Foreign Languages, Saint Petersburg

10 Reviews

Know about this?

hide
  • Russian street sign
    Russian street sign
    by HORSCHECK
  • Russian street sign
    Russian street sign
    by HORSCHECK
  • Foreign Languages
    by borcsi
  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Russian and Cyrillic letters

    by HORSCHECK Updated Sep 19, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Russian street sign
    1 more image

    When travelling to Russia be prepared that almost everything is only written in cyrillic letters. Only at airports, a few main train stations and the main sights you will find some English translations.

    The metro for example doesn't have any English translations. Apart from that not many people speak English. So when you are travelling without a guided group it is highly recommended to at least be able to read the cyrillic letters.

    It is helpful to know a few Russian words:

    Thank you = spassibo
    Please = poshalsta
    Good day = sdraswstwujtje
    Entrance = wchod
    Exit = wychod
    Beer = pivo

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • bobs12's Profile Photo

    Mind your tongue

    by bobs12 Written Nov 25, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you're learning Russian, or happen to know some Russian phrases, be sure to watch what you say.

    If you don't have full command of the language, never swear at anyone for any reason, ever. Even 'milder' expletives such as 'kozel' (goat) may have hidden cultural meanings.

    Calling someone a goat may not seem hugely offensive, and in most cases it isn't. But it has a second meaning- in Russian prisons, 'kozel' is the guy who always gets abused in the showers by the other inmates. Enough said.

    Call anyone who has been to prison a 'kozel', and you may be lucky to get away with fractures and concussion.

    Never use the contraction 'devka' to refer to a 'devushka'. 'Devka' is generally used to refer to sluts and prostitutes.

    Russians are singularly unforgiving to foriegners' linguistic mistakes, and are easily offended by such unintended 'insults'.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • siwi's Profile Photo

    Do you speak russian?

    by siwi Updated Feb 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Homeworks in front of the Hermitage

    I started to learn russian in SPB. I was by LIDEN & DENZ , a private school where foreigners may learn russian! It was fantastic from the human point of view because I met a lot of great people. Some are friends now... My teacher Irina was patient and very friendly and I learned a lot with her! And the russian language is terrible but fascinating!!!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Klod5's Profile Photo

    Institut français de Saint-Pétersbourg

    by Klod5 Updated May 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Institut fran��ais de Saint-P��tersbourg

    Ouvert en 1992 par un accord intergouvernemental franco-russe, l'Institut français de Saint-Pétersbourg est l'un des 138 établissements culturels à l'étranger géré par le Ministère des Affaires étrangères français.
    L'Institut français a pour mission de mieux faire connaître la France contemporaine et sa culture à Saint-Pétersbourg et dans la région Nord-Ouest de la Russie ainsi que de promouvoir les échanges intellectuels, artistiques et universitaires.
    Le Service de communication fournit tous les renseignements concernant les manifestations organisées par l'Institut français, et coordonne la cooperation audio-visuelle avec les médias locaux.
    Le Service des manifestations culturelles organise tout au long de l'année des manifestations artistiques, culturelles, intellectuelles les plus représentatives de la création française contemporaine. Il initie et soutient aussi la cooperation entre artistes français et russes.
    La Médiathèque-centre d'information met à disposition du public un grand choix de livres, revues et journaux, films et musiques qu'il est possible de consulter ou emprunter sur différents supports. Son espace multimédia permet la consultation de l'Internet ou de cédéroms.
    Le Centre d'information sur la France contemporaine fournit un vaste ensemble d'informations sur la France contemporaine dans tous les domaines possibles. Il répond à toutes les demandes de renseignements concernant la France de la part de professionnels ou de particuliers.
    Le Bureau EduFrance assiste les étudiants qui desirent étudier en France et communique toutes les informations sur l'enseignement en France.

    L'Institut travaille en coopération avec le Centre de Langue Française qui offre la possibilité aux enseignants de langue française de perfectionner leurs compétences, et le Collège Universitaire Français.
    Enfin l'Institut français de Saint-Pétersbourg travaille en partenariat avec l'Alliance Française.

