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

English proficiency is not great on the street; some ability in Russian is pretty much essential, though people in stores/restaurants are usually pretty indulgent of foreigners struggling with Russian. - Oct 19, 2017
It is essential to know Russian at this post. Few people are fluent in English. If you are creative with your hands and facial expressions, you can often get your point across. Russian is not an easy language to learn. There are quite a few language classes and tutors around town if you're brave. - Oct 7, 2016
It is not hard to get around, quite a few taxi drivers speak enough English to help you out. There are challenges when shopping and ordering food. Most of my friends speak enough to help us get by. - Jun 18, 2014
Basic Russian is very useful. - Sep 13, 2010
At least a bit of Russian is essential--you should know how to order in a restaurant and read cyrilic. Don't bother with Kazakh. - Jul 20, 2008
Tourist-level: numbers, greetings, directions, food/drink items. - Jan 29, 2008