Along with Brazil, Russia is the other junior member of the BRICs (see Part 1 for more on the BRIC concept.)
While it's not necessarily the country that's first on America's list of future economic competitors, it's expected to be a player. And, if Goldman Sachs is right, Russia, a resource-rich nation, will overtake Italy's economy in 2018; France's in 2024; the UK's in 2027 and Germany's in 2028 -- that's assuming that none of its underlying problems (a declining population, Vladimir Putin's heavy-handed politics, environmental deterioration, etc.) become too severe.
Throughout the Cold War, the Russian language was very in vogue. When the Wall fell in 1989, it faded. Now, if the economic predictions hold true, it could become the language of the future yet again. As of this moment, there's no shortage of good podcasts that can get you speaking a little Russian. First, we'll point you to A Spoonful of Russian (iTunes - Feed - Web Site). This well-reviewed podcast gives you a chance to learn conversational Russian from a native Russian speaker (Natalia Worthington), and when it comes to teaching the alphabet, they use video to teach Cyrillic letters.
Next, if you're looking to do business in Russian, this podcast is for you. Simply called
Business Russian (iTunes Feed Web Site) this series, presented by the UCLA Center for World Languages, teaches students, as you could guess, the essentials of Russian business communication. Finally, to give things a little more of an intellectual twist, we present
Russian Literature (iTunes Feed), another UCLA podcast that lets users improve their
comprehension and vocabulary by listening to excerpts from Tolstoy,
Gogol, Chekhov and other Russian literary greats.
Finally, if you're looking for a more comprehensive approach to learning Russian, we've listed several products on the market in our new Amazon store.
See our complete collection of Foreign Language Lesson Podcasts.
Check in tomorrow for our third installment dedicated to speaking Hindi.