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Почему изучать русский язык? [or The Best Reasons to Study Russian!] Posted by on Jan 21, 2009 in language

Here are a couple of the best reasons for studying Russian that I found on the web. My best reasons is of course «прочитать «Преступление и наказание» Ф. М. Достоевского в подлиннике» [to read F. M. Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” in the original], which I also did (yes!), but what’s yours? Here are few to trigger your memory! Do you agree with them, or not?

It’s easier than it looks like.

You can talk to 180 million persons in the biggest country of the world.

You can travel in dozens of ex-soviet countries where it’s the vernacular language.

It’s spoken from Vladivostok to Jerusalem.

A must for arms dealers.

The best language known to man for giving orders.

Ideal for the nostalgic.

Huge material to read or listen to on the internet.

Incredible literature and cinema.

It’s the royal way to Polish, Serb, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and the other Slavic languages. 

St. Petersburg’s White Nights are simply magical. The sun never sets, the people never sleep and for two weeks the entire city is transformed into a huge street festival that never ends. 

Listen to tATu’s original lyrics.

Long afternoons over endless glasses of Russian tea, debating all the problems of the world and listening to some of the best stories you will ever hear.  

To stand in Red Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve and participate in the countdown.


Any other language will be easy in comparison. (Just kidding!)

It’s so easy (and everyone else thinks it’s tough)!

9 out of 10 Russians prefer it to any other language.

They understand you in Brighton Beach!

It’s OK to write “R” backwards (Я).

It looks good on your resume.

It goes so well with vodka.

The Maslennitsa Parties!

It improves your breath.

It raises your IQ.

You can laugh at the mistakes in subtitles in TV and movies.

Revisit some of your favorite films and watch again to figure out what they are really saying, for example, in Letter to Brezhnev, Clockwork Orange, So I Married an Ax Murderer, Russia House, Red October, Red Heat, No Way Out, Red Dawn, Air Force One, The Saint, Dr. Strangelove, Moscow on the Hudson, White Nights, and many of the James Bond movies. 

Learn Russian to communicate on the new international space station!

Impress your friends by writing their names in another alphabet.

The Russian alphabet can be a great tool for writing messages in code.

Russian is phonetically easy compared to many other languages.

The alphabet is cool:  it’s like a secret code.

Before taking a test, it’s customary in Russian to tell people to go to hell!  (This is actually part of a Russian custom analogous in some ways to telling an actor “to break a leg.”)

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  1. Lu:


    thanks for the list. That it’s a must for armed dealers is an absolutely fantastic reason! hilarious

  2. Roberta:

    Your link for White Nights leads to the Siege of Leningrad. Surely that was not what you meant.

    How long did you study Russian before you tackled “«Преступление и наказание»? I’m in second year, and Pushkin seems an infinite distance away.

  3. Mikhail:

    Although “почему?” and “зачем?” sometimes are interchangeable – this is not the case. The best way to remember how to distinguish between these two – is to substitute the questionable word for the expression “for what reason?” (“для чего?”).

    if the change makes sence (What is the reason for study Russian?) then you should use “зачем?”, if not (What is the reason for the sky to be blue?) – then use “почему?”

  4. Jess:

    I would’ve gone with Azerbaijani food!

  5. maxi:

    У вас отличное чувство юмора. Удачи всем, кто изучает русский язык и русскую культуру!

  6. Kim:

    I did a course in Russian many years ago and have continued to study it on my own. I am familiar with the grammar basics and am competent with what I would call “tourist talk.” My dream is to be able to read “real” novels in Russian. So I was curious Josefina – once you know the basics what helped you make the leap to being able to read books such as Ludmila Ulitskaya’s latest etc.? For example – maybe you could tell us what some of the first novels you read in Russian were as you were advancing in your studies or advice on how to build one’s vocabulary beyond the standard tourist phrases we all learn in school?

  7. Эмма:

    Я китаянка,живу в городе.,Сейчас уже 4лет учу русский язык,но все таки плохо слушаю на слух.Они слишком быстро говорят…:(