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Planned My Trip to Moscow Already!

Hello everyone!

I'm almost halfway down my Russian tree but it started to get really hard for me to have progress because I have not been making use of other sources. As soon as I get to the third checkpoint, I will start supporting my language experience with other sources (and believe me, I have LOTS of books.)

But I couldn't wait more to plan a trip to Russia even though I can barely speak Russian for now. I have just bought a ticket to Moscow for July. I know it's quite early for planning but I couldn't resist cheap tickets (I only paid 60 euros for return tickets). I will stay there for 9 days during a period when we have a national holiday in my country.

I'm planning to finish my tree and never break my streak until that time. I hope I will have enough time to support my Duolingo experience with other sources in the meantime.

And if you have good sources for enhancing Russian grammar and vocabulary, I am always open to suggestions.

Wish me good luck! ^_^

November 24, 2015



An addition after today's news: After what happened between Turkey and Russia today and a Russian MP's suggestion to completely halt all flights between Turkey and Russia, I started to believe that I am the unluckiest person on earth.


I wish you the best and hopefully your trip happens succesfully!


On a log one may cross the Black Sea. After that you could have taken a cab. It was a joke.


You're at least a bit more lucky than the pilot that was shot to death before he reached the ground.


Yes. Such a tragic death.


Надеюсь, у тебя все получится.


Is this your first trip to Russia? My wife is Russian and we'll be there this summer. I can't wait to impress my in-laws with my progress thanks to Duolingo and (like you) a LOT of books.


Yes! That's why I'm so excited. :) I was in Ukraine a couple of months ago but I didn't even try speaking Russian. Hopefully, this time I will in Russia. :) And good luck!


Sorry to read your update :(

For whenever you do get a chance to go, I found the Michel Thomas course really good to get started on getting comfortable speaking.

To start reading things in context, try bliu bliu or LingQ (free versions of both are all that's necessary).

At least once you do finally get to go, you'll know more Russian :)


Thank you so much for these recommendations! I will check them out as soon as possible. :)


Good luck!! I know you will have a wonderful trip!


Wow, you must learn fast...and you're a native Turkish speaker, right? I want to learn Russian, but your native language is already difficult enough for me. Can you share your experience with Russian? How do you study it and what do you like about it? I hope I am not too off topic, I just want to hear peoples' experience with Russian..


Yes, I am a native Turkish speaker. To start with, cases are quite familiar to me as we also have them. However, cases in Slavic languages don't have a pattern as we do, like, we have some suffixes for each and that's all. But in Slavic languages, same suffixes may mean other cases. So, that's quite challenging for me.

Other than that, word placement is quite similar, I would say. However, vocabulary and the rest of the grammar is completely different. Vocabulary has been the hardest for me and I "met" Polish before Russian, so that was actually when I realized the differences between the Turkish language and Slavic languages. Russian is indeed quite new for me as I met Polish first, but I had bought a lot of books and actually attended a Russian class for just a month. So, I'll see how Russian treats me in the following months when I finish my Duolingo tree and start studying my books, haha.


Cześć! My brother tried to learn Turkish and failed despite the fact that he spent a year in Turkey (Izmir, Istambul) I'll be a bumpy journey for you as our languages are quite different (he tried to explain Turkish grammar concepts to me :-)


Oh, Izmir is my hometown and Istanbul is the city I live in. :) Yes, it will definitely be a bumpy ride for me. Btw, I am looking forward to the Polish course and I think it will be released soon. I did my Erasmus in Poland and have been visiting Poland once or twice a year since then. Even though I fear that I will mix Russian and Polish in my head if I study them simultaneously, I don't think I will be able to resist once the course is released. :)


I mean, he speaks it at pre-intermediate level. A2, B1 maybe.


My brother liked Izmir a lot, he said if he had known Turkish better (so that he would get a job in his profession) he would have stayed there...


Ah, the cases, of course. I am just now starting to get Turkish cases, as long as I study and repeat them enough. I'll explore Russian soon enough. It is an important language and such an interesting country. I'm sure you'll have a good time there. Teşekkürler


My native language is English. I study Arabic, Turkish, and Spanish.


The more languages the better. I use Spanish and Portuguese here in the United States almost everyday. I haven't used Arabic yet and I've never met a Turkish person, but yeah, Arabic is fun. I'm studying it right now. That's why I can't learn Russian yet.


