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How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

I don't know any of it, but it would be helpful for getting gas, grocery shopping, ordering food, etc. You can get by without it, but it makes things harder. It's especially difficult when trying to communicate with the house helpers/drivers. - Mar 5, 2017
Not required if you don't interact much but it is good to have a few words or phrases in Russian or Azeri. - Jul 4, 2015
I came without a word of Russian or Azeri and have learned about fifteen words since I've come. That said, I stay home all day most days and so have very little contact with the locals. My husband speaks both, so when I go out to the grocery store he's with me. If I need a translator, I call my housekeeper. Most people have drivers who will act as translators. - Jan 29, 2013
Well, most people more than 30 years old know Azeri and Russian. The younger than 20-year-olds only know Azeri. I learned some Russian before coming. It really is necessary to know one of the languages. I know enough words to get me by at the markets, etc. - Dec 22, 2011
A little Russian is helpful, especially with taxi drivers. If you pick up a few phrases in Russian and/or Azeri you should be ok for shopping, eating out. - Sep 9, 2010
You need Russian at the very least. Not many people learn Azeri (except for the numbers, which you will need in the markets). Most labels are in Russian or Azeri. - Aug 21, 2010
We got by with none but it is very difficult. The older generation speak russian and azerbaijani, but the younger generation only speaks azerbaijani. - Oct 1, 2009
A little helps but you can usually get away with non if you are willing to find a translator. - Nov 5, 2008
It is fairly easy to get by day to day in English but having basic Russian or Azeri will be helpful. - Sep 29, 2008
Azerbaijani really helps you get around and garners lots of good will, which makes living in Baku much more pleasant. You can also get by on Russian in Baku, but it doesn't inspire the same positive reaction. - Sep 9, 2008