Have you ever had to walk out of a store because you could not understand the salesperson?
Throughout English-speaking countries, there are many people who have not yet mastered the English language, yet they work in a business setting.
If the lack of language skills led them to lose a sale, that is a major fail for the business!
The same applies to anyone that is trying to do business with or in another country.
If you are looking to open a business in Russia, invest in a Russian company or simply find a job in Russia, you must perfect your Russian skills to maximize your opportunities!
Below, we provide seven of the very best sources that will help you improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to effectively learn business Russian!
Why Do Business with Russia?
Every country presents a unique opportunity for business, and Russia is definitely no exception.
- Size: Russia is a big country with a large population—over 145 million! Plus, we cannot forget other countries and territories that speak Russian since they were part of the former Soviet Union. These include countries such as Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus and so on!
- Growing Economy: Russia is one of the world’s top oil producers, and with the growing energy and oil prices, its economy is growing as well! This means that this country presents opportunities for investment.
- Rising Income: Current President Vladimir Putin has achieved stable employment in Russia with a growing income for its residents. This has created a large potential group of new customers that have the funds to shop for your products or services.
- Location: Russia is situated in a perfect location for business—it provides access to seas, roads and rail routes, and has major airports that fly to multiple international locations.
7 Trusted Sources to Help You Learn Business Russian
When starting to do business in or with Russia, learning Russian is imperative. However, if you need to brush up on your Russian skills fast, learning Russian slang or conversational Russian may not be the best choice of action for your purposes. Instead, it would make more sense to find specific resources that focus on business Russian, teaching you the vocabulary particular to your needs!
We have handpicked the seven most trusted sources for learning business Russian below:
Blog and Audio Lessons: Everyday Russian
Although this website teaches Russian for all intents and purposes, there is a handy section that focuses on business Russian. You can access free audio lessons that cover many areas of doing business that you can draw examples from. The lessons cover topics such as writing a thank you letter, calling an office or creating a business proposal.
Each lesson is dictated three times at increasing speeds so you can improve your listening skills. After all, you cannot expect actual Russians to always speak to you like a foreigner. You need to be prepared to interact with actual natives and pick up on what is said immediately!
The best part of these exercises is that they do not only provide audio but hone your other skills as well. The content is also written in Russian, but the creators of the site encourage you to practice your writing skills by transcribing the audio part for yourself and then comparing it to the text they present (a fun challenge for more advanced learners).
Book: “Learn Russian to Work with Russians”
This book is conveniently offered as a paperback or a Kindle version on Amazon. It is designed to provide a wealth of information to help you start speaking in Russian for professional purposes in no time.
The book includes basic business vocabulary is intended for beginner to intermediate learners. It also teaches the conversational Russian necessary for sparking up and maintaining a conversation, by introducing you to the words and phrases you need for a well-rounded Russian business dealing.
The text uses illustrations, highlighted keywords and tips on improving your Russian skills. Plus, there are many exercises to help you master both speaking and writing in Russian for business purposes.
Learning Program: FluentU
FluentU is designed to help you learn Russian independently at your own pace.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Video: Ru-Land Club
This is a YouTube video that uses 20 minutes to help you perfect your telephone etiquette for doing business in or with Russia. Intended for intermediate to advanced students, you can learn how to make an outbound call, the proper way to answer business-related calls as well as common phrases related to this topic. The creators of the video thought of everything, including how to say that you have a bad connection for those pesky international calls.
The video offers both Russian and English subtitles so you have the ability to first practice writing down what you hear, or mute the video and read from the Russian subtitles and translate the English subtitles into Russian—providing multiple modes of studying with just one source!
Podcast: UCLA Business Russian
This resource offers seven podcasts that cover business-related terminology, as well as business topics and cultural aspects of doing business in Russia.
The topics include:
The great thing about these podcasts is that you can actually learn a thing or two about doing business while learning a foreign language! The podcasts offer so much more than just learning words: They also include important discussions about doing business and interviews with experts on this topic, such as actual Russian businessmen.
Online Course: Business Russian IC
This is an online course that will teach you the Russian skills to do business in Russia. Over an eight-week period, you will go through an intensive training and learn how to:
- Arrange meetings
- Discuss the terms and conditions of a business deal
- Negotiate prices
- Make a business agreement
Throughout the eight weeks, you will receive new homework assignments every Saturday and access to a closed Facebook group where you can meet other students, discuss the work and even make business connections!
The course gives you a chance to study with an actual Russian-speaking teacher, and also to study on your own time. The lessons include real-life scenario videos, audio and video exercises and tests to help you gauge how much you are learning!
Personalized Course: Communicaid
Communicaid is recommended for those who need to truly immerse themselves in learning Russian for business purposes in a flash. They offer training in one of their Communicaid offices, but the coolest thing about them is that they can fly out to your very own office in many places around the world!
This means you will be able to have individualized help and tailored lessons with a real, live Russian instructor at a time and place convenient for you!
The lessons are created for any level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and cover the following topics:
- Oral fluency
- Listening skills
- Pronunciation and accent
- Reading skills
- Telephone skills in Russian
- Email skills in Russian
- Sector-specific terminology
- Presentation and negotiation skills
This source also offers virtual help or a combination of face-to-face and online studying for your needs!
The seven above-mentioned sources provide a wealth of information through articles, exercises, videos and podcasts. You can learn business Russian to speak like a native and open up a world of opportunity for your business needs!
Renata Ilitsky is a professional content writer with over 10 years of experience. She specializes in creating unique and engaging content for any industry. To read some of Renata’s other work, please view her writing portfolio.