Do I Need to Learn Russian
Russian is the only official language in the Russian Federation spoken by over 99 per cent of its population. With over 150 million native speakers around the glode it is among the world's most popular languages and also one of five official languages in the United Nations. At the same time it is widely believed to be a difficult language to learn because of the rich vocabulary and rather complicated grammar rules.
At a certain point almost all potential immigrants come across a dilemma whether they should learn and how long it takes to learn Russian.
First of all, it is necessary to decide on your relocation goals. Learning Russian is not a must if you are going to stay in Russia for a few months with a tourist / business / guest visa or you are going to study in Russia.
However, if you are going to permanently reside and work in Russia, learning Russian is almost always needed. Most immigration strategies require passing a Russian language test for obtaining a work and residence permit as well as citizenship.
Passing the language test is not obligatory for:
- Applicants below 18, over 60 (women) or over 65 (men);
- Applicants having children or parents who are Russian citizens and permanently reside in Russia;
- Participants of the State Resettlement Program (Russian native speakers with Russian ancestry);
- Graduates from Russian universities;
- Highly-paid specialists with monthly salary of at least 167,000 Rubles (don't need a test for work and residence permit, but still require it for citizenship);
- Teachers, journalists and some other specialists (don't need a test to work, but still require it for residency and citizenship).
If you don't belong to one of these categories, it would be a good idea to start preparing for the test as soon as possible. Basic grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking and reading skills are required to pass the test successfully. The preparation will take at least a few weeks — ask your teacher to focus on it.
Speaking Russian will become your great asset not only to pass the language test, but also in everyday life. Not many Russians speak English, especially beyond Moscow and other large cities. Speaking Russian is often the only way to communicate in shops, hospitals, immigration service, colleagues at work and just with your Russian friends. You will almost certainly need Russian to find a job or start a business. Be sure that when you learn the language, you'll discover new sides of Russia and will understand it even better!