Russian language immersion. Would it be worth it?

Bougie55

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Apr 12, 2019
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I am seriously considering doing about 3 to 6 months of Russian language immersion in either Russia or Ukraine. I want to learn Russian for my own love of the language but also to have a skill that I can potentially use on a team. Would it be worth it to go into selection with that experience beforehand and would there be any security clearance issues once in?
 

Devildoc

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At one point Norwich University had one of the best immersive Russian language programs in the US. I don't know if they still do it.

I took 3 years of it in college. One of the easier languages to pick up once you get the Cyrillic alphabet.
 

Bambi

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Feb 1, 2019
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Before jumping head first into a culture you know nothing about, find Russians/Ukr/Kazakhs either in RL or somehow else, and become able to hold basic conversations. According to my Finnish friend, Americans are super easy to spot as tourists. I would not recommend looking like an American in RU/UKR. Just my .2¢
 

Ooh-Rah

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Before jumping head first into a culture you know nothing about, find Russians/Ukr/Kazakhs either in RL or somehow else, and become able to hold basic conversations. According to my Finnish friend, Americans are super easy to spot as tourists. I would not recommend looking like an American in RU/UKR. Just my .2¢
Leave the advice giving in Special Operations threads, to those who participate in Army Special Operations.

Please and thank you.
 

sp3ctor3

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I will tell you that immersion is always worth as that I find is the best way to really learn a language. I know Russian fluently (read/write). You ever need any help with something let me know. I am a pro and I took the proficiency test in the military.
 

Salt USMC

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I'm debating on whether I should learn Russian or Mandarin.
You can’t really go wrong with either. If you read the latest National Defense Strategy, both China and Russia are at the top of the list for priorities in the "Great Power competition" arena. From that you can surmise that either Russian or Mandarin will be a priority language for a while. If I'm reading the tea leaves, I'd say to go with Mandarin over Russian.

That being said, you also need to consider a language that you will actually be interested in studying. It's great to have a cat IV language going into the military, but languages require constant upkeep to stay fluent. Even if you've studied the language for a while, if you don't really enjoy learning it then it will be much more difficult to stay current and maintain useful fluency. So that's something to consider.
 

Devildoc

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I took three years of Russian in college, that was before the fall of the Berlin Wall when the Soviet Union was still a thing, and Soviet and Russian studies were very competitive and hard to get into. I was not in Russian studies, but believed it was the best language I could take where I was.

The wall fell my senior year in college, and suddenly it wasn't as popular lol. Back then with glasnost and perestroika everyone thought the US and Russia would engage in a group hug singing kumbaya. It seems like Russian studies is a thing again, increasingly so over the last 20 years or so.

When I graduated I was decent with reading, and pretty good with speaking. It did not take long at all of not using it for me to lose that skill.
 

Iadnerit

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Jul 22, 2020
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Yes, it will definitely be useful for you. To begin with, you can find people from these regions and communicate with them
 
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