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How Long Does It Take To Learn Russian

Updated on March 8, 2011

How Long Does It Take To Learn Russian?

How Long Does It Take To Learn Russian?
How Long Does It Take To Learn Russian?

How Long Does It Take To Learn Russian?

I've been teaching Russian at a college in London for over 15 years, and one of the most popular questions I am asked is: How long does it take to learn Russian? The simple answer is not very long.

Over the years I have taught hundreds, maybe even thousands, of students to speak Russian and all but the exceptional few have been able to pick up the language, both speaking and reading, at a basic level in around 4 weeks. It's important to remember my students only get around 3 hours tuition a week and I always advise students to put in at least 3 hours a week of their own study time. So, when asking how long does it take to learn Russian, the short answer, and only in theory, is in 24 hours.

If you want to move beyond the basic level, and become fluent in speaking, reading and writing in Russian it will take you much longer. There is a lot to learn such as the Russian alphabet, names of letters, pronunciation, constants, vowels, numbers, nouns, gender, cases, Russian history and Russian culture. All have to be taken into account if you want to be fluent in Russian. It becomes even more difficult to learn Russian if you live in an English speaking country because you won't naturally pick up the language or have many opportunities to practice speaking and listening to the language.

To answer honestly when asking how long does it take to learn Russian I would say it will take between 2 - 3 years of regular institution based study to become fluent in Russian.

Learning to Speak Russian Online

If you live a busy lifestyle, or don't fancy going to back to school to learn how to speak Russian, it is possible to learn online. The important thing to remember when learning online is to take your time. It's easy to jump into the deep end and try to learn everything at a rapid pace, but mark my words, you will fail to understand everything you've taken in and this will leave you with a negative experience that will make you not want to learn Russian.

Take your time. Do an hour a day, and follow the whatever online guide you're learning from step by step. Below are some tips to help you:

  • Print off the Russian alphabet and keep it with you. When you have a spare moment try to learn some of the letters and their pronunciations.

  • Buy a book, or an audio CD/MP3, and study in your spare time.

  • Take things slow. Don't do more than an hour a day.

  • Visit Russian news sites and get familiar with the language. You don't have to understand it, but over time as you become more knowledgeable and confident without he Russian language you will begin to understand it.

To conclude, and to answer the question: How long does it take to learn Russian? The answer around 4 weeks to learn the basics, but around 2-3 years to become fluent.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      i'll save this page to my favourite .

      and i'll tell you if it takes 2 years to learn russian.

      My next destination is Saint Petersburg

      I speak Italian and French so maybe it'll be easier for me

    • profile image

      jason holmes 

      4 years ago

      l am an older type person l would love to get a job with mi5 or mi6,

      l have been told learning Russian is the best way to win a job

      at the service have you any idea how long would it take .jason

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Очень смешно.По себе скажу.А я русский.Русский язык очень сложный.И если автор этого поста сможет рассгдать вот эту фразу - он выучил русский."Зачем?За шкафом.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Private lessons of Russian and Ukrainian via Skype.

      Contact me and we will choose together your individual programme, textbooks, schedule and payment that will meet your needs and requirements.

    • Bharatthapa profile image

      Bharat Thapa 

      7 years ago from NEW DELHI

      Interesting!!! A teacher knows all... =) !!true!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello! I would like to invite you to Ukraine for one month Russian course, traveling, exploring Slavic culture and immersing yourself in the language environment. Participants of the program will live in Ukrainian families, communicate with Russian speakers every day. It will definitely help them to improve their Russian, make new friends, have a good time and enjoy. It can be a great way to spend a holiday far away from problems visiting the best places of our incredible motherland. You can find all the information on our website There are also free Russian dialogs, which can be very useful for studying Russian language.

    • Teylina profile image


      7 years ago

      So now I know why I'm no good at learning other languages! Wish I could stick with one long enough to speak it! Congratulations on an interesting and undeniably difficult career!


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