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Learning a language like Russian isn’t just about knowing handy phrases for a vacation in Moscow or expanding your career opportunities. It will also open the door to a world of new experiences. As the most widely-spoken Slavic language, there are over 160 million native Russian speakers. It is not, however, widely spoken outside of Eastern Europe and Asia, which makes having a command of it highly marketable in businesses, academics, government, and beyond.
As with most languages, the key to learning Russian is to commit to making language learning part of your daily routine. Even if for just a few minutes, a daily review of vocabulary and phrases can keep your language learning progressing steadily and your confidence soaring.
Using the Rosetta Stone Dynamic Immersion® methodology, you’ll learn to speak the language, not just memorize the words. What makes it effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. It helps you get ready to handle situations with confidence.
Learning the Russian Language
Some learners worry about the difficulty of languages like Russian that involve unfamiliar characters and aren’t built on an alphabet they recognize. However, unlike the hundreds or thousands of characters in writing systems like Mandarin Chinese, Russian has just 33 characters in the Cyrillic alphabet. Once you’ve mastered the structure of the characters, learning to match them with sounds isn’t as difficult because many of those sounds mimic those in the English alphabet.
In fact, the Cyrillic alphabet may be one of the easiest parts of learning Russian because, unlike English, the pronunciations are remarkably consistent. Moreover, many of the sounds of the characters mirror those in English with shapes that resemble letters you’ll recognize. You’ll notice the a, m, e, and even t in Russia’s Cyrillic alphabet look pretty familiar, and the pronunciations aren’t far off either. In Russian, the vowel a is pronounced “ah” as in the English word “mama.”
While there are some significant differences between Russian and English, there are also some similarities. Russian does have some cognates in common with English. Cognates are words that are related or have a shared origin. Russian words like му́зыка (music), аэропо́рт (airport), and Интерне́т (internet) look and sound similar in English.
Russian doesn’t have many diacritic marks to guide pronunciation with the exception of the acute sign, which is used to show stress on the vowels. For instance, the word for castle (за́мок) and lock (замо́к) in Russian are spelled the same, but are distinguished by the pronunciation of stress on the different vowel sounds. In castle, the stress is on the first syllable of the vowel (за́мок,) but in lock, it is on the second (замо́к.)
Like any other language, how quickly you learn Russian is going to be a result of the time you have to commit, your ability to incorporate daily practice, and the quality of your language learning program. Rosetta Stone makes fitting language learning into your daily commitments convenient with bite-sized lessons that sync across all your devices and let you make consistent daily progress on learning Russian.
To hone your pronunciation, you’ll want immediate feedback on your efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Russian language.
After beginners have acquired basic words, short phrases, and their proper pronunciation, it’ll be a natural transition to learn the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute lessons are built in exactly this way, teaching the basics first, then moving onto longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to understand and be understood in Russian with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Russian whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.