Student interview: David Kolton.
Why did you choose to learn Russian?
A part-time invigilator and teacher of English as a Foreign Language, David was first introduced to the Russian language seven years ago. In the beginning, he was mainly self-taught, learning the alphabet and basics himself before starting weekly language lessons online whilst at home in London.
A talented musician and singer, he developed his interest in Slavonic languages and cultures through a folk music class in London and treated students at Liden and Denz to a short concert at the end his stay.
Why Liden and Denz, Riga?
David was first introduced to Liden and Denz through the company Lanacos Languages as he searched for a course that would allow him to immerse himself in the Russian language. In its offering of both an intensive language course and the opportunity to travel abroad, Liden and Denz Riga has proved the perfect place to study Russian. A self-proclaimed ‘Architecture Buff’, he was drawn to Riga’s Art Nouveau aesthetic, as well as the city’s historic relationship with philosophy, science and religion.
Where is the best place to visit in Riga?
If you want to get a taste for Riga’s Art Nouveau architecture, David recommends a trip to the Old Town in the centre of the city, a ‘treasure house’ of museums and historic buildings, such the ‘House of the Blackheads’ and the ‘Museum of the Occupation’. He also highly recommends visiting the Central Market, situated not far from the Riga Train Station, where you can find all kinds of traditional Latvian dishes, fresh produce and even some Soviet antiques.
What is your advice for someone first starting to learn Russian?
One of the most important things for someone starting to learn Russian, according to David, is to find a language course that suits you. In terms of independent study, he recommends using streaming sites such as YouTube, or Spotify to listen to Russian music and to improve your understanding of spoken Russian.
Darcie Peters is a student at Liden and Denz, Riga.