How Hard Is It To Learn Russian?

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Guide
13 Min Read

How hard is it to learn Russian? It’s the first question that comes to mind when you think of learning Russian. However, perhaps you may worry about how different the Russian language is.

It does not make the language impossible to learn. Meanwhile, you will get a satisfactory answer to the above question.

Still, there are many more factors that you must know for knowing how hard it is to learn Russian. Let’s figure out the answer to all the necessary questions in the article given below.

1. How Hard is it to Learn Russian?

Learning Russian is a challenging task. Also, learning a second language has always been a tough task for any other language speaker. Meanwhile, in many languages, you may get the benefit of a similar alphabet.

But, when talking about Russian, letters in the alphabet differ in writing and pronunciation as well. Besides, it may not be as complicated as it looks and people say.

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But, it has many difficult aspects to overcome, which are challenging. The Grammar, Vocabulary, and Alphabet in Russian, all together make it hard.

However, a brilliant way to learn is by starting with Alphabet and then going to vocabulary. Afterward, work on your grammar and upgrade your vocabulary in the meantime.

The following are the important factors that make the Russian Language less difficult. So, go through all the factors briefly for understanding Russian in a better way.

2.1. Russian Syllables

The Russian way of talking often describes the state of a sentence. It takes many words to speak in Russian, so the time as well. Sentences are even longer in Russian for even a small thought.

You have to emphasize the single syllable in each word. Furthermore, you’ll learn to stress the syllables in a word during your vocabulary learning. Syllables help understand Russian where you want to focus more on your words.

how hard is it to learn russian
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2.2. Russian Spellings

Generally, Russian spellings are phonetic. Once you are done with memorizing the sounds of the letters. Then, you’ll be able to write the words just by pronouncing them exactly.

So, spelling writing can be said to be easy in Russian, if you are successfully engaged with the Russian alphabet.

2.3. Sentence Structure

Russian has a free flow of sentences. This is a fact that you may not notice at the beginning. But, when you go on a little more, you will gradually understand it.

To emphasize particular aspects, words are placed in different places in a sentence in the Russian language like English. However, to understand the structures of the sentences, you have to put in effort a lot.

how hard is it to learn russian
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Practice speaking as well as writing the Russian language. The order of the words in a sentence is important for making the point and focusing on the situation. Initially, it will be a bit tough. Besides, you will get a gist of it gradually.

2.4. Russian Excludes Articles

Russian Speech usually excludes articles. However, you still need to learn and understand the concept of gender. But, using articles will be less problematic. Initially, it will be awkward to pronounce words without articles.

Gradually, you will start dropping the articles in a flow. The exciting thing is that dropping articles in Russian does not affect grammar. It’s the pronouns that you have to focus more on in Russian.

2.5. Fewer Prepositions in Russian

Prepositions in Russian are lesser than in the English language. It is a difficult task for the English speakers. As English speakers usually rely on prepositions to point out the positions of objects.

Some of the prepositions in Russian imply multiple meanings. Possibly, this is one of the reasons for having fewer prepositions in Russian.

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Also, finding out the multiple meanings of a word is difficult to learn. You have to understand and memorize the meanings of a word according to the state of the sentence.

Gradually, you will be able to pull all the contexts together in a sentence meaningfully. Lastly, practice is a must to learn Russian. 

2.6. Phonology of Russian

English has many different sounds for vowels. In comparison with English, Russian phonology is easier when you come to understand this. However, learning the alphabet will take a while.

Afterward, pronunciation will become easy for you, as the sounds of the letters are quite consistent. Meanwhile, some of the letters do have more than one sound. As for others, it will be easy for you to learn and memorize the sounds.

2.7. Russian Nouns and Verbs

There are many distinct ways of conjugating verbs in English. It’s to show different states and tenses. While, in the Russian language, verbs show if some work is done or not.

Based on the different states of sentences, Russian speakers modify the needs of adjectives and nouns. Meanwhile, in English, the uses of verbs are already fixed which cannot be modified in sentences.

