Advantages of Taking a Russian Language Course

Russian is one of the most commonly spoken languages in Eastern Europe, and is a Slavic language with roots from Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, which is the reason it is worthwhile to undertake a Russian language course. Russian failed to have international prominence, however, it is the official language of the former Soviet Union, and is still an official language in many countries like Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia. Therefore, if you are considering undertaking Russian language lessons, this will be a tough journey since the language itself is rather intimidating, but rewarding to an avid Russian language course student. The word order of Russian sentences is more free compared to that in English. This is because the “subject” in a Russian sentence could be put in the start, the end or in the middle of the sentence. This type of flexibility is offered in Russian sentences because of the case system of the Russian language. The case endings of the Russian language will signal which among the words in the sentence is the subject and which is the object. The pronunciation of a letter in Russian is also dependent on its position within a word, on where the stress is located and on the letters that surrounds it.

Career options after Russian lessons

when you go to a Russian school to study the language, you will have different alternatives with which you can learn the language. If you choose a Russian language program at a college level, and get a degree from a Russian language school, plus some expertise in the language, this will come with additional career opportunities. One of the best options available to you after going through Russian language school is becoming a translator, which is because language translation organizations are always on the lookout for multi lingual people.

If you have an additional career in something like medicine or law, then this becomes a perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between Russian speaking and English speaking populations and business contacts by translating documents and websites for them. The other career opportunity would be to teach English as a foreign language in a country that speaks Russian predominantly. After you get the teaching certification, you can then work for a Russian language school coaching students how to read, write, and speak English from an intermediary to an advanced level. On the other hand, you will have better job opportunities to work alongside Russian speaking populations with ease when you know the language well.

If you would like to join a Russian language program for travel purposes, you can join an accelerated Russian school on the internet, which will allow you to take the Russian lessons at a comfortable pace, and you will consequently feel more comfortable when you are travelling to a Russian speaking country, like Belarus. You will also be in a position to seek directions when in Russia more easily, and be able to communicate at a basic level. Get more information about all Russian language courses in Kiev.

The other option would be to enroll in an immersion Russian language course, which can last from two to about six weeks, and is very effective. Apart from undertaking the Russian language lessons, you also get to learn the Russian way of life, and easily integrate into the Russian life and culture with ease. Therefore, in spite of its difficulty in studying, and other reasons for joining a Russian school, there will be much to reap afterwards, and for the long term.

 

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Drinking and Dining in Russia

Introduction

Dining and wining in Russia can be delightful or dismal, dangerous or divine. Vodka, caviar, melt-in-your-mouth (resembles crepes), succulent lamb dumplings and wild mushrooms are readily available. The number and range of restaurants options have been rising steadily. Hotel dining has changed slightly from bland soviet times, except in top-end spots, where expensive brunches remember the decadence of the pre-revolutionary aristocracy.

 

While in Russia it’s better to avoid drinking tap water and using ice in beverages, however coca cola and bottled water are readily available everywhere dishes are served. Parasites, metals and e-coil may be present in tap water. The most dangerous tap water is found in St. Petersburg because the system found there is ancient.

 

Breakfast is normally served as from seven to ten, and though Russian citizens while at home normally eat heartily during morning hours, restaurants often serve just tea or coffee with rolls and jams. Traditionally, the major meal of the day has been lunch, and includes soup, appetizer, dessert and main course of fish or beef. This can be served any time after noon. The smaller, quicker “business lunch” has been polarized by the current St. Petersburg and Moscow. This is served at noon to two. Dinner may be anything like light sandwich or four to five course meal, normally eaten after seven or eight. These are just rough guidelines because majority of hotels and restaurants in St. Petersburg and Moscow serve continuously.

 

Stylish cafes that serve espresso, sandwiches, pastries, rich cakes, and cappuccino have been popping up all over Russia. Some of them perform double duty as internet cafes, others are wine bars.

cafes in Russia, unlike Europe don’t serve drinks only, but with a full range of dishes( typically prepared in advance- unlike hotels where part or whole cooking cycle is done only after an order has been made).

 

Wines

Wines from Moldova and Georgia are popular (although all the Georgian products are illegal). In St. Petersburg and Moscow, majority of hotels have selection of wines from Europe but available at a slightly higher price. Note that Russian citizens prefer sweets wines to dry ones. The French Chablis is readily and widely available at most of the restaurants and is of better quality. Chablis runs about two hundred and forty rubbles per glass. Unless you are dining at an international hotel catering for westerners, all white wines are normally served room temperature.

 

The types of food you will eat as a visitor from day to day depend mainly on the time of the year and the city you are visiting. In most cases Russian breakfast is normally similar to the one served in Scandinavian countries, with boiled eggs, bread and cold meat served with tea. For the evening and midday meals, food is normally more traditional, depending on where you are. Certain form of soup is still staple food. In many Russian large cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow, a high quality (if expensive) fine dining eateries and international cuisine are readily available.

Conclusion:

while in Russia, follow the above guideline while dining so as to enjoy your stay there.

 

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4 Common Misconceptions About Russian Culture

Stereotypes exist in every nation and culture, while some of them are more bitter and unpleasant than the others. Certain characteristics are consistent within a group of people, but truth be told, the generalizations are not fool-proof. In the same way, there are a few stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the culture of russia and its people. All in all, the point is that most of those are either exaggerated or entirely false. Here are a few common misconceptions about Russian culture and its people and the truth about them.

Misconception 1: Russians are addicted to Vodka and are alcoholic
It is true that Russians do drink a lot of alcohol, but it doesn’t support the statement that “All Russians are alcoholics”. The phrases “Vodka is our enemy, so we consume it up” and “There cannot be enough vodka for us” sum up the type of stereotypes imposed on the Russians in this regard. It is true that russians start drinking when they are young as it is the best thing that keeps them warm in the cold weathers. All in all, while alcoholism is clearly an issue in Russia, the situation has been improving since 2004.

Misconception 2: Russia is dominated by Mafia
Many people think that Russia is a home for mafia and it is highly dangerous to be there. Honestly speaking, there ‘was’ mafia in Russia in the eighties and has ended by 2000. These days, Russia is like any other place in the world and is not dangerous as it might seem. It you how to keep yourself away from the bad places and do things a normal traveller does, you will be definitely fine. And even if there is mafia somewhere in the country, they would be busy dealing with each other and you wouldn’t experience their aura as a normal traveller.

Misconception 3: The Future of Russian Economy is at risk
Just a few years ago, the GDP of russia was growing fast and many people have managed to find their way over the poverty line. But things have become critical since financial crisis hit the country and made it blatantly obvious that a solid economy cannot be built based on the natural resources of oil and gas. On the other hand, the youth of the country have experienced a kick start and started to something productive and innovative to sustain themselves. Put together, Russia has huge amounts of human resource which has been brought out after the recession hit the country making the future of the country look more bright than ever.

Misconception 4: All Russians are communists
When it became a part of the Soviet Union in 1922, Russia was ruled by a communist government. Before this, it wasn’t a communist state and it hasn’t been a communist state since 1991 when the Soviet Union has collapsed. And ever since, most of the russians have been democracy loving people with a large part of the population trying to restore the Monarchy in Russia. That said, communists are definitely there in Russia but they are hugely dominated by the democracy loving people.

 

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Russian Culture

The Russian culture has a rich and long cultural roots deeply steeped in ballet, painting, literature and classical music. Although many outsiders see Russia as drab, it has very visual cultural past; from the ornate religious symbols to its visual past. The culture also encompasses food, traditions, art, cinema and attitudes. It is both a pride for Russians and a major draw for all travelers planning trips to this country.
Homeland

The culture places a high value on family and the homeland. The Soviet rule left its mark on the culture, developing a fundamental mistrust and fear of those outside the extended family and any other familial connections. Russian families are large and very friendly. Family here is not limited to the husband, wife and children, it goes all the way to include grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, nieces, nephews and sisters. The members communicate with each other frequently especially on occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

Russian Superstitions

Russians believe that Mondays are difficult days, so they do not start any new and important undertakings on this day. Instead of starting out something afresh on Monday, you better sneeze. This means that you will get a gift later on in the week. Tuesday is the perfect day to make any major changes in your life and to begin new ventures. This is a great day to travel as well. However, you should not borrow money on Tuesday evening.

You cannot move into a new house on Wednesday as it brings bad luck. On Thursdays, you should do all you need to get done. Wash your face before the sun rises and you are assured of cleanliness and good health. You cannot clean your house on Friday until after midday. If anything, any work considered to be the woman’s work should not be done on Fridays. If anything is started on Saturday, then it can only be done on Saturdays. Having breakfast early morning on a Sunday leads to tears. You should also not clip your nails on Sunday or you will lose happiness and money.

