Russian is a Slavic language, the 7th most spoken language in the world by the total number of speakers, which, unfortunately, does not make the task of learning Russian much easier
Russian is widely believed to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. This is mostly true if you have no knowledge of other Slavic languages (e.g. Bulgarian or Czech). The grammar rules in Russian are very complex and have numerous exceptions. In addition, many learners struggle with pronunciation – the stress in words is largely unpredictable and not marked in writing, while there are multiple homonyms. In the Russian language, you also need to distinguish between the so-called ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sounds (consonant phonemes with and without palatal secondary articulation).
The need to learn the Russian alphabet serves as yet another obstacle for many people who would like to learn the language. They might be surprised to know that the Russian alphabet actually takes only about 10 hours to learn
Important things to know
Looking at Russian many of you would be questioning your decision of learning it. It might seem difficult at first but it is not impossible to learn it.
In the beginning, it would be tricky for you to read and write it. But with regular practice, you will get used to its pattern. At the initial stages, you would often find yourself getting confused between your native language and Russian. But with practice, you will be able to train your mind to write and read from both directions.
Another important thing is the characters and grammatical parts of the language. Starting with the basics right from the alphabets it will take some time to perfect them and then move forward to learning the word formations, syntax, and grammar. The Russian language has a lot of grammatical rules. It is not something to be scared of but an area that would need a lot of your attention. This is what exactly makes it a complex language to learn as compared to other Indian languages.
Pronunciation plays a wide role
Pronunciation also plays an important role and is considered crucial while learning Russian because it is an inflectional language, where the meaning of any word depends on the tone it is said in and it changes based on the tone. It is easier for Indians to learn and have a grip on the pronunciations and phonetics of the language because the native Indian languages are related to Russian. It is, however, difficult for the speakers of the Latin- oriented languages as they are nowhere similar to Russian, and getting pronunciations right can prove very tricky.
Find a conversation partner for practice
You can never learn a foreign language without speaking. Find some native speakers to practice with. Do not worry, it is OK to make mistakes. Most people will appreciate a foreigner trying to speak in their language and will not make a big deal out of any mistake. If it is very hard for you to find native Russian speakers in the real world, go online. Once again at Italki, you can find language partners, this time for free.
Understand the phrases
Start with understanding simple phrases in real-life conversations between native speakers. Pay attention to phrases, but also to the context, body language, intonation, pronunciation, etc. Start using these phrases yourself. Become at least intermediate with your conversation skills. And then start climbing the mountain of Russian grammar. At that time you will have a clear understanding of what you are doing and how this grammar fits into a real-life conversation. Your learning of grammar on zero vocabulary or little understanding of how people communicate is simply not productive.
It is a hobby with no real results.
So, why don’t you get results first, and then if you already have reasonable fluency in it, continue learning it as a hobby?
Learning Russian is not very difficult especially for an Indian, however, it will not be wrong in saying that it is a bit tricky and a vast language to learn. And would definitely need a lot of practice to be fluent in it. Do not let it scare you and if you are really passionate about learning Russian you will always find the motivation to keep learning it. The key to learning any language is you need to be really interested in it or you will just end up quitting it because of a lack of motivation. Don’t let a language’s difficulty stop you from learning it