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Moscow



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

One should try to learn the Russian alphabet before coming. English is not widely used. There are language classes available. - Oct 31, 2017
Yes, you will need some Russian when shopping. But I have very low level and have few problems. Many food delivery sites are in English and there are English menus in many places. - Sep 26, 2016
You can get by with little Russian but it will limit your ability to get things done. - May 17, 2016
Yes, it's possible to survive in Moscow with only basic Russian skills - I did it - but you'll enjoy the city far more if you have a stronger grasp of the language. Warning: understanding the cyrillic alphabet is absolutely essential, or you won't even be able to read street signs and find your way home. - Sep 11, 2015
You need to have basic Russian at the least and learn the alphabet. Post does offer language classes. - Jun 30, 2015
You definitely need basic Russian and understanding of the Cyrillic alphabet to get by. The Embassy does offer classes starting with survival Russian, but a simple trip to the grocery will require some comprehension even if you can't think of the right words! - Oct 14, 2014
The more, the better. - Feb 17, 2014
The more Russian you know, the easier it is to live here. The street signs and signs on the metro are in Cyrillic only so a basic knowledge of the alphabet is a must. Some spouses who don't know Russian barely ever leave the Embassy compound which is a shame in such an interesting city. - Nov 13, 2013
Russian significantly helps. In tourist areas or diplomatic functions, English is sufficient but knowing Russian makes everything much easier, especially in the regions outside Moscow. - Jul 28, 2013
Quite a lot. There is not a lot of English here, and navigating the city without knowing how to read Cyrillic would make life very difficult. Russians are good at inferring what you are attempting to say in Russian, but the more Russian you have, the easier your time here will be. - Jul 18, 2013
I know the alphabet and a few dozen words. I get by just fine. - Jan 13, 2013
Little. Take the survival course at the embassy and you'll get the basics. Just about every restaurant that isn't a mom-and-pop shop will have an English menu if you ask. - Mar 14, 2012
As much as possible! Most Russians don't speak English, most signs aren't translated. It's best if you can at least shop in Russian and at least be able to decipher Cyrillic. - May 29, 2011
To get around safely and efficiently, you really need some Russian --- more is better. People with no Russian struggle here, although more younger people speak English than before. - Jan 1, 2011
Depends. For basic survival you need some but not much. Obviously, the more Russian you have, the more life becomes easier and enjoyable. - Jul 31, 2010
The more you can get the better. Cyrillic is difficult to learn, and the words are very long. - May 22, 2010
Some is nice. At least be able to read Cyrillic to get around. I picked up some language here and there, but I wish I had more language training, even just 3 months' worth. - May 5, 2010
The ability to read Cyrillic letters is a must. Basic Russian makes things much, much easier, and more enjoyable. - Feb 13, 2010
A lot - Moscow is not very accessible for non-Russian speakers. You should at least take a survival Russian course before you come or else you will be totally lost here. Only the highly educated can speak English dependably, so most basic transactions are conducted solely in Russian. - Jan 23, 2010
You need to learn to decode Cyrrilic at the VERY least. Tourist level Russian would be enough, but you'd notice the difference in your quality of life and your attachment to your surroundings if you learned a bit more than that. - Nov 6, 2009
If you stay on the NEC, none! I'm not recommending this however! The language is HARD. And you need to know some. It's not like some countries where everybody speaks English. People who run vegetable stands do not speak English. But you can always point. They will turn the calculator around so you can see the amount of rubles you need to pay. People turn around and stare because you are speaking English with a friend. What year is this? Russia seems so isolated sometimes! - Oct 24, 2009
At the very, very least learn the Cyrillic alphabet. Russian is a difficult language, but it's worth it to learn some basics because there are not many Russians out in town that speak English. - Aug 22, 2009
You can get by with numbers and basics, but it is a challenge. - Jul 12, 2009
I speak Russian quite well, and I can't really imagine getting by without it (especially outside of Moscow). At the very least, you need to know the Cyrillic alphabet, if only to recognize your metro stop. - Sep 12, 2008
You'll at least need a survival course to get by since many Muscovites don't know English. - Aug 25, 2008