From favorite words in Russian to hardworking locals of Latvia – Michael from Hong Kong talks about his Russian language study experience in Riga:
Durbe: What makes Russian an interesting language in your opinion?
Michael: For me, the Russian language is spectacular — quite difficult to learn, but the challenge makes it super interesting!
Durbe: What are 3 most difficult words for you in the Russian language?
Michael: Oh! That’s easy!
1) Здравствуйте [zdrávstvujte] – formal „hello”
2) Воскресенье [vaskresenʹe] – „Sunday”
3) Встречать [vstrechátʹ] – „to meet”, „to encounter”, „to come across”
Just try to pronounce these and see what happens!
Durbe: What do you especially love about your Russian course?
Michael: Everything. But most of all I love when we work on perfecting the pronunciation. Since I love the sound of Russian letters, such letters as: ж [zh], ч [ch], ш [sh], щ [shch], ц [ts], ы [i] (but more rear or upper than ‘i’) – make my whole day.
Durbe: Where do you see yourself using Russian in the future?
Michael: I like to learn about customs and habits of other countries. I also travel a lot and like to try new things, so I will definitely use it when I travel to Russia. I have lots of plans!
Durbe: What can you say about locals?
Michael: I noticed that people in Latvia are quite hardworking. During the working week you can see many ‘busy bees’ around Riga. Despite Riga’s compact size, it’s like most big cities – everyone’s running somewhere, minding their own business – and not that that’s a bad thing, all the locals I met during my linguistic stay everyone’s pretty ‘cool’! “laughs”
Durbe: Most noticeable traits about your Russian teachers?
Michael: The teacher — Viktoria we have during our morning classes — she is knowledgeable, patient with all of us, beginners, and very experienced. Mikhail is the one who teaches in the afternoons — he is experienced and quite humorous, so I always enjoy our classes together.
Durbe: What would be your suggestion to all new students who are thinking about applying for Russian language studies in Riga?
Michael: I think the new students should expect there are a lot of memorization work involved in learning Russian and that takes time. So be patient!
Thank you, Michael, for sharing your thoughts with us. We wish you further success in conquering the могучий русский язык (“the mighty Russian language”)!