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russian visa

Hello or Zdrastvujte
September 14, 2006 17:21

In Russia we speak Russian. And we really understand it might be a challenge if you come to our country on your own, because words not only sound different, they are also written in Cyrillic. But don't panic, there are ways to solve the problem.

First of all those foreigners who have already been to Russia say - and they are right - that for the first time you should better come here with an escorted tour originating from your country. Many of us speak English or other languages, and there are some signs in English in the airports, streets and underground in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and in many restaurants the menus are translated into one or several languages, but you will definitely face inconvenience or even serious problems if you come here without a guide or someone who knows Russian, for the first time.

Anyway, in Russia you can pretty much expect that hotel staff in any hotel of 3* or above would speak English, or could find someone who spoke English amongst the staff. German, French, Italian, and Spanish languages are quite well-represented among the receptionists or managers. Finnish and Estonian are often spoken in the areas closest to the northern borders, which means Saint Petersburg, Narva, Vyborg, Petrozavodsk, etc. Some of the area of Karelia which is now part of Russia, was previously under Finnish governance, and there are quite a few native speakers of Finnish language in the area in any case.

In the Far-Eastern parts of Russia you can expect that hotel staff will speak Japanese and Korean. Chinese is also growing in use in those areas, but in fact it's most widely-found in the Amur region, where local initiatives have encouraged cross-border tourism across the Amur River.

Returning to Moscow, we would say that in this city you have less chances to get lost. As we have already said, the underground stations and some streets names are transliterated into Latin alphabet. But it is necessary to have a city map and a plan of the underground, because it is marked only in Russian, where to change the lines, though there are maps with Latin station names inside the trains. Besides, there are not many signs anywhere, even the museums such as the Pushkin Museum and Tretyakov Gallery do not have signs in English in front of the building that say this is the museum. And definitely no English signs on the buses, trams or trolleys. But whatever happens, in this city you can always find somebody speaking English to some degree or other European languages. One should know, that in Russia younger people are more likely to speak foreign languages. Dont even try to find a local old lady, almost definitely she wouldnt understand a word.

And surely the best thing a traveler to Russia could do is to learn some basic phrases and how to read the Cyrillic alphabet. If in the cities you stick to places where things are written in English or where everybody speaks English, you will be guaranteed to pay more money and see far less interesting things than if you make a little effort to learn the ABCs, in our case the s (A-Be-Ves) of the language. As any other nation Russians are flattered if a foreigner even tries to speak our native language. People would be very considerate and patient, if they saw you trying. And in the city, you don't need to speak Russian, but you will need to be able to read signs if you want to get around by yourself. Besides, you'll have a lot more fun that way!

At our site you can find most basic words and phrases, we hope our little tutorial will help you.

You could also visit Russian language lessons here in Russia. The detailed description, please, find at:

Nastya Makryashina


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