Is Russian hard to learn?
3 hours ago by
16 slides

Is Russian hard to learn?

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What's out there

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and this....

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And that...

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Is it that surprising?

According to FSI (Foreign State Institute) category III languages take approximately 44 weeks (1100 hours) to learn.

5 months = 150 days

If you are in the language 7 hrs/day = 1050 hrs


Most people who haven't started learning Russian think the alphabet is the hardest thing. The ones who've been learning Russian for a while, will tell you that it's actually THE EASIEST part of the language. It takes about a couple of hours to learn.


Just like in any language, you can get by with bad pronunciation. However, putting aside a number of not really challenging sounds that have no analogues in English most mispronounced letters in the Russian are:

ы, р


and consonant clusters

Russian is based on consonants, and boy, do we know how to make them into tongue-twisters... take, for instance, Здравствуйте, достопримечательности


  • the system of declension is elaborate and complex. Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, demonstratives, most numerals and other particles are declined for two grammatical numbers and six grammatical cases

  • Conjugations - There're three conjugations in relation to tenses and six endings to learn. They are very, very consistent throughout the language.

  • Aspect:  there're two aspects in Russian - Perfective and imperfective. Without knowing the aspect, it's difficult to express if the action is being done, has been done, was done, will be done, will have been done, etc.

  • Verbs of movement: initially people think that verbs of movement aren't that hard, as long as you get the idea that one type is movement one way, and the other is movement there and back. However, the Russian verbs of motion have two imperfective forms and prefixes come into play.

Russian vocabulary

There are in total approximately 150 000 words in the Russian language. Compared to English (400 000 words) that's not a lot. However, a lot of new words are compound words.

Читающая девушка = a girl who's reading

Why bother...?

Despite its difficulty, Russian might be worth the extra effort to learn. It’s an extremely politically and culturally relevant language, opening the door to numerous career and leisure opportunities.

How to tackle these difficulties?

  • Invest time, time, time...

  • Invest in a proper tutor

  • Don't be afraid of speaking (the more, the better)

  • Don't stop learning

Thank you

Olga Makarenko

+4478 4914 5754


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