Did you know that there are 258 million Russian speakers all over the world? Impressive, but it’s not the only reason why you should be learning Russian.
Many studies have suggested that learning a new language improves brain function, providing better memory, more mental flexibility, and creativity. Learning a language from a different language family from your native language – for example, Russian – is a great way to maximize these benefits. You’ll be exposed to a new alphabet and totally different grammatical concepts that will get you thinking in new ways.
Russia itself is enormous, with a variety of landscapes and lifestyles in different parts of the country. Travelers, remote workers, and immigrants will all find something that appeals to them.
Just as importantly, Russia has an extensive and rich cultural history: think literature, ballet, painting, and classical music. Indeed, literature geeks know that a huge number of great classic novels and works of non-fiction have been written in Russian.
Let’s zoom in on these and other exciting benefits of learning Russian!
Russian Literature, Philosophy, and Art
Reading books in the original language
Reading in the original language, just as the authors intended, is a different kind of pleasure. Sure, classic Russian literature is great in translation, but what about the subtleties of meaning and emotion that you can only get from reading works in the original language?
Russian architecture and art
Another aspect of the great Russian culture is the incredible architecture and art in Russia. Russian cities are packed with architectural wonders: palaces, museums, sights – the diversity is stunning.
Russia – St. Petersburg in particular – is also home to one of the world’s largest and most impressive collections of art, which makes learning Russian worthwhile.
Last but not least, knowing Russian will help you understand the ideas of the great Russian philosophers better. Why? The philosophical ideas of Russian thinkers have permeated religious, political, and literary scenes throughout the country’s history.
Nicely and simply put, Russian culture is more than enough to overwhelm even the hungriest culturoholics, and learning a language is crucial to understanding the culture, mainly because the connection between these two phenomena is deep.
Career and Business Opportunities
Learning Russian language and culture can also open enormous career and business opportunities.
Russia’s total market has a whopping 147 million people. Moscow and St. Petersburg are among the richest regions, but it’s Russia’s urban areas that present unique opportunities for foreign companies, with a solid middle-class consumer base of about 50 million.
What’s the key to reaching Russian consumers? Doing business in Russia can seem difficult because things are done differently, and there is a language barrier. So, it’s not always about understanding the bureaucracy or logistics, but also about really knowing your customer, which is only possible through the language.
What kinds of jobs in Russia are open to foreigners?
If you think that the Russian job market is already flooded with candidates, you’re under a false perception. It’s still difficult for companies to find highly qualified staff, which makes it relatively easy for foreigners to fill the gap.
In general, qualified professionals are sought after in every field. However, professionals that are currently in high demand in Russia include experts in IT, manufacturing, and agriculture.
Russian interpreter and translator jobs
Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 24% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average projection for all other occupations.
Translating/interpreting between Russian and another language means that you could work not only for the private sector, but also for public services in your native country or your embassy/consulate in a Russian-speaking country, or even for an international organization, like the UN.
The Russian economy
As the world moves away from fossil fuels, Russia, which is rich in natural resources, will focus more on its ability to export billions of dollars worth of gems, precious metals, iron ore, and steel.
According to 2021 data, Russia mainly imports machinery, equipment and transport, chemical products and foodstuffs, as well as agricultural products. As for the major Russian industries, the most competitive include oil and gas, mining, and processing of precious stones and metals.
Why invest in Russia
Looking to invest in Russia? Anyone is allowed to open a business there. What’s more, the country offers foreign companies the same benefits as Russian companies.
Interestingly, the foreign investment climate improved greatly over the past few years. Foreign investments are strongly encouraged in Russia through reduced taxes and reforms in the economic sector. The country also possesses an experienced and skilled workforce which makes investing in Russia more appealing.
It’s worth noting that Russian business culture can be an obstacle to foreign businesses, which often expect things to be done a certain way. There’s a big advantage to be had for people who can understand and accommodate cultural differences, for which knowing the Russian language is essential.
Living in Russian-speaking countries as a foreigner
What is it like to live in Russia?
If you’re thinking about moving to Russia, there are some things to know before you do – and having a grasp of Russian is the most obvious one!
Russia is undoubtedly a good place to live for work and general diversity. However, there are always pros and cons of moving to any country. Here are the yays and nays to living in Russia:
- Sizzling job market, so earning money should be no problem;
- More vacation time than in most European countries;
- Great hospitality and customer service;
- Excellent base for traveling.
- Suffocating bureaucracy;
- Insane traffic jams;
- Crowds and noise;
- Long distances.
The best places to live in Russia and the surrounding countries
What are the best Russian cities and the surrounding Russian-speaking countries to live in?
The best cities in Russia to live in include Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, and Tyumen.
The surrounding countries with Russian-speaking populations can also be an excellent choice for moving abroad. These countries are located close to the Russian border but positively ooze European vibes. Consider moving to Kyiv in Ukraine, Riga in Latvia, or Tallinn in Estonia.
Cost of living in Russia
If we compare the cost of living in Russia with living in any other country, there will be things that are cheaper, yet there will also be things that are more expensive.
Generally, living in Russia is comfortable, even in such megacities as Moscow and St. Petersburg, with expenses such as groceries and utility bills being fairly inexpensive. In other urban areas, prices are even cheaper, with lower bills for food and transportation.
Russia – a land of discoveries
Knowing Russian broadens your travel opportunities by a mile. There are magical places out there in Russia that even some residents don’t know exist.
But wait – what’s the connection between traveling in Russia and knowing Russian? Some places are remote, as opposed to the bucket-list destinations such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Sochi, and finding English speakers there to guide you or help you out can be a real challenge.
The Russia you’ve never seen before
The world-famous Lake Baikal and the far-less-known Altay, Dombay, and Adygea will make you say, “Wow… is this in Russia?” No surprise there. These areas attract people for their unmatched natural beauty.
Here’s another great tip: plan a tour to the “Golden Ring” of medieval Russian cities and then to Kazan, the capital of the fascinating Tatar Republic. These areas are particularly famous for their UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal and the Kazan Kremlin, in addition to plenty of marvelous churches, monasteries, palaces, museums, and other historical monuments.
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