    20, quai de la Moïka
    191186 Saint-Pétersbourg
    Russie

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • tvdm's Profile Photo

    The language barrier

    by tvdm Written Sep 12, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You won't find many people speaking English or German in Russia, even at major tourist destinations, so a phrase book or a guide is recommended. One tip: learn the alphabet! It'll save you lots of time trying to find out where you are and where you're going. Other than that, the people are open and friendly and it won't be a big problem to get in touch with them. Sharing a wodka or two on a good night out is only one of many ways to get to know some people!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Klod5's Profile Photo

    L'Alliance Française de Saint-Pétersbourg

    by Klod5 Written May 18, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    L'Alliance Fran��aise de Saint-P��tersbourg

    L'Alliance Française est une association à but non lucratif. Elle a été fondée à Paris en 1883 avec pour objectif de promouvoir la France et sa culture en proposant des cours de langue et de civilisation. Par la suite, de nombreux comités locaux se sont créés dans différents pays. Ces comités sont des associations de droit local fondées par des ressortissants de ces pays en fonction de la législation locale. On en compte aujourd'hui plus de 1000 dans plus de 140 pays sur les cinq continents.
    L'Alliance Française de Saint-Pétersbourg a été créée en 1991 (une Alliance avait existé dans cette ville entre 1907 et 1917). Elle est reconnue par l'Alliance Française de Paris et par le Ministère français des Affaires étrangères qui lui apportent également leur soutien. L'Alliance Française collabore avec l'Institut Français créé en 1992 et avec d'autres associations françaises, notamment l'association " Paris-Saint-Pétersbourg ".

    Le premier président de l'Alliance de 1991 à 1994 a été Nikita Tolstoi. Le comité administratif, composé de personnalités du monde culturel et scientifique est présidé par M. Mikhail Piotrovski, Directeur du Musée de l'Ermitage. Traditionnellement l'Attaché culturel près le Consulat Général de France, le Directeur de l'Institut Français est Directeur de l'Alliance Française de Saint-Pétersbourg. Selon l'usage, le Consul Général de France est Président d'honneur de L'Alliance Française de Saint-Pétersbourg.

    Personnel de l'Ecole
    Directeur : G. Dragan
    Comptable : I. Choumny
    Secrétaire : I. Vadatourskaya

    16 rue Joukovskogo,
    Saint-Pétersbourg, Russie

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Russian language, local customs

    by rom777 Written Feb 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have native English, and would like to communicate with somebody from Saint-Petersburg, you can find person, who is leaning English and would like spoken practice.
    I am for example :)
    I can face-to-face tell you about local customs, Russia, Saint-Petersburg, things to do, nightlife, dancelife (salsa, tango), off the beaten paths and can answered of your questions and give other general tips.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Singles

    Was this review helpful?

  • If you speak some russian and...

    by borcsi Written Aug 24, 2002

    If you speak some russian and be able to learn how to say 'Two tickets please' without an accent, you can try to get into museums as russian. You can save a lot as fees could be as low as 1/10th of the normal price. (Although, it is hard, if you don't look like russian, they will spot it out easily and you have to pay the full rip-off-rich-western-tourists price... :(( )

    Was this review helpful?

  • mshuey's Profile Photo

    Try to learn a few Russian...

    by mshuey Written Aug 25, 2002

    Try to learn a few Russian phrases such as hello, thank you, goodbye, my name is, may I, etc. It's amazing how much people appreciate your attempt at trying to speak their language no matter how bad you are at it. Sometimes it's a real icebreaker.

    Was this review helpful?

  • cosmogypsy's Profile Photo

    Discounted Entrance

    by cosmogypsy Written Oct 3, 2003

    While I was in St. Petersburg, I had a guide. I didn't really want one, but that is another story. Most of the museums or churches have a price for Russians and a price for foreigners. The Foreigners of course paid a lot more than the Russians (example: The Hermitage Russians pay 15 Roubles, Foreigners pay 300 Roubles). Our tour guide would tell us the foreigner price and then say, “but I can get you in for half that, do you want to go?” So we would pay half the price and she would sneak us in the back door. I guess this was common business in St. Petersburg.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Saint Petersburg

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

70 travelers online now

Comments

View all Saint Petersburg hotels