Time to bone up on my Russian

I grew up in the former USSR until the age of 9 so by all accounts I am a “native” speaker of Russian.  However, having lived in Canada for 20 years and only conversing in the mother tongue with my parents and sometimes my siblings, my language skills have quickly deteriorated.  They were being kept alive when I was living at home, but now that I have been on my own for the last 3 years and only speak Russian maybe once or twice a week it has really taken a dramatic down turn.  Both of my grammar and vocabulary are probably somewhere around the five year-old mark right now and frankly, it is embarrassing.

I was thinking of signing up for some Russian lessons, but due to my financial situation I don’t think I can spend 400 bones on the endeavor, but I have, however, come up with a free alternative…Russian Podcasts!  I have been hearing of these mythical “Podcasts” for years now but have never really taken the time to peruse the selection of free ones on iTunes.  Until today that is.  There are 7 pages alone under “Russian Podcasts” so I have subscribed to four of them and hope that with regular listening to Russian conversation the language centers of my brain will start to get rid of the cobwebs and make some new connections.  Of course, part of this will have to be practicing the language so I may have to make some sort of weekly commitment to have a longer than normal conversation with Ma or Pa to practice.  Or seek some Russian people out in Toronto who will swap their Russian skills for my English ones.  I can speak mad English yo!

One of the main reasons I would love to be a better Russian speaker is because Russians have this amazing style of humour (based part in the character of the people and part in the language itself) that I would love to acquire myself.  There are simple off the cuff remarks that my dad can make, for example, that leave everyone in stitches around the dinner table.  And that is what I am aiming for.  Snorted milk through the nostrils would be a bonus…


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