It comes once every four years. Athletes from every corner of the globe descend upon a chosen nation to exhibit their talents in the ceremonial competition known as the Winter Olympics. This year, the 2014 Winter Olympics travels to Sochi, Russia. Thousands of athletes from around the world will descend upon Sochi come February. If you are one of those lucky enough to travel to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, then taking the time to learn to speak Russian will ensure that your investment will be just as personally historic as the games themselves are for the rest of the world.
The Surprising Choice for the Winter Games
Russia is the largest country on the planet, spanning the continents of Europe and Asia. The city of Sochi is located on the coast of the Black Sea, near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia. A resort city in the summer, Sochi is a surprising choice for winter sports, as its gorgeous coastline and mild winter days are unlike the common arctic conditions across the country. This city is extremely attractive for Olympic tourists who are looking for winter scenery with a less harsh environment.
Putting forth the effort to learn to speak Russian will also provide Olympic travelers with unique cultural opportunities. The city of Sochi is gorgeous and well-maintained, providing travelers with the opportunity of experiences beyond the Olympic festivities. The Sochi Hall of Organ and Chamber Music, as well as the Festival Concert Hall are world renowned for their performance of both classical and traditional Russian music. Understanding the language will help the traveler enjoy these performances and appreciate the content and meaning. The Winter Theater is also an impressive venue, housing plays and theatrical performances many of which are Russian classics. Many of these plays are not often performed in the United States and seeing them might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Learn To Speak Russian To Simplify Local Travel
With the temporary population increase that will be taking Sochi by storm, and the dislocation it can cause, it will be of great benefit to learn to speak Russian. Local businesses, such as restaurants, shops, and hotels will be bustling weeks before and especially during the games. Being able to speak Russian will help travelers communicate and complete transactions with ease and security. Checking into a hotel may seem like a painless endeavor; however, with a surge of spectators, press, and dignitaries flocking to the coastal city of Sochi this winter, there are bound to be double bookings or lost reservations. When unfortunate events befall travelers, it would be to their benefit to be able to speak Russian and resolve the issues with as little stress as possible.
Traveling local roads and highways isn’t easy in foreign nations. The Russian alphabet is intricate and consists of thirty-three characters, seven more than that of the English alphabet. This vastly different letter system makes street signs and directions extremely difficult for those not familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet. Taking the time to learn to speak and read Russian will help get travelers to their desired destination.
Being able to experience the Olympic Games in person will likely be the experience of one’s dreams. But thrilling competition and incredible ceremonies are only part of this epic journey. Put in the time to learn to speak Russian before you get on that plane to be a part of athletic history. The effort will surely open up the city of Sochi and give the adventure of a lifetime.