For this week's Mango Monday in honor of the Victory Day holiday in the Russian Federation we will present Russian.

According to Mango, Russian is spoken by nearly 278 million speakers in the Russian Federation, former parts of the Soviet Union and in San Javier, Uruguay, as well as in Russian communities worldwide. "As a key global player in business, economics, and world politics, speaking Russian is a strategic, rewarding move for any global citizen. Likewise, learning Russian introduces you to a fascinating, long-standing culture rich in influential literature, philosophy, and world history. As the largest country in the world in size, your new Russian know-how will take you far and wide across the globe."

Russian is a Slavic language that uses the 33 character Cyrillic alphabet, which was developed from Greek. Some of the letters will look familiar, and some will look strange. The great thing about the language is that unlike English, it is regularly phonetic. Once you learn what sounds the letters make, you will be able to read with confidence.

Mango has extensive lessons on Conversation with supplemental lessons on Slang and Superstitions. Our key phrases from the week come from the Superstition lessons. Mango developers explain:

Almost all cultures have superstitions and people who believe them. You can definitely find a lot of superstitious people in Russia: probably more than in any other European country. The Russians do all sorts of unusual things to keep bad luck at bay. The majority of these beliefs come from the Pagan era, and neither the Russian Orthodox Church nor the Soviet regime were able to destroy them. You will learn the meanings behind several Russian superstitions and how Russians react to them. This will help you know more about Russian people and their culture.

Here is the lesson from Russian Supersitions Chapter 1: Let's knock on wood

  • You look like a ghost. What happened? на тебе лица нет. что случилось?
  • Oh! I'm scared to death. Ох! Я до смерти перепугался.
  • On my way home a black cat crossed my path. По пути домой мне перешёл дорогу чёрный кот.
  • Oh, my god! Did you turn around? Боже мой! Ты повернул назад?
  • Of course. But still, to be safe, let's knock on wood Конечно. Но давай ещё на всякий случай постучим по деревую

Russian is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.