Who doesn’t love crossing a task off a long to-do list?
It’s always important to have goals, as completing them makes us feel accomplished and can even release the feel-good chemical dopamine in our brains!
If you’re an aspiring language learner, you’ve already got a fantastic goal in your sights.
Why not choose a challenging but endlessly rewarding language that’ll only expand your sense of accomplishment?
I’m talking about Russian!
You’ll be that much cooler—hello, did you see Tatiana Romanova in “From Russia With Love” or Yuri Komarov in “A Good Day to Die Hard?” They may not be the nicest or most ethical beings… but they sure are Russian, and they sure are cool!
Aside from your new hip status, there are five practical reasons why you should think about learning the Russian language, which we explore in this article.
Why Learn Russian? 5 Reasons You Can’t Deny
1. Boost Your Brain Power!
Did you know that learning a second language is beneficial to your mental capacities? That’s right—becoming bilingual has many advantages for your brain power.
Researchers have found that being able to speak a second language fluently changes the way your brain operates and improves your cognitive skills. Here are some particularly interesting studies, as collected by Business Insider:
- A University of Edinburgh study found that a group of students who took only a one-week course in the Scottish Gaelic language had more mental alertness than those who didn’t take the course.
- A University of Chicago study found that those who spoke more than one language were better at making rational decisions.
- A MemoVie study found that bilingual individuals had better memories.
All in all, there are tons of great benefits to your mind when you challenge yourself by learning a second language. And few languages are as challenging as Russian (just kidding!). But seriously, with a completely different alphabet, clusters of consonants and hard-to-pronounce words, Russian will definitely get your brain working hard.
Want to get a sneak peek at life as a fluent Russian speaker? FluentU provides real-world Russian videos—the kind native speakers watch every day, like movie trailers, music videos, inspiring talks and more—that’ve been transformed into language learning experiences.
Each video comes with interactive captions you can click to learn Russian words as you watch. You’ll get instant definitions, native pronunciations and visual learning aids. There are also flashcards and exercises to help you remember the words when you’re done.
Since the videos are organized by genre and difficulty level, it’s easy to find something that works for you at any stage of learning. FluentU also suggests new videos based on what you’ve watched for a truly personalized learning experience.
You can explore the video library for free with a FluentU trial and get your brain working more efficiently in no time!
2. Satisfy Your Wanderlust
You can learn Italian and travel to Italy or master Greek and visit the Greek islands.
But if you learn Russian, you can travel to and interact with people in dozens of countries and territories around the world!
- And more!
The reason is that these countries were part of the USSR—the former Soviet Union that dissolved in 1991, and with it created 15 separate countries.
Sure, you can argue that using your English and a translation app is enough to get around a country with no knowledge of the language, but you won’t be able to do much more than ask basic questions.
By truly being able to speak in Russian, you can check out these amazing attractions and actually speak about them in Russian to others:
- Pechersk Lavra in Kiev, Ukraine, a historic church and cave system
- Geghard, a medieval monastery in Armenia
- Old Grodno Castle, a real life castle in Belarus
If you’re planning a trip now, familiarize yourself with 31 Russian travel phrases to know before you go!
3. Improve Your Business and Employment Chances
Thanks to technological advances, the professional world is quickly expanding to become a global powerhouse. Due to the internet, video calling and online collaboration software, employers are no longer constricted to hiring individuals that live in close proximity to them.
There are more than 150 million native Russian speakers around the world, so learning the language can open opportunities to work in or with Russian-speaking regions. You can find a job in Russia, find a Russian business partner or simply make your resume more attractive with an internship in a Russian-speaking country.
This should be especially interesting if you work or want to work in one of Russia’s major industries, such as oil and gas or hospitality.
If nothing else, learning Russian can help you relax more as the Russian Federation offers 28 days of leave per year!
4. Make Friends or Fall in Love
If you’re a guy looking for the woman of your dreams but haven’t found her in the U.S., you can expand your dating circle to Russia if you just speak the language. There’s no wonder that it’s not uncommon for an American man to travel to Russia to find a wife.
The reason for that is pure mathematics (not discounting the beauty of Russian women, of course!). The truth is that Russia has a ratio of 87 men for every 100 women, compared to 98 men for every 100 women in the U.S.
There’s an actual historical reason for the disparity in numbers between the genders (did I mention that learning Russian can also help you learn more about world history?). While the U.S. lost about 400,000 soldiers in World War II, the Soviet Union lost roughly 20 million soldiers, most of whom were men. As such, there are many more females than males in Russia, and the ability to speak their language can go a long way in forging a romantic connection with them.
However, even if a romance with a Russian woman isn’t what you’re looking for, learning Russian can still give you the ability to make new friends and converse in Russian with a population currently inaccessible to you!
Not only will these new connections teach you how today’s real Russians speak, they’ll also introduce you to different perspectives on current events and the world.
5. Have an Easier Time Learning Even More Languages
You know what’s better than being bilingual? Being a polyglot and knowing three or more languages!
Once you learn the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian words, you’ll have a much easier time learning to read and speak in other languages, especially Slavic languages like Belarusian. There are countries in eastern and southeastern Europe that utilize the Cyrillic alphabet, such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro.
These linguistic stats indicate that Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian have about 90 percent of the same vocabulary, that Russian has about 60 percent in common with Serbo-Croatian and Polish languages and about 40 percent in common with the Czech language.
If you find that hard to believe, you’d be surprised that even some English words are adapted from the Russian language, including “cosmonaut,” “babushka” and “tundra,” lest we forget “vodka!”
Now, let’s review the benefits of learning the Russian language—you’ll be a cooler, smarter, more rational, successful person who’s able to easily learn other languages, travel the world and find love. Not to mention that learning another language is scientifically proven to help you look more attractive. So look out Russian ladies, and look at you—a Russian speaker, perhaps?
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.
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