Russian Movies: the most pleasing way to learn Russian
If you are looking for a lazy and a really pleasing way to learn Russian, we’d advise watching the Russian movies. The subtitles will make the plot easier to understand, and the life-like situations will get you acquainted with the necessary vocabulary. Here is a small selection of the movies we’d offer you to start with.
“The 12 chairs”
When the revolution started the aristocrats believed that it all was temporal and that everything would be back as it had to. So they invented tricky ways to hide their possessions, for example, a lady from this movie thought it would be a good idea to hide them inside the chair cushion. An unpleasant and unexpected thing about that was that all the 12 chairs were confiscated as well. So after she dies her son-in-law is on a mission to find the right chair with all the family jewels. A sly fraud is going to accompany him providing the viewer with all sorts of comic situations.
What you’ll learn. This classical comedy is quoted so often that many of the remarks have entered the everyday language as if they were there from the beginning of times. “The ice broke”, “Don’t teach me how to live”, “No, this isn’t Rio de Janeiro” – all of these come from this movie.
Spoiler alert: It is hilarious!
“Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia”
This movie is also about looking for a treasure hidden by former aristocrats during the revolution, only this time the foreigners try to find it. An old woman in Italy tells her granddaughter about the hidden money and jewellery, but a bunch of other people hears the story too. All of them fly to Moscow to compete in searching for the buried treasure, having quite confusing instructions from the old lady.
What you’ll learn. A simple yet very refined Petersburg-style Russian language, with a little bit of sightseeing vocabulary. Not that you are going to become somebody’s guide, but just in case.
Spoiler alert: Everyone gets the treasure he deserves.
“The Diamond Arm”
A seemingly faultless plan – to put the jewels into the orthopedic cast for smuggling – breaks apart when the wrong person gets the very expensive treatment. The smugglers have no other choice but to follow a timid man who accidentally appeared on their way.
What you’ll learn. Basic but quite innocent vocabulary for swearing as a bonus to a wide variety of words and expressions to describe everyday life, hobbies and travelling.
Spoiler alert: you’ll want to watch it once again. And probably again.
“How I became a Russian”
This is a comparatively new TV-series about a journalist from the USA who is on a long-term business trip to Russia. He tries to get accustomed to the country and the people around him. All his observations are described in his blog. The most unexpected thing about this TV-series is that it is rated higher in China than the legendary Game of Thrones. Maybe it doesn’t contain blood and dragons, but it’s capable of granting a really good mood.
What you’ll learn. You’ll learn the newest modern word expressions that can be easily used in your everyday communication. As a bonus, you will get acquainted with all the little misunderstandings that can happen to a foreigner in Russia.
Spoiler alert. You’ll laugh a lot.
How to actually learn Russian through the movies
When you start watching an exciting movie, at some point you don’t pay attention to the language. It’s great from some point of view because it means you are diving into the language. But at the same time, you miss on the new words and expressions that could enrich your vocabulary. So there is a little piece of advice to benefit the most from watching the movies in Russian:
- Use the subtitles at first.
- Watch the movies with a native speaker. He or she will explain to you all the peculiar plot twists and the cultural background that could be not obvious.
- Keep the notebook on hand to write down new words and expressions.
- Watch the same movie once again, only this time without any subtitles.
The nature of human brain is amazing – having watched a movie will feel like having had a vivid real-life conversation. So if planting yourself into the speaking environment is not an option right now, have fun and watch some Russian movies.
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