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Go For Gold: Learn to Speak Russian and Conquer the Winter Olympics

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. Learn to Speak Russian for the Sochi Winter Olympics by PimsleurUnderstanding 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.

Learn Spanish and Discover a Culture

The United States of America has a population of 317 million as of 2013. The total population 5 years and over for 2011 was 291 million. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau for this segment showed that 231 million people spoke only English at home and 37.5 million spoke Spanish at home. While 80% of Americans speak English as their primary language, the second most common language spoken in the country is Spanish.

learn-spanish-discover-culture-pimsleurAn impressive 12.8% of Americans speak Spanish, over 37 million people, and that number is only going to grow. As Spanish culture is incorporated in the U.S., the necessity to learn Spanish cannot be denied.

The United States is home to a myriad of dialects hailing from all over the Spanish-speaking world. More and more immigrants arrive in this country every year, with more of them speaking Spanish than any other language. As the melting pot of nations grows, English and Spanish speakers alike are discovering the benefits of being able to communicate, both to improve their lives and to grow culturally.

Where to Learn Spanish

The demands for Spanish classes are at an all-time high. According to the New York Times, institutions such as the New York Public Library have had a long tradition of providing free English classes. But it was not until recently that some branches started offering foreign language classes. Libraries all over the country are now following suit and offering complimentary language courses. However, libraries are only able to offer courses based on community needs and available resources. Space is very limited in most library courses.

A great way to learn Spanish is through the use of self-instructional language courses. Simon and Schuster offers the highly-effective Pimsleur Program, a comprehensive language course that gets the student off and running with the most useful phrases through an intuitive learning process. Offered in different media, MP3’s, audio CDs, and computer software, the digital language courses allow the students to choose their method of learning, whether it’s taking the lessons to the gym on their mobile devices as MP3s, or making the most of traffic while learning a new language in the car on CD. The option to take these lessons with you allows you to easily integrate learning Spanish into any free time you find.

The Benefits of Learning Spanish

Learning Spanish is not just personally rewarding, it is also an opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons. With so many books, movies, and music options being released in Spanish, this is an easy way to tap into the growing market. Taking time to learn Spanish can help open up your mind to exciting new sights and sounds.

New culinary experiences also await those who are inclined to learn Spanish. Spanish cuisine is a perennial favorite across the country. An amazing adventure awaits you if you have the ability to walk into an authentic Mexican restaurant and understand the menu, trying new foods you never would have tasted otherwise because you can now interpret the ingredients.

There are a plethora of reasons to take the time to learn Spanish besides the simple joy of learning a new language. No matter the reason, whether practical, sentimental, or perhaps gastronomic, learning Spanish will be a beneficial skill you can use daily. The Spanish-speaking population is growing in the United States every year and embracing the relationship between English and Spanish speakers will enrich your day-to-day interaction and cultural understanding.


How to Learn a Language in Today’s Global Culture

It is believed that there are approximately 7,000 spoken languages in the world today. About 230 of these languages are spoken throughout Europe with 23 of them being official languages. However, across the Atlantic in the United States, there is no official spoken language. Over 80% of Americans speak only English. In fact, just 15 to 20% of Americans are bilingual, while 56% of Europeans are able to speak multiple languages.

As the global culture evolves, the world is becoming smaller and more immediate. The digital age allows us to communicate and conduct business overseas with ease and efficiency.  how-to-learn-a-language-in-todays-global-culture-pimsleurNever has there been a better time for Americans to considering researching how to learn a language. Being bilingual provides you not just doubled conversational ability, but with life opportunities you might not be aware of.

Learning A New Language Improves Your Employment Opportunities

An ever-growing variety of companies are starting to hire bilingual employees to meet the needs of the growing global business culture. As employers are conducting more business overseas, the need for accurate communication is paramount. By taking the time to research the best language for you to learn with regards to how it applies to your industry, and how to learn a language in general, you often can make yourself more valuable in this highly-competitive job market. Companies are often willing to pay nearly 15% more to an employee who is able to speak multiple languages.

How Learning A Language Enhances Your Travels

Devoting time to learning a new language also provides personal rewards. International travel is on a steady incline as the ability to book trips, research famous sites, and plan travel become increasingly easier. Online travel sites provide accessibility to the world beyond our borders. Planning that amazing trip to Paris or Madrid is relatively stress-free in the digital age. Likewise, making travel plans takes less time these days, leaving more time to focus on how to learn a language to make your trip more enjoyable. Spain, France, Italy and even more exotic locales provide amazing sights and cuisine unique to each country. Being able to learn the native tongue of a country you are traveling to can open up a world of small town gems that you could miss if you were not able to communicate with the locals.

Learning a new language is also growing in popularity. More and more classes and courses are being offered all over America both in person and online. Taking the time to explore new dialects and cultures is a rewarding experience that will enrich your life both personally and professionally. As the growing global culture changes, focusing on how to learn a language will help Americans understand the changing world around them and provide amazing opportunities that can change the course of their lives.