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Language Fun Facts: Russian Edition

April 19, 2017

 

In Russian it is widely believed that cases represent the biggest difficulty in learning the language. This is because it is less well known that verbs of motion are very hard to learn.

 

In Russian there are ‘aspects’ which most often describe the frequency to which someone goes somewhere. For each verb of motion, such as ‘to go’ or ‘to run’ there are two verbs. One will be used if someone goes to the bakery often, the other if it’s only once.  It will also be implied in Russian verbs whether John, who went to the bakery, came back from the bakery or if he is still there.

 

To make it short, only one word can contain this amount of information: the way the person is walking, how often and whether or not they came back. There are also other subtleties such as if John went to another place before going to the bakery or even if he had to go around a building to go to the bakery. It is a great economy of words, but also drag to learn. 

 

So if you're not sure of which Russian verb of motion to use if John walked around a building to go to the bakery only once and is still there now, give us a shout and we'd be happy to lend a helping hand!

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