Besides, it is completely a new thing to learn that needs a rhythm to get used to.

Russian lessons – Lesson 1 – Tips, goals and Russian alphabet | Russian language

2.8. Russian Alphabet

The Russian Alphabet is a little distinct from many other European languages. While most of the European languages originate from Latin.

For Russian alphabet, it originates from Cyrillic. Meanwhile, you will find some letters exactly similar to the Latin alphabet.

But, most of the letters are entirely different. So, you have to learn a whole new alphabet set of letters for learning Russian. Also, the sounds of these letters can differ from the sounds of the Latin language. Initially, you might get confused.

However, the Russian alphabet contains 33 letters. Out of which, 18% of the letters are those you are familiar with. Furthermore, this will take time to get used to it. But, as you start learning the alphabet, you will eventually understand that it’s not as tough as it sounds.

Moreover, new letters are always fun to learn and in writing as well. If you give sufficient time every day, you will be easily able to learn the alphabet and pronunciation as well.

2.9. Russian Nouns and Genders

English is the simplest language in Europe with Latin origin. One of the reasons that make English simple is that all nouns have the same articles. It is because the nouns in English are gender-neutral. You do not need to learn different articles for different genders in nouns.

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Meanwhile, all the nouns in Russia are considered one out of three genders. These genders include masculine, feminine, or neuter. Usually, the gender is capricious.

So, you’ll have to memorize words with their genders. Most of the other languages have genders that can be guessed.

As for Russian, guessing genders for different nouns will be a risky task. Eventually, you have to learn most of it.

For many native English speakers, Russian nouns and genders are a tough task to get used to. Once you are free with these Russian nouns and genders, you can learn grammar frequently.

3. How Hard is it to Learn Russian for English Speakers?

Russian is the most difficult language in the European languages, even for an English speaker. It’s because English is a European language but originates from Latin like many other languages.

Meanwhile, the Russian language is the descendant of Cyrillic. There are many stepping stones you have to clear before flawlessly learning Russian. Above mentioned points are the hurdles in learning Russian for an English speaker.

Learn Russian in 1 hour - ALL the Russian Basics You Need in 2020

4. Why is Russian Easy?

Given below are the three factors that make Russian less hard.

4.1. Easy Long Russian Words 

Russian has long words like the German language. It does look frightening to beginners. But, the best trick to memorize long words is to cut them into two or more two halves.

Pronounce each half correctly and practice writing that complex word. A combination of exact pronunciation and making complex words shorter will help you learn them easily.

Even English words are not very hard to pronounce but for a beginner of English, it might also be hard. Making words shorter by cutting down is a simpler way to learn complex words in any language.

4.2. Russian Pronunciation

Pronunciation in Russian is not very hard. Like any other language, you have to imitate the words you hear. This makes a simple way to learn the pronunciation of words in any of the languages.

However, textbooks usually make pronunciation tough as it is. So, if you are following a guide to learn Russian pronunciation. Then, it will only make the pronunciation difficult for you. Textbooks explain writing and pronunciation in a tough manner.

So, while you take a look at it, you may feel demotivated. To learn Russian effectively, you need to hear the pronunciation of the words and imitate the same. This way you can learn Russian faster.

4.3. More Cognate Words in Russian

Russian has more cognate words from English than any other language. A few of the words in Russian have a similar meaning and look as well. Cognate words help you give a smooth ride to learning Russian.


Russian is one of the most complex European languages. You have to put in a numerous effort and invest a lot of time daily. Practice makes everything easy and can help you become better in Russian gradually. However, mastering Russian is not an easy task.

It will take time to master the Russian language. In the meantime, you must improve your vocabulary and grammar. Grammar and Vocabulary in Russian is a tough task. So, focus more on these learning aspects. Meanwhile, stay motivated and determined to learn.

Consistency is mandatory for learning anything. Your time investment can make the process of learning faster. However, it’ll still take a few months to master the Russian language.

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Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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