31 October 2006

Learning Russian

Let's revise some of the rules that I have mentioned before:

Rule 1: You have to speak Russian to survive in Russia
Rule 3: You have to speak Russian to live in Russia
Rule 11: You have to speak Russian to prosper in Russia
Rule 24: You have to speak Russian to get rich in Russia

...So this set of obligations may get you to take some Russian courses or buy a crappy Russian course book from a nearby Dom Knigi (Bookshop).

Fortunately, having Russian language as a hobby (similar to all my other odd hobbies), this has moved from an obligation to a painful way of having fun. Ok, I admit that learning Russian is not a piece of cake. Maybe that's why they have excelled so far to have great authors and a pile of literature about russian countryside (which is no more than a heap of snow for 7 months a year).

Having a diversity of books from poorly written Turkish-Russian grammar aid (which actually targets the summer loverboys of turkish beaches) and the new editions of Russian for Foreigners Books, I can say that Russia has a long way to go to reach the linguistic heights of England. Accepting that "teaching English" is more than a philantrophy for the english gentlemen, but a moneymaking industry for itself, "teaching Russian" hasn't yet evolved from torturing nomadic central asians to colonize their lands or tutoring some poor vietnamese or nigerian students to showcase the "friendship of peoples" to the capitalist realm.

So the current educational literature is somewhat like this:

This is not a joke, but a real excerpt from a 1977 edition of Russian for Foreigners (who are devoted communists or just happened to be sent to Moscow for education)

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