In the twenty-first century, multilingualism is becoming the norm. It’s estimated that over half the world’s population is at least bilingual and this figure is growing. If you’re at all curious about the world beyond your own day-to-day routine, speaking Russian (or any other language besides your native tongue) can upgrade your life by increasing opportunities for career, living, travel, friendship, adventure, and love. The more languages you speak, the bigger your world becomes.
A language is more than a bunch of words and rules for how to put those words together; it is another world. Speaking Russian gives you access to the world of 160 million native speakers in the Russian Federation and surrounding countries. Russian is the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, which are the dominant language group in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Learning the language can be a challenge since there is so little cross-over between English and Russian in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. But starting a new language from scratch can make it easier in some respects. Mastering Russian begins with learning a new alphabet and sounds that go with it.
Why you should learn the russian language
Russia has a fascinating culture
You can learn a lot about Russian culture through its literature and language. Learning Russian will allow you to understand the complexity of this culture. The Russian language has many nuances lacking in English. It is very interesting for me to see how people in my generation, who were born around the time that the Berlin Wall came down, have grown up, and how they view the future and the past. Speaking their language allows you to understand them and their culture in a way that is impossible in English.
When you speak Russian well enough to travel without a phrasebook in hand, the idea of staying longer in Russia can become tempting. World cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, and India offer opportunities for students looking for semesters abroad, and professionals looking for new opportunities in the world’s eighth-largest economy.
Thanks to technological advances, the professional world is quickly expanding to become a global powerhouse. Due to the internet, video calling and online collaboration software, employers are no longer constricted to hiring individuals that live in close proximity to them. Being bilingual isn’t just good for your resumé, it can change your career. As the seventh most spoken language on the planet, knowing some Russian can be extremely advantageous for anyone doing business in Eastern Europe or Eurasia.
Learn something new, useful, and different
Learning Russian can help you understand useful concepts for studying other languages. It will also help you understand your own language better! Taking on the task of learning Russian will profoundly change how you perceive language and understand the world around you. If you’re a student, now is a great time to make the decision to start learning Russian!
Russian has great literature
The earliest chronicles and epics from this part of the world were written in Old East Slavic (the parent language of Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian). In the medieval period, Old Church Slavonic was used (a form of Old Bulgarian) and religious themes dominated. Secular literature in colloquial Russian started to appear from the mid-seventeenth century. By the end time the tsarist regime fell, Russian was the medium for one of the World’s greatest literature.
Either you already have an ongoing need or interest or you’re developing one. To get fluent, you’ll have to build the language into your life for the long term and develop a learning habit that will keep you going despite the ebbs and flows of personal motivation.