Russian isn't an easy language to learn. Just ask my husband. And between working and taking care of our daughter, finding the time to learn Russian is really tough.
So when we do practise Russian, it's vital to make the most of the short amount of time that we have. So, we do this by focusing on a few key areas. I'll share those with you now:
LEARN THE COGNATES
There are just lots of words that are the same in English as they are in Russian. Actually, there's 1000s of words. So you already know a lot of Russian words. The trick is to memorise them and remember that they might have slightly different pronunciations.
The most important thing is that you can see Russian letters and pronounce the sounds easily. Now unlike English, where the words "I caught the rough thought through the tough dough" is brain melting for those learning English, Russian letters always sound like they are pronounced. SO if you spend a serious amount of time learning to pronounce the words right first, you'll be off to a flying start.
Your Russian will naturally accelerate if you have the time to speak with Native Russian speakers. There's likely to be a Russian speaking community somewhere in a city near you. However, of course, getting a native Russian teacher will equally help you! You can make Russian pen pals online too, perhaps some that want to learn to improve their English, French, Spanish - or whatever your native tongue is.
PERFECT RUSSIAN MAKES NO PROGRESS
Trying to be perfect will lead to pain. Because when you start to speak Russian with other people, you will mess things up. It's completely fine and normal for this to happen. When I started teaching my husband to speak Russian, he didn't want to make mistakes in front of me and this was frustrating for him. It's better to be messy now and progress over time, than get all tight and frustrated by trying to be perfect now.
ADD RUSSIAN CULTURE
Learning from a book or an app can be quite a dry experience. Why not listen to some contemporary Russian music on Spotify, or watch some Russian films on YouTube? Here's a lot of Russian movies with English subtitles you can watch.
If you're looking for a Russian teacher to help practise Russian, I offer 1-2-1 teaching service in Glasgow, but I also work with clients all over the world via Skype. If you'd like to set up an appointment, click here.