Question by Free Spirit: How hard is Russian to learn in college?
I am interested in Russian language and culture, and have decided to take Beginning Russian next year as a college freshman. I would like to be fluent in Russian and be able to read advanced Russian texts by authors such as Tolstoy by the time I graduate. I plan on studying abroad for a semester during my junior year or during a summer in college, so that should help. If I take a Russian class every semester, how long would it take for me to become fluent? I have taken 3 years of Spanish and can understand it decently.
Answers and Views:
Answer by bluebellbkk
Russian is much harder than Spanish. Not because of the alphabet, which you will m aster easily just by practising, within a couple of weeks; but because the roots of most of the words are unfamiliar to English speakers. There are some familiar ones like mat’ for mother, brat for brother, sestra for sister; but the rest is largely unfamiliar. There are three genders, and each noun declines in six cases, singular AND plural, as do adjectives.
The verb tense system is quite different too, and each verb conjugates in first, second and third person, singular and plural.
So you do have to LEARN all those endings. There is no way around it. But once you HAVE learned them, you’re free to roam one of the most fascinating and beautiful languages in the world. I read War and Peace in Russian in my final year of university; actually there are much harder books to read, from the purely language point of view. Dostoievsky is MUCH harder than Tolstoy.
Have fun, but don’t start unless you’re prepared to put in the practice.
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