And I forgot to ask, what is your native language?


I'm not sure if it's going to be of any help halfway through the tree, but there's a nice new show on the Russian 'Kultura' channel (not too dissimilar to the French 'Mezzo TV') called "Живое слово". Basically, it's a series of lectures on the Russian grammar and proper word usage - somewhat advanced, mind, but everything is explained exceptionally well. Albeit in Russian and without any subtitles. If you're feeling up to the task, all the episodes are available here: http://tvkultura.ru/video/show/brand_id/59465/episode_id/1201412/

There's also a number of subtitled TV series and documentaries available at http://www.sales.vgtrk.com/en/
Can't vouch for the quality of those - but hey, free stuff that we can access from overseas. I'm not complaining.

Love the way you're thinking half a year ahead. Have fun in Moscow!


Thank you! I can unfortunately only understand a number of words from the first one :) I guess I will only be able to understand a bit of it after months. But I will definitely make use of the second link.

And haha, yes, I had to do it because I was going to save so much money for a holiday I knew I was going to have. I will have months to study and after all, I will just need to communicate in shops and probably with people I meet, so I think it's worth it :)


I plan to buy the Glossika Russian sentences when I have got through the tree (or maybe before). I've used it for another language and found it very effective.


How exactly do you use the Glossika materials? Does he provide an explanation of use, or simply the sentences themselves? I've been thinking of getting a set, as I like his YouTube videos, but I'm still unsure of what would be the best way to use them. . . . If I worked out a good method, there would be plenty of worthwhile languages available from him.



Essentially it ingrains common patterns. I listen, look up sentences I don't understand (in terms of grammar or vocabulary) and then listen again. You do need to do it consistently on many consecutive days to remember, but you end up knowing lots more useful vocabulary and grammatical patterns (the sentences will begin to trip off the tongue), and get used to hearing them used in native speech at normal speed. I've never bothered with writing or recording my own voice, (I just say the sentences to myself), but I've no doubt it works better if you're willing to put in the effort to do it. Listening and understanding without English, and trying to provide the appropriate sentence with English only, however, are well worth doing.


Thanks much for the explanation. I'll give them a try. Sentences are more worthwhile studying than isolated words, IMHO. There will be loads more sentences than in, say, Assimil. You're the first person who's ever mentioned using Glossika's materials. Which language did you use them for, previously?


Удачи! I hope you have a brilliant time :D Nothing like having something to aim for to make you learn!


Enjoy your trip. Remember the anticipation is part of the journey.


You probably checked this out already, but have you looked up things relating to visas yet? Citizens of many countries need visas to go to Russia and the process can be quite complex (I know, I went through it). Since it's in July you do have time to sort it out, but it is definitely something to look into sooner rather than later, if it applies to you in the first place that is.


I see, but we have an agreement with Russia and according to it, Russia doesn't require a visa for Turkish citizens for traveling purposes.


Oh, that's a relief! I have heard of people from countries that do require it (like Canada, where I'm from) forgetting about the visa entirely and not being able to do their trip, so that was why I was asking.

I lived in Moscow for a year - if you're looking for things to do, my suggestion is Muzeon Park. Along with Red Square and Gorky Park and all the "major" places. It has all the old statues from the Soviet era and some of them are very interesting.


Thank you for the suggestions! :)

  • 1973

Sigh. After seeing latest news I just advise you to monitor the news about visas frequently.

But away from politics. The best thing you could do in Moscow is to buy a ticket for the fast train and spend couple of days in Saint-Petersburg. The white nights period will be almost over and hotels will be full but this should not stop you from visiting.


Yes, fricking Erdoğan keeps making everything hard for us as usual. I will definitely be following the news about visas although I must admit I have little hope that this agreement will remain in place.

And about St. Petersburg, I am (should I say was? haha) actually planning to visit there either next September when we will have another national holiday or the following year. I think I will just see how it goes and not buy an early ticket this time. :)

  • 1973

September is somewhat late. It is not as warm as in summer, frequent showers and most of city events already passed. The best time for the first visit in StPete is May-June. But it is the most crowded season also.


And boom! Russia has just suspended the visa-free regime.


Governments do a great job at creating tensions between groups of people and generally adding manufactured conflicts into their lives. Agree?


I couldn't agree more.


