You may still be reeling in shock after your employer informed you that you will be expected to travel to Russia extensively in the coming months. English is the only language that you know. How are you supposed to push business deals through in Russian? What if what you say ends up being lost in translation and you offend people?
Learning a foreign language is always a challenge. But you can do it fast if you know what to do. Here are three strategies you can use to learn a new language:
1. Connect With a Russian Native Speaker
Do you want to learn Russian? That’s great!
Now find someone who is a native speaker to help you out. It could be a family member, friend, or colleague. Or it could be a native speaker that you hire from within your neighborhood. What matters is that the person in question considers the foreign language you want to learn their mother tongue.
There is nothing wrong with learning Russian in a classroom setting. But there is only so much that formal language lessons will teach you especially if you have a short time to learn. You are better off learning the rest of it from a native speaker.
Native speakers understand the nuances and local variations of a language. They understand what different tones and variations mean. They can help explain the cultural context concerning what you say or write.
When you learn from a native speaker, you are more likely to learn the language fast and with minimal mistakes on your part.
2. Speak Russian Often
Practice makes perfect. And this rule applies to anyone that wants to learn a foreign language.
It’s not enough to speak Russian only during the class sessions. By the time you go to the next class, you would have forgotten most of it. The best way to learn a new language is to practice it often. You could even practice it every day.
If you are alone, you could try sounding out the words. When you are around a native speaker you could try to have a conversation with that person. If you make a mistake you will receive corrections. Mistakes are part of learning. So, you shouldn’t be ashamed to make them.
Where learning a foreign language is concerned, there are no shortcuts. Repetition is your friend. So, practice every day whether you are alone or with other people.
3. Be Strategic About Learning Russian
It is impossible to learn a foreign language entirely at short notice. But if you are smart about how you learn, then you will be able to understand the basics by the time your business trip comes around.
One way to learn Russian fast is to schedule it in between your work and personal breaks. Listen to audio teachings while exercising or taking a lunch break at work. If you have a colleague who is a native speaker try to communicate professionally while carrying out your daily tasks.
You should also buy a dictionary. Look up the foreign words the moment you hear them. And check out a few vocabularies every free moment when you are commuting, waiting in a queue somewhere, etc.
Flashcards are your friends. They are not just for children. You should summarize each language class session on flashcards. These could be in the form of electronic flashcards on your smartphone or physical ones that you can carry in your bag. Use them to learn and memorize new words and their meanings.
Other smart strategies you can use include listening to Russian language TV stations, streaming on sites like YouTube in the language you want to learn while using English subtitles, listening to Russian music, etc.
The more strategic you are about how you learn a foreign language, the more likely you are to learn it fast.
As you begin to learn a foreign language in preparation for your business trips, don’t forget to process your travel paperwork. If you need a Russian visa, https://visaexpress.com/visa-for-russia-from-us/ is the place to visit.
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