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Understanding Russians!?!?

My sister-in-law just sent me a link to this course on coursera:

Understanding Russians: Contexts of Intercultural Communication. Learn about the intercultural communication process using Russian –Western communication as an example.

Link: https://www.coursera.org/course/russians

Let me be clear: I have signed up for this course and I have listened to the first video, but this is not my endorsement since I haven't taken the whole course.

Personally, I am taking it because my wife and therefore all my in-laws are Russian and I am extremely interested in Russia, Russian culture, Russian mindset, etc.

By the way, my little Russian-American son will be six months old tomorrow (see: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8572651). I continue to speak to him in English; my wife speaks to him in Russian and we both throw in a little Spanish. We'll let you know how it all turns out!

P.S. My friend Yuan, who is Chinese, says "Learning grammar and vocabulary is easy. The hardest part of learning another language is learning the culture which is the only way of understanding what people are saying."

November 10, 2015



Спасибо for the link. I agree with your friend Yuan: to really understand a language you need to understand the culture that uses it and how that culture sees the world. If you are interested in this idea there is an interesting discussion of it in: "Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in all of its Moods" by Michael Wex.


Thanks for the tip about the book. Have a lingot.


Thanks for the link!

As my sister used to say (her children are slightly older than mine): Enjoy you son now! He'll never be this age again.


Hello Ashton Kutcher! We know it's you! :P


I hope you and your son are doing well.


Looks interesting. I'm currently busy with the Russian tree and NaNoWriMo, but I might be able to cram during the last couple of weeks starting at the end of this month, LOL. If not, perhaps I can take it when it is offered again. Or, I can do some of it at the beginning of December, and then do the rest when it is offered again.


I can recommend the coursersa course, 'understanding Russians'. The lectures are quite formal but it is full of fascinating material and gives one a lot of insight into values , beliefs and behaviours.


Did you do this course? If so, what did you think of it? I am thinking of taking some courses with Coursera, and would appreciate your opinion of their quality.


I've had good experiences with Coursera courses in general, but found this particular course too focused on business relationships to be useful for me.


Thank you very much for such a quick reply! I can see why that would be a disappointment in your situation, but it does sound as if it might be interesting. As song as it is meat rather than waffle!

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