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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 5 Oct 2009
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Question Russian classes

I'm at the _very_ beginning of my RTW planning East to West through Russia/Mongolia/Stans. I'd like to learn quite a bit of russian early in the trip. Does anyone have any ideas for a cheap city to study russian? I'll be starting in Vladivostock probably heading west.

On that note, how did ya'll get by language wise? I'm an english (well, Texan english) speaker but I figure it'll be signlanguage in countryside. I really enjoyed my TDF trip once I was able to communicate with the locals in spanish. Otherwise it was only talking to people who wanted to sell me stuff.
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  #2  
Old 6 Oct 2009
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Dave, the cheapest way to learn Russian would be to have lessons prior to your arrival, then once you get there you can brush up as part of your day to day interaction with locals.

No cities are cheap in Russia, especially not Vladivostok. I'm also not sure how you would enrol in a Russian language class once you arrived - it really would depend on who you meet and how they can grease the wheels for you.

Good luck
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  #3  
Old 6 Oct 2009
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First and most important is to recognise and understand the Cyrillic alphabet. This will be essential for absolutely everything from road direction signs onwards. Google 'Cyrillic Alphabet' to find tables including English sounds.

Actually you will find many people with a fairly good level of knowledge of English in cities and often in quite small towns, particularly among the younger population.

People who want to communicate invariably will succeed - irrespective of language barriers!

But it is far better, and more polite, to have a basic understanding of Russian for the straightforward niceties and needs of everyday life.

Look on Ebay for the Michel Thomas CDs. I find them very good for using alone if you work at it in very regular, small periods. It is a audio course without books, but a booklet is provided showing new words in Cyrillic and phonetic as they are met and first used by the speakers. The 8 CD, 8+ hours, Foundation Course (called 'Speak Russian for Beginners' in USA) should be more than sufficient. It includes the 2 CDs of the Introduction Course ('Get Started' in USA). Her indoors, a Russian, was impressed with the course and my progress!

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  #4  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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iphone helps

i used a very handy cheapo iphone app called 'alphabet' (or russian alphabet) from a guy named andre khromov to learn the cyrillic alphabet, and though my attempts at learning russian got a bit stuck (am now fluent in sign russian ), knowing that alphabet was ehh priceless?. Highly recommended.

and ohw yes.. there is an iphone eng-russian dictionary which i used often, if only to let people read the word i meant to say, i tried several applications and found the planet drives one by far the best (have the medium one).

i also tried some audiobooks (yes, was serious about this ), found them on p2p networks and itunes
and finally: this one seems to be free Learn Russian - Start to Speak Russian in Minutes , i used their iphone lessons the most (paid)

hope this gets you started (unless you hate apple, then consider this not written )

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  #5  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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Don't worry daveg. Few glases of vodka and you will speak Russian fluently.
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  #6  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
First and most important is to recognise and understand the Cyrillic alphabet. This will be essential for absolutely everything from road direction signs onwards. Google 'Cyrillic Alphabet' to find tables including English sounds.

Actually you will find many people with a fairly good level of knowledge of English in cities and often in quite small towns, particularly among the younger population.
Agree with first remark ... unless you know cyrilic its almost impossible to find a direction...Around main roads between Sochi and Petersburg i saw some signs were in cycrlic and latin but as you proceed to east (i mean east) it gets rare to none.

Second remark ... hmm ... at least that wasnt my case ...i found very few people spoke english...so i had to my russian which was worst then their english but some how i ended up where i wanted to go...

i used and got result from pre-prepared phrases ... like

Were can i find a mechanic? ... hotel? ...fuel? market? etc.. but of course how to understood what they are saying is another story ...


have a nice trip..
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  #7  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to start classes this saturday at this russian cultural center for $50/1.5 hours in a group beginner class. It is strange that there isn't a start/end to the classes, they just go on continually.

I have a long time to prepare for the trip and will actually be going to australia first (who's english I can usually understand )

But obviously Eurasia is the place I'm more worried about language. I can't imagine being in a country where I am completely illiterate.. unable to even attempt to pronounce what is written down. Heh, though I felt like that in France even though they use a latin alphabet!

Interesting ideas with the iphone apps. I hadn't even thought about looking for smartphone app resources. I should write an app totake a picture then OCR app to read Cyrillic and phonetically translate it.
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  #8  
Old 12 Oct 2009
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one of the reasons to learn any language is to basically communicate . pronunciation is the key with basic vocab.
my system is
1. learn hello and goodbye.
2. learn please and thanks
3. learn the numbers 1 to ten. then you can put any number together
4. learn the words for today , tomorrow and yesterday now you can communicate the past present and future .
5. learn left right and straight, now you can get directions.

if you learn that much and above all learn how to pronounce it the way they do , you'll be flying.
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2009
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Daveg, like Tony P I highly recommend playing Amazon.com: Speak Russian For Beginners The Michel Thomas Method (8-CD Beginner's Program) (Michel Thomas Series) (9780071547475): Natasha Bershadski: Books
in the car, at home, wherever. In fact it popped up on my iTunes a minute ago. It's easy and fun and a great way to learn to speak a language without getting bogged down in grammar or writing (which you will rarely do I imagine).
Plus it has to be said the teacher Natasha B sounds like another great reason to visit Russia!

The Cyrillic alphabet takes no time to learn (I keep a Cyr/Eng print out handy). As you wisely observe, knowing more than 5 words of the lingo really transforms your experience of a place.

good luck

Ch
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  #10  
Old 6 Nov 2009
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Rosetta Stone

Hi There,

We personally used the rosetta stone set which worked pretty well in getting us to be able to do the basics.. However we didn't do as many of the lessons as we should have and had to pickup more than we expected when we arrived. However we knew enough of the alphabet that we could listen and use a Russian to English Dictionary (oxford make an excellent one) to be able to on the fly learn loads more.. I now speak some russian and understand lots more after ~2 months there this year.. I would rate rosetta stone as about a 7 out of 10.. as with any language lessons you get out what you put in..
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  #11  
Old 28 Feb 2011
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Anyone try the Russian Language Schools in Vladivostok

I plan to arrive in Russia in late July and have been trying to learn some Russian via night classes. I'm making some progress and have basic greetings and the like but I'm no natural. Looking on the web I see I can get classes at Ambergh Education in Vladivostok and I'm considering that option even though its not cheap at about $1500 for a week of lessons including accommodation. Question is has anyone used them and if so can you provide feedback? Also any alternative suggestions for someone arriving in Vladivostok.

Thanks
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  #12  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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learn in our own country, you will only have 90 days visa, spend $1500.00 in your country, find some Russians and befriend them, take them to dinner they will help you!!!
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  #13  
Old 3 Mar 2011
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try skype lessons with a russian teacher.
search for "russian for foreigners via skype"
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  #14  
Old 3 Mar 2011
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Try this Transparent Language free modules for Russian language.
Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian and over 70 languages with Byki software.

I think its great to learn some common things about language and also pronounciation.
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  #15  
Old 5 Mar 2011
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I am doing this now...

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