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A few tips for your first week studying Russian

A few tips for your first week studying Russian
01 July 2016

Reflecting on my first week here, I thought it would be good to note down a few small tips that can make the first week of living in Moscow and learning Russian go smoothly. Here are some tips to stop you from breaking the bank too!

  1. Don’t be afraid to say “я не понимаю”

    Don’t suffer in silence. Learning Russian is difficult, even if you’ve studied it previously, so don’t expect to understand everything all the time (if that were the case you wouldn’t need to study at all!). Ask for help (if possible in Russian) when you need to,

  1. Buy a Russian sim card (Blog about this coming soon) and stay connected.

    Despite roaming charges being removed across the EU, roaming charges in Russia can deplete your wallet fast. I forgot to turn off data roaming and I-message when I arrived and spent £10 (€12) by the time I was in the taxi. Russian sim cards are fairly cheap for a reasonable amount of internet data. Even if you don’t plan on snap chatting selfies from Red Square or skyping your family, having google maps at hand to save you if you get lost is always a good idea to. Better still, download the apps suggested in a previous blog (here) before you go.

  1. Bring slippers – Russian people don’t wear outdoor shoes around the house

  1. Don’t order water at restaurants.

    Generally the tap water isn’t drinkable, so the usual rule that it’s free to order water in a restaurant doesn’t apply. It’ll add needless expense to your bill. Order a tea or lemonade instead!

    And finally,

  1. Write down as many new words as you can in class.

    Even if you’ve never used the equivalent word in your native language, you never know when you might need it. Once its written down, even scribbled on a piece of paper, its always there to be found.

I’ve had a really great first week, but these tips would’ve put the icing on the cake!

Lawrence Toye, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow.

Posted by Lawrence Toye

Привет Everyone! My name is Lawrence, I’m 21, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK, and I’m pleased to say I’m the new social media intern at Liden&Denz Moscow for the next 5 weeks. This is only my first day in Moscow, so I still have so much to see and take in! I love learning languages and spent last year living in the Middle East and studying Arabic. When I started studying at politics and economics at university last September, I couldn’t resist doing a language course alongside. Even though I could’ve probably picked an easier language, I felt Russian would be the most rewarding. I was right! Despite the frequently confusing grammar, in particular the cases, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I’ve finished university for the summer, I decided to come here to to Liden&Denz to improve my Russian, and learn more about Russian culture. This is only my first full day in Russia, and I’m really excited to write about my thoughts, insights, and experiences of Moscow and learning Russian.

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