That’s right, to sympathise with my clients’ plight and understand once again what it is to learn a language from scratch, I’ve decided to learn Russian.
That and the fact that I’m going to Kazakhstan in the summer.
I’ve only had one lesson so far, but it seems pretty straight forward – everything is different from English and with lots more consonants. And I have to say, to bang my own drum a little here, comparing my Cantonese course with other courses, the one I’m taking live and the CD Berlitz one I bought at Dymocks, I have to say my Cantonese course is holding up quite well.
Like, when you arrive in Kazakhstan for example – is the most important thing to be able to say “I’m a doctor, are you an actor?” Of course, if you accidentally had your arm cut off or something, you’d want to be able to ask bystanders if they were a doctor, but apart from that …
In the Berlitz course, after hello and thank you, comes “I don’t speak Russian.” So … if you can say that in fluent Russian, wouldn’t that just confuse people? Hello, I’m not Russian, I’m a tourist (you don’t say!) … then straight to transport and of course professions.
I’m sure Berlitz methods are tried and tested and with millions of fans, but personally I’ve never arrived in a new country and felt an urgent need to ask people if they are an actress, or tell them that I’m a tourist. They kind of get that.
Now my Cantonese course, on the other hand, starts with being able to order beer. And other drinks! And then onto food. I like my course. It also contains 63% less violence than other courses.
I think you should take it – today!!!