How To Get Fluent In Russian

Russian is a Slavic language spoken by more than 250 million people, making it the world’s 8th most-spoken language.

 

It is an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages that also includes English, German and French. It has also used a different alphabet since 1917.

 

There are three forms of writing: Cyrillic script (used mainly in Russia), Ukrainian script (used primarily in Ukraine), and Latin script (used mainly for international communication). The vocabulary consists of about 185 thousand words; many of which were borrowed from other languages throughout history – Persian, Greek, Polish, or Turkish.

 

The following tips will help you learn Russian more efficiently, increase your fluency and help you avoid some mistakes.

Don’t Translate Word for Word

When learning a new language, it is essential to understand the effect of literal translation on meaning. Literal translation can often lead to misunderstandings which will affect fluency. It will also cause problems for native speakers who will be easily distracted by word-for-word translation.

Avoid False Friends

False friends are words that look similar in the two languages but have entirely different meanings. They are prominent in Russian, and it’s easy for new Russian learners to get them mixed up.

Use Your Local Library and Free Language Websites

The internet is packed with free resources, which can be very helpful if you are learning independently or want to practice at home without spending too much money. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to have a native speaker around all the time, make use of technology!

 

While many free language learning apps are available, you can find some materials for free on websites. Furthermore, by using websites, you will find more words and learn new grammatical structures with ease.

Watch YouTube Videos

There are many YouTube videos featuring Russian cartoons, songs by famous artists, and other exciting content that will help you get familiar with the culture and language. Make sure that your chosen video has subtitles, or click “cc” for translation into your native tongue.

 

This way, you will discover new words while keeping context about what people are talking about. Watching videos in Russian without having to constantly look up words is also effective at increasing fluency.

Find a Language Partner or a Teacher

One of the best ways to learn a language is by having a conversation with someone who speaks it as their first language. It can be difficult initially, especially if you make lots of mistakes, but over time your speech will improve, and your Russian teacher will help correct any issues you may have. You don’t even need to meet up in person; working with an online teacher via Skype is also possible.

Try to Understand Tenses

When starting to learn the basic tenses, verbs are often written in the infinitive form. It is very common for students to forget the endings of verbs, even if they already know the correct form. It would be a good idea to regularly practice with another person or set up a study group where you can periodically assess each other’s knowledge of tenses and go over them together.

 

Also, keep in mind that there are many exceptions when it comes to verb endings, so don’t get too caught up in just memorizing them all at once.

Spelling

Russian spelling doesn’t always match pronunciation since they have different letters for short and long vowel sounds. It is important to remember this when you are learning new words or phrases to pronounce them correctly wherever possible. In some cases, a letter in a word may have two completely different meanings depending on the context it’s used in.

Learning Vocabulary

As you progress with your Russian studies, knowing the effect of learning vocabulary on other language skills is essential. One of the most frequently cited reasons why learning a foreign language is so tricky is that learning all of the different meanings for one word is challenging. 

 

You can avoid this by using your knowledge of other languages to help you guess what words mean in Russian and then use context clues, like word order or change in endings, to confirm that you were right.

Use an Audio Dictionary

It will be beneficial if you use an audio dictionary when trying to speak Russian. This type of dictionary will not only help you learn new words but also how to pronounce them. In addition, having this kind of resource on hand while studying will allow you to discover new vocabulary with ease until you are confident enough in your abilities to search online for yourself.

Get Used to Using Two Languages at Once

You will always understand more than you can say and vice versa. The first step to learning a language is understanding it, but the next step is to put your thoughts into words and speak clearly. Over time, as your comfort level with Russian increases, you should be able to express yourself more fluently. Before long, you’ll sound like a native speaker.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Finally, despite all of this great advice, the most important tip to follow is not to be afraid of making mistakes. When trying to learn a new language, it will take time for your skills to grow and develop. 

 

So even though you may only know one word or phrase at first, please don’t beat yourself up about it. Learning Russian comes with its challenges, but over time they will become easier as your knowledge improves.

Conclusion

If you want to learn Russian or become fluent in Russian, you need to take small steps. Do not rush into learning everything at once; instead, focus on understanding what you are told and then gradually try to speak the words you hear back. If you follow the steps outlined here, you will be well on your way to becoming fluent in Russian.