A year in Russia
Speaking Russian still fills me with unparalleled panic and dread, my comprehension is still shoddy in conversational situations (annoyingly if someone writes what they said I do actually know the words). I do live in Russia so you’d expect that I am fully surrounded by the language and thus improving, but I have found it quite the opposite. All my friends are English speaking, either from Bath or from Baylor.
Obviously it’s different for the students that live with families as their hosts don’t speak English and are readily available to chat with a patience that has developed through hosting many foreign students. I live with a student who studies English. Not only does she speak English to me, but she has a busy life to lead an is often out and about. The other Russian’s I have met are also English students. I’m aware that I could ask to converse in Russian, but due to my overwhelming fear I usually end up struck dumb.
Now that my flatmate has returned from her German jaunt things are picking up, we’ve watched TV together (Bridesmaids/Девичник в Вегасе), we’re going to the cinema together on Sunday to watch Vа-Банке (Runner, Runner featuring JT) and it’s her birthday soon so she’s having a party at the flat/going clubbing and I’ll have to get my Russian lingo on.
I’ve also discovered various ways of watching Russian TV (or at least dubbed English TV) that I’m hoping will improve my understanding and give me some new vocab.
So I thought I would share what I’ve found!
Mosfilm: A glorious website full of old Soviet TV and film.
Seriali.net: More TV, some more modern stuff
Vkontakte: If you have this, you can actually search the videos for entire series and films. To find the Russian name of a Hollywood film, search the film on Wikipedia, then change the language to Russian 🙂
Far from Moscow: Russian music, all genres.
It’s also really cheap to buy dvd’s here. I bought a duo of Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness from a vending machine for 80 roubles. Definitely fake but I’m pretty sure even the films in the Russian DVD store ‘Blockbuster’ are copies as it’s possible to rip them to your hard drive.
Of course, this won’t help with my speaking anxiety, but I’m going to throw myself into it and hope for the best. With time and practice, I should gain more confidence 🙂
Featured Image copyright Audaciousink.