How to learn Russian? Usually, the main purpose for learning the Russian language is the ability to communicate with native speakers. But for some reason, it’s extremely difficult to become fluent. Even if you know Russian grammar and vocabulary, even if you’ve been learning this language for years, you still might be struggling with awkward pauses when it comes to a real conversation.
Maybe you start a phrase, but you hesitate every time because you’re not sure how to express your thought in Russian. You know perfectly well how to say it in your language, but you’re just not 100% sure how to translate it. As a result, you are slow and shy – far from feeling fluent.
Enough! Today I’m going to give you the first tip on learning the Russian language: how to learn thinking directly in Russian and how to eliminate hesitation when you speak.
Most students believe that thinking in any foreign language is difficult, or that it’s a special gift. And in reality thinking in Russian is a skill that even beginners can learn and practice!
Long story short, here are the step by step instructions on how to think in Russian:
Step 1 – Think in individual words
Look around you, think of some words like:
- окно (window), стена (wall), стол (table), стул (chair)
Then when you go somewhere, think of words like:
- машина (car), дорога (road), люди (people), солнце (sun), работа (job).
And from now on, during the day, try to think of the individual Russian words for everything you see or do.
Step 2 – Think in Russian phrases
For example, when you’re at lunch, think:
- Я пью кофе (I’m drinking coffee).
- Этот суп вкусный (This soup is good).
- Мне нравится этот ресторан (I like this restaurant).
When you’re at work, think:
- Мой босс строгий (My boss is strict).
- У коллеги чёрные глаза (My collegue has black eyes).
- Мой компьютер сломан (My computer is broken).
The essential part here is to practice and develop the habit of thinking in Russian. That’s why you should use simple phrases that don’t include any complicated grammar constructions.
Step 3 – Everyday Russian
Imagine that you moved to Moscow or St.Petersburg. Now you have to use Russian every day! So, after every time you speak in your native language, think of how you would say the very same phrase in Russian. For example, buying a ticket or ordering a cup of coffee:
- Один билет, пожалуйста (One ticket, please).
- Одну чашку кофе, пожалуйста (One cup of coffee, please).
Keep practicing regularly, and you will develop the ability to use Russian in everyday situations.
Final advice: Don’t just read about these tips – put them into practice right now! Look around you and try to think of something in Russian. From now on, make the Russian language a part of your everyday life.