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What is the author's overall impression of learning Russian?

1) He was more satisfied with the results than anywhere else.
2) He had a lot of misunderstandings in Russia.
3) His stay was too short to learn the language.
4) He liked the people but not the language.

Things I learned living in Russia

Today, I shall impart several rather arbitrary yet remarkably intriguing insights that I gained during my language immersion in Russia. Upon reviewing this concise compilation, I notice that nearly all of it exudes positivity, and I am certain that there is an abundance of additional knowledge I could have included.

Russia serves as a prime example of a sink-or-swim language immersion experience. I have previously mentioned this, but it bears repeating. Russia proves to be an exceptional destination for language immersion because, when you are learning the language, people do not readily switch to English. Unlike in many Western European countries, where attempting to practice the local language often encounters a frustrating obstacle as individuals tend to revert to English upon witnessing your struggles (either to assist you or due to their impatience), in Russia, I discovered that people expected me to speak Russian. The few times I inquired if anyone spoke English, I was met with gazes that seemed to question, "No, and why should I speak English?" This is advantageous because it prevents complacency. If you reside there, you are compelled to adapt and swiftly acquire the language if you wish to navigate daily life.

Russia comprises numerous ethnic groups and languages that I had never encountered before. Given the vast expanse of Russia, it comes as no surprise that it is home to various ethnicities and languages. I resided in a region called Tatarstan, where the ethnic group known as the Tatars are of Turkic origin, with a language closely related to Turkish and a culture and cuisine that bear striking similarities. Interestingly, when I asked individuals if they were Russian, they would often respond, "No, I am Tatar." Likewise, those from Moscow would frequently declare, "I am not Tatar. I am 100% Russian." Even more intriguingly, when religion was broached, I received similar responses. "Are you Muslim?" "No, I am Russian," or "Yes, of course. I am Tatar."

I must clarify that I am no expert on Russian demographics, but I found it captivating that individuals from the European side of Russia are regarded as purely Russian, while those dispersed across Asia proudly assert their distinct ethnic identities, maintaining a clear distinction from European Russians. Perhaps this is more prominent in Tatarstan, owing to the troubled history the Tatars have endured in Russia – admittedly, my knowledge on this topic is limited.

In any case, Russia represents a linguist's paradise. According to the 2002 census, Russia's population stands at 142.4 million individuals. Alongside Russians (constituting 79.8% of the population), there are over 180 other nationalities, speaking more than 100 languages and dialects belonging to the Indo-European, Altaic, and Ural language families, as well as the Caucasian and Paleo-Siberian language groups.

A dear friend of mine in Moscow hails from an area near Georgia, and he taught me a few words in the Kabardian language, which sounded unlike anything I had ever heard before. It astounds me that Russia, and indeed the world, harbors a multitude of captivating individuals whom we know so little about. I would relish the opportunity to spend a year or two traveling throughout the entire country, delving deeper into the myriad minority languages and cultures that comprise it.

Russia is a splendid country, populated by fascinating and kind-hearted individuals who, in my opinion, are often grievously misunderstood by the rest of the world. Among all the countries where I have resided for language immersion, it ranks among the most enriching experiences I have ever had.

Ответ: 1

Источник: NeoFamily