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Thread: How much Russian do I need in Russia?

  1. #1
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    How much Russian do I need in Russia?

    Will I be ok in Russia with just my English or how much Russian do I need?

    I started a Russian tourist course but the letters make my brain hurt.

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    You don't need to know any Russian language at all if you are going to visit Russia. Since your brain hurts now... wait until you are in Russia, It will probably explode!
    Не балуй!

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    Re: How much Russian do I need in Russia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogg
    I started a Russian tourist course but the letters make my brain hurt.
    If the letters make your brain hurt, then you need to find another country to visit. It's not necessary to be a fluent speaker, but you will need to know some basic phrases and certainly the alphabet. You're in for a world of pain otherwise: the streets, the metro, other forms of public transit, the menus, the hotel signs, etc. are almost exclusively in Russian -- and that means those crazy looking letters.* The only way you'll be able to go in that kind of shape is if you have some travel agency hold your hand the whole time you're there. Nothing wrong with that, but that's hardly the best option...

    *Note I said "almost exclusively" because I know someone like TATY will post here and say: "NOT TRUE AT ALL! In Kazan the street signs are in Russian AND Tatar."
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Re: How much Russian do I need in Russia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogg
    I started a Russian tourist course but the letters make my brain hurt.
    Believe me man I had the same troubles with Latin letters. I spent about an hour for remembering them. I was 8 then. My daughters spent 45 minutes for studing Deutch alphabet last year( 8 and 9 y.o.). It's really hard damn work.
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    Почтенный гражданин flowforever's Avatar
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    Well you don't need to learn Russian at all. Lots of people speak English, important signs are in English) So you'll survive here
    Придёт весна и мы раскроем окна..
    Айда на встречу друг другу!
    Придёт весна и яркое солнце
    Растопит лёд старых обид глупых.

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    JJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowforever
    Lots of people speak English
    Sure. At level "Good morning. Who is on duty today? I am Vasya. I live in Moscow. I dont understand. DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH???".
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Quote Originally Posted by flowforever
    Lots of people speak English
    Sure. At level "Good morning. Who is on duty today? I am Vasya. I live in Moscow. I dont understand. DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH???".
    Very Few speak English... unless they are young and want to leave Russia for the USA to make money

  8. #8
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    Lots of people speak English

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    people, mostely speak there pretty bad in English, May be there are few who speak well, but I'm sure they are rare. Russian people, are known to try hard to speak with Brittish accent and they do it pretty bad.
    Не плюй в колодец, пригодится водицы, напиться.

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    learn some basic phrases,that's enough i believe...
    Главное что есть ты у меня...

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    It really depends on where you are going. If you are going to be in a big city like Moscow or St. Pete, then not knowing Russian will not be as much of a problem. If your going somewhere provincial, like Saratov or something, then it will be a bit more difficult to get around, as not as many people there speak english. However, no matter where you are, just be sure not to ask any of the police for help - you'll instantly be fined for having incorrect documents

    tdk

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    Use the services of a professional guide if you have enough money for this. Otherwise, it'll be hard for you to get around, even in a big city. How are you going to go on the underground? If any problem arises, it might take you lots of time to find someone kind and with knowledge of English or any other language you speak reasonably well.
    I think it will be very hard for you to be in Russia on your own speaking no Russian. The only places where you'll most likely be understood are hotels and airports. But are they what you're willing to get while in Russia?
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
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    you can pay me money and ill show you around
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
    --------
    http://england-moscow.com/

  14. #14
    Почтенный гражданин Volk's Avatar
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    Think of all the people wo go there with no intent of actually learning the language, what do they do?

    Pick up a recent guidebook/phrasebook at the very least, if you can learn most of the phrases you'll be better off than if you scrabble around trying to pick up things you think you might need.

    And also, think of the things you'll be doing there and what you'll need to say so you can narrow it down from there.

    You will find that if you do attempt to speak Russian, you will more likely be listened to even if your pronounciation is off.
    Please correct any Russian language mistakes I make.

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    Yet, you'd better have a guide. Most of those who speak no Russian whatsoever and go to Russia exclusively as tourists normally travel in a group with a guide. At least, this is what I see every time that I come to Red Square.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
    Mark Twain
    American author/essayist (1835-1910)
    WHSmith

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    At least, this is what I see every time that I come to Red Square.
    The ones wearing the Nikes and the "Fur Hats"?
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  17. #17
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    does anybody know why there are so many Chinese/Japanese tourists on the red square ? i have nothing against them ofcourse. it just seems kinda creepy, everytime i come there i get the impression that im in Tokio (though ive never been to Tokio , so i cant tell for sure how it feels to be there) or smth. Usually 2/3 of all red square tourists are Chinese(or Japanese or Thai i really cant tell them apart . ) and yes many of them are wearing fur-hats and that makes the situation even more creepier

  18. #18
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    It may be because they take huge company vacations together. Entire factories of workers take vacations together. I know this because in Australia you can see them roll up to places which have become tourists spots like Bondi Beach, in several tour buses.

    One time me and my friend were at the cafe on the Bondi pavllion with our surfboards when all these Japenese girls got off a bus and had their pictures taken sitting on our laps!...........Oh yeah! Baby....I'm hot!................Woo Hoo!
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    They can be found at any tourist place in the world. There are always hordes of japanese tourists with cameras. Not only in Moscow but in every big city in the world, I think
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    Yet, you'd better have a guide. Most of those who speak no Russian whatsoever and go to Russia exclusively as tourists normally travel in a group with a guide. .
    I absolutely agree with ReD... get a guide. There are many reputable guides available, and not very expensive. I know several in Moscow that I would trust with my life, and if you're going to Petersburg then one of my closest friends is a well-established guide there, not very expensive, and I HAVE trusted her with my life! Tanya can even teach you some Russian. She's an excellent teacher. PM me if you want contact info and her website. Oh, and no I have no financial gain at stake.

    Anyway, echoing ReD and most everyone else, you're going to have a very tough time all alone if you don't at least have a basic grasp of the alphabet, and a few well-chosen phrases. The Metro alone will have you crying when you try to navigate it's tunnels and signs. Petersburg is fairly straight-forward, but Moscow... whoa, doggies!!! And if you run into the Moscow militzia within the central ring, oh no! Ouch! I've written about them before. You need a native with you.

    The alphabet isn't that hard to learn... the problem is probably the "instant Russian" course you got. If you tell us the course we can probably steer you in the right direction for what you need.

    Learn at least the basic words and phrases for common courtesy, and for navigation. You'll get a lot farther, and the people will warm-up to you much more, if you at least make the effort. Biggest problem for you, and there's no way around it, is that many people will start speaking high-speed to you and you won't have a clue what's going on.

    Get a guide... a good one will not only show you the sights, and watch over you... but also will be priceless in introducing you to the culture and life of a Russian. "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!"

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