I wrote a few posts about the Russian language this year, some of which were somewhat popular, but it seemed that most of my readers were either people interested in Italian, or people interested in language-learning in a broad sense. Thus, I didn't make Russian much of a focus in my writing this year.
However, I have always been very enthusiastic about the Russian language, and I have no doubt conveyed a lot of that enthusiasm in various ways, both through what I write here, and with the things I do and say elsewhere. And I find it really exciting that many people seem to have picked up on my enthusiasm for the Russian language!
I have received several messages, comments, and emails from people telling me they're interested in starting on Russian in 2011, and asking for my advice and/or help. For me, this is really exciting, because I think Russian is a beautiful language, but the perception of its difficulty sometimes scares people off from learning it.
Is it difficult? No. People in Russia speak Russian fluently at 5 years old. If a 5-year-old can do it, so can you. It's not difficult, it's different. In order to speak and understand Russian, it's necessary to learn a new way of thinking. And that's the part that isn't easy. Lessons, and courses, and teachers all teach the language, but I've never seen one that teaches how to think differently.
It requires work. Did I learn to speak Russian in one year? Yes. But am I much better after two years? Yes. And do I still have trouble sometimes? Yes. Learning new vocabulary, learning new pronunciation, learning new sounds and grammar... these things aren't so difficult. But learning a new way to think? That is a real challenge! Fortunately, I can promise you it's a challenge that's worth the effort.
Thus, while Russian obviously is not my language choice for the coming year, it will be a subject to which I will dedicate more time and attention, in hopes that those of you learning Russian can benefit from the things I've learned, and also from the mistakes I've made.
As you'll learn soon, I've also got an exciting new strategy for language learning in the next year which I think will be particularly helpful for langauges like Russian, which are so very different from our own. If you're a subscriber to my email list you already know about this exciting new strategy. And if you're not a subscriber, this is just an example of what you're missing out on... so go fill in your info over there on the right, and get subscribed to the email list!
To all of you who have discovered a fascination with the language that has changed my entire life, stay tuned! I can't wait to help you learn all the beautiful and interesting details of the Russian language which continues daily to capture my soul.
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.