When I wrote about apartments of modern and Soviet time, I forgot to write about communal or shared flats. These were the flats, shared by several families. It is very interesting to investigate how families lived in such flats. That story may surprise you!