Warning: Common Russian Learning Tip That Will Waste Your Time
June 2, 2013
If you go to the bookstore and buy to help you learn Russian, it will probably make a big deal over the common words in Russian and English. Don’t waste your time.
Yes, I could sit at my computer and make up a long list of Russian words that sound roughly the same in Russian and English and have more or less the same meanings. You probably know some of them already.
Words like vodka, bazaar, and balcony are common to both Russian and English and sound more or less the same in both languages. Some words like airport are both based on the English word, but the Russian version sounds so much different that you probably won’t be able to understand it at first.
Most Common Russian/English Words are like Vodka – You Don’t Need it Every Day
Unfortunately, except for a few words like mama and papa, the common Russian/English words won’t help at first. The common words are mostly NOT in the core vocabulary that beginners need to learn.
Start With Important Phrases Like: “I Want That.”
So when you are a beginner, ignore the common words in both Russian and English. Start with phrases you will need right away like, “Where’s the bathroom?” and “I want that.”
That way you won’t loose your enthusiasm, when you find out that the Russian/English words you learned just aren’t needed that often.
Good News for Intermediate/Advanced Russian Students
When you finally get to the stage where you can carry on a conversation in Russian and are getting a feel for how Russian pronunciation works, then suddenly you start hearing these words everywhere.
Both English and Russian are what linguists call Indo European languages, so there really is quite a lot of commonality.
So the commonality between Russian and English IS good news for people who already speak English; it just won’t help you very much in the beginning.
So start your Russian learning by learning important Russian phrases. Later as you become more advanced you will be pleasantly surprised that many Russian words are also English words.