Holiday Celebrations

Russians love to serve a festive dinner for guests on occasions like New Year, Easter and birthdays. The main attributes for a holiday dinner include cold appetizers, meat, hot dishes and cake for dessert. Housewives will cook everything by themselves as they are expected to be good cooks. Alcohol is very important and Russians do not serve hard liquor with desserts and wine with meat dishes like it is the norm. Instead, any type of alcoholic beverage will be served on the table and guests can pick what they want.

Visitors and foreigners from other cities

Russians show special goodwill and generosity to guests from other countries or cities. A real Russian will accommodate new guests in their house instead of reserving hotel rooms for them. If you visit Russia and stay with a friend, they will be happy to show you around, guide you to the interesting places to see and accompany you during sightseeing.

Cuisine and Food

Russia has a wonderful and unique cuisine, traditions, recipes and customs. They have breakfast about seven or eight every morning, lunch between one and three in the afternoon and dinner at around seven or eight in the evening. Dinner is the only time when the family interacts with each other. They watch TV together at dinner to keep track of news.

 

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Russia’s Climate and Geography

 

Due to its vast size, it is tough to provide any general sort of information about the climate of Russia, but it is important to note that Summers are warm to hot while winter in some areas can get cold.

Due to the sheer size and compact configuration, Russia has a largely continental climate. Greater than half of the country is north of 60 degrees north latitude while little coverage of Russia is south of 50 degrees north latitude, and, due to this extensive regions experience six months of permanently frozen snow that covers subsoil up to a depth of several hundred meters.

The mean annual temperature of almost all of European Russia is below freezing including the vast Siberian-Russian province.

Russia experiences two seasons- summer and winter and a short interval of moderation between them. The Russian Far East, which is under the influence of the Pacific Ocean, has a monsoonal climate which reverses the direction of the wind in winter and summer, sharply differentiating temperatures and a narrow subtropical band of territory provide Russia well-known summer resort area on the Black Sea.

During winter high-pressure systems cause winds to blow from south-west and south in all but the Pacific region of the Russian landmass.

During summer, the low-pressure system brings winds from the north and north-west to most of the lands. This meteorological combination decreases the wintertime temperature difference between south and north.

The average January temperature in St. Petersburg is -8 degrees C and in West Siberia is -27 C and -43 C in Yakutsk while Mongolian border the winter is barely warm.

The temperature differ during summer for instance in arctic islands the temperature during winter is usually 4 C and 20 C in the south most regions while in north central Siberia (Verkhoyansk) the temperatures get as high as 38 C.

Due to little exposure to ocean influences, Russia experiences moderate amounts of precipitation. Along the Baltic coast, the annual rainfall is 600mm while in Moscow is 525mm.

Geography

The country covers an area of 17,075,200 area.sq.Km and showcases diverse landforms. The country is divided into various geographical zones.

Plains

The Volga plains extend from the western borders of Europe to the Ural Mountains.

The Siberian province is a combination of tundra, with rising plateaus, rolling hills punctuate by scattered mountain ranges.

Mountains

The major mountain ranges in Russia stretches along the eastern, southwestern and southeastern borders.

Far south-west is the Caucasus Mountains which stretches across the lands and Mt. Elbrus, which is the country highest point, is located here. 18,481ft. (5,633m).

The Ural Mountains stretches from the Arctic Ocean to Kazakhstan’s northern border. The Kolyma Mountains which are found in the far northeastern extend about 1,126km (700mi) south and north to the east of the Kolyma River and parallel to the Siberian coast.

Rivers & Lakes

The country has more than 100,000 rivers with a length of 7miles or more. The most important rivers include the Dvina, Volga and Dnieper (west), the Yenisei, Ob, and Lena (central) and the Amur River in the Far East.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and is home to more than 1,700 species of animals and plants and two third of which are not traceable in any other part of the world.

Steppe

It is characterized by grassy plains without trees and punctuate by mountain ranges and are best for human settlement.

 

Taiga and Tundra

It accounts for the over 60% of the country’s area and extends from the western borders then east toward the Pacific Ocean.

Tundra stretches from west to east and covers 4,349 miles (7,000km). It is a marshy and treeless plains and is well known for its nights through summer and days of total darkness through winter.

 

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Mythbusting Russia

While I finish setting up, please enjoy this quick video about Russia and her citizens. It may help to clear up any stereotypes or misconceptions you might still harbor.

 

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