What is your current profession?
I am a desk officer at the Federal Ministry of Economics in Germany.
Why did you decide to start learning Russian?
Russian offers me new job opportunities. I started learning Russian three years ago in Germany. Now I will be sent to Moscow to work as an economic attaché at the German embassy.
Do you find learning Russian difficult? Which part of it is the easiest and which is the most challenging?
I do find it challenging. To me, the most difficult part of Russian is the proper use of verbs. I am a native German speaker and I also speak English and French. From these languages, the Russian verb system differs quite significantly. The easiest part was learning the alphabet. German loan words also make things easier.
Some people would say that Russian is an exotic language. Would you agree with this statement?
I suppose that to anybody who is not familiar with cyrillic letters or with another Slavonic language Russian is exotic. This, in my opinion, makes Russian even more interesting to learn.
Do you have any other motivation for learning Russian than as a part of your career?
Knowing Russian makes a whole part of the world accessible. In many countries Russian is spoken as a first or second language. Last year, for example, I was in Armenia. Not everyone there was familiar with English, but everyone spoke Russian. Knowing some Russian made my trip much more interesting. Furthermore, to me Russian sounds beautiful. Some letters are pronounced in a very soft way, much softer than in for example German.
What do you like about Liden & Denz ? Do you have any interesting experiences from your time here that you would like to share?
I like the small groups. The teachers are excellent and very professional – patient with the students, but also persistent, without losing their sense of humour. I think I have learned a lot so far.
During my time here I met a diplomat from another country who is also going to work in Moscow.
Going home, what will you miss about Russia?
The Russian hospitality and my favorite Russian beverage, “mors” (a beverage made out of berries, ed. note).
Johanna Ängsås, student at Liden & Denz language centre, St. Petersburg