I'm sorry. :-( I hope you can go later anyway!


Well.... when you will go there make sure you are travelling on a proper visa :) https://twitter.com/LizSly/status/669878342254878722


Yes, I heard about it. :) According to the suspended agreement, Turkish people still needed visa for business purposes. And these people, of course, pretended to visit Russia for traveling purposes to get a visa-free pass, which they always did. Technically, Russian authorities are right, but, you know they had always turned a blank eye and now that everything's messed up... They just used it as a measure against Turkey.

And people say Russia will charge us 180$ for tourist visas, so I cancelled my hotel reservations and may not be going there after all. I'll see, I still have time and I will decide depending on the political situation. :)


You are always welcome in Poland :) Do you still need visa to fly do Warsaw?


Yes, we need a Schengen visa but I already have one at the moment and I'm actually planning to visit Poland again in May if nothing goes wrong. I was there two months ago for 9 days and I already miss it. :)


Awesome, I am planning to visit Moscow this summer!


Awesome! If I may ask, what books do you have? Since I am an American, the texts might not be accessible to me, but I just thought I'd ask. Always looking for new resources!

I'm making my way through English Grammar for Students of Russian right now. Very supplementary, but full of good grammar refreshers! I've barely thought about English grammar from an academic standpoint since I was in elementary school, so it's quite interesting to me.


Sorry for the late reply! My books are mainly from a Turkish company called "Multilingual", but all of these books are only in Russian and as far as I know, these are indeed books published in Russia but are re-published in Turkey by this company. I have three different book series and some other exercise books. I am pretty sure you can find the (illegally shared) pdf files of these books on ВКонтакте. :))

One is дорога в россию, and this one has 4 different books (1,2,3.1,3.2).

Another one is жили были and I think this one has 4 books, 2 of them are study books and the other two are exercise books.

Поехали is another one, composed of three books (1,2.1,2.2).

Another good one for exercises is русский язык в упражнениях.

That's all I can remember for now as half of my books are here in Istanbul, where I live, and some others are in my family's house in my hometown. :) Hope it helps!


Russia itself is a very good place for cheap books, by the way.


Yes! Ahhh last night I was so wishing I could go to Дом книги in St Pete...


Well done and good luck


Best of luck to you! I went four times last year (as layovers on the way to Kyrgyzstan, another Russian speaking country) and loved it. You will have so much fun, even without speaking the language -- but the more Russian you speak the easier it will be for you, of course. :)


http://www.russianlessons.net/ and http://mylanguages.org/learn_russian.php. Both very helpful resources. I haven't used either much, but they were great for learning Cyrillic (I assume you're already past that), and if the mylanguages Russian is anything like their Polish, it is very good.


Oh, and if you want to read Crime and Punishment in the original Russian, russianlessons.net has it. :-) You can even have it side-by-side with the English if you want.


Good luck, giving the conflict between russia and turkey


Good luck to you! I also recently booked a trip to Russia in early July (plus Germany, and quite a few other places). I am focusing mostly on advancing farther German for now since it naturally comes easier for me as a native English speaker, and just reviewing basics in Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet until I feel confident enough to move on.

But nevertheless, reading through this post and its comments has been helpful and encouraging for me. I plan to spend a week in Russia - half in St. Petersburg and half in Moscow, with one day in Novgorod in between. Hopefully everything remains peaceful and safe during all of our travels.


Good luck, I hope everything goes well for you!


Hi! I'm a Belgian student. I study applied linguistics Dutch-English-Russian, and at the moment, I'm on Erasmus in Moscow! If you want, I could recommend you some nice places to visit, or help you with some grammar questions, if you have any. Good luck! ^^


Thank you so much, I'll definitely need some recommendations if I ever get to do this trip (you know, because of the ambiguity caused by the Russo-Turkish tension going on right now).


I am curious. I've been following the topic for a year now. Did you go to Moscow?


No, unfortunately I didn't. After the Russo-Turkish crisis, Russia brought back the visa requirement for Turkish citizens, and I changed my flight to Ukraine. Since then, I've been to Ukraine many times but never to Russia.

Good news is that, I finally decided to get a visa and go to Moscow. I bought my tickets, and will be in Moscow at the beginning of October. :)


Thanks for the answer. In October it's cold:) I want to say:October is a cold month in Moscow.

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