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Russian is a Slavic language and the most widely spoken of the family. It looks an intimidating script, the Cyrillic alphabet, but once mastered, you are on the way to unlocking one of the world's greatest languages.

One of the reasons I decided to learn Russian was the great body of 19th century literature; Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Turgenev among others. Wonderful writers but in English, however good the translation, something gets lost. Perhaps learning Russian would bring me closer to the spirit of these writers and poets such as Lermontov and Tyutchev.

It is not an easy language for the timid, requires long-term focus to push on through treacle-like grammar, case endings and morphology. I have attempted many times to revive my interest in Russian, usually getting back to where I left off before attention moves on but it remains an elusive goal of mine to at least to manage basic conversations.

Hoping to go back over previous learning of the principles in the coming year and find a casual language exchange partner so I don't lose all of what I have learnt thus far.

I have huge respect for the people of Russia, their traditions, values and desire to want to engage with the rest of the world. I hope I can reciprocate by trying my best to honour them through speaking at least a smattering of understandable Russian!

I use the iTalki language platform extensively to get language practice and meet people from all over the world and help them with English and to get help learning my languages.

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A Little Extra

Watch, listen and learn 50 basic Russian phrases with LinguaMarina.