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Great and powerful: what shockes Americans studying Russian

“Almost every rule of the Russian language that I explain to my American students ends with the phrase:“ But there are exceptions, ”the author writes Russian in America blog on Yandex.Zen. According to her, some of her American students “cry” from the difficulties of the Russian language. So what are the main difficulties faced by Americans studying Russian?

Photo: Shutterstock

Next - from the first person.

Verbs of motion

We know that on foot - to go, and by car - to ride. But the Russian language is still convinced that you can only move around the city on foot, because “I went to the cinema” and not “traveled”, even if it was several kilometers to the cinema.

Soft consonants

Many of my students still call the soft sign “Little Bee” (small b). Hearing a pair of hard / soft, reproducing in speech and writing do not forget “b” - aerobatics for any foreigner. So we have “This is my mate”, “MuzEy” and “SamolOt”.

Perfect / imperfect verb form

No, do not bind English “Simple and Perfect” here, because sometimes a perfect and imperfect pair of one verb has a completely different meaning. For example, in the past tense / I like: “I liked this film” and “I liked this film (but now I don’t, I watch and think why I watched it 25 times?).”

On the subject: Seven times a month, lost his job in the United States: the story of a Russian-speaking immigrant

Unstressed vowel reduction

Most Russians say “harasho” and “thank you,” but if with “O> A” it’s at least understandable, then “E = I” brings even more confusion, because “te / ti le / li-von”.


The point is not only in six cases with different endings in all genders and numbers, but also in the fact that all words in the phrase must be consistent in one number, gender and case. You wrote These American Students, then you understand that the verb “like” should be next, and therefore you must correct all three words from the nominative to the dative case - “to these American students”.

Russian language study Our people Americans and Russians

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