Need Some Input

I have been focused on Spanish for the past 5 weeks and have made good progress I think. I’m up to 5100 words and since I also focused on enjoyable activities, it seemed very easy effort.

Learning Russian has been on my mind to pick up for the past 1-2 wks in addition to Spanish, but my long term plan was to solidify Spanish first, with 3-6 months of focused study before I picked up Russian. Here is my situation. I am going on a trip to the Ukraine in about 3 wks for about 10 days. I’m going with a group of Americans, but I plan on interacting with the native people. I know that it would be helpful to know some words in Russian, and I have started by learning the alphabet. Since learning it I haven’t been able to find the time to add my Russian studies to my Spanish, and I would like to continue my rate of Spanish learning during this time.

How would you guys add on Russian study over these next few weeks? Would you drop Spanish all together, or continue it and try to squeeze in a little bit of Russian in addition to the Spanish? I want to do the latter, but there seems to be not enough time in a weekday to do it.


Russian isn’t a language most native English speakers can easily pick up. If I were you, I’d continue with your Spanish - but learn a few important Russian words and phrases on the side. Dropping Spanish altogether for Russian for a mere few weeks just isn’t worth it. Russian requires a lot of time and focus; I’ve been studying it for at least four months and still have heaps of trouble in forming grammatically correct sentences - largely because it’s a very inflected language. Also, I’m sure you know this, but Ukrainian is its very own language (though it’s closely related to Russian), so you might want to memorize a few phrases from that instead.

Thanks. I’m progressing well in Spanish. I think I’ll wait until I get to 10,000 words before I start Russian.

I would say maybe just learn some helpful phrases for Ukrainian like, “Я розумію (Hya rose-mEE-yo)” for I understand, “Я не розумію (Hya-na rose mEE-yoh)” for I don’t understand, “Допоможіть (doe-po-mo-shyEEt)” for help. I could try to offer some help with pronunciation if you would like, but I will warn you that I’m not great at Ukrainian. Haha. If it is easier for you to learn Russian though, most people in Ukraine cities can at the very least understand a good amount of Russian, but I would still advise learning some Ukrainian phrases. Also, if you are in a big city, it will most likely not be a huge problem for you with English. Of course there are not TONS of English speakers, but there will probably be a few. I’ve only been to Kyiv once in my life time, so this is only from my 5 day experience where I happened to stay in a hotel with many tourists from UK, US, Australia, etc. but this is usually the case for most Slavic-speaking countries in my experience. I hope that helps you.
Oh, and congratulations on your high level in Spanish, I hope you get to your goal! :slight_smile: