Hero of the Russian language: Rupert Hitsch
Liden & Denz gives us the possibility not only to improve our Russian skills but also to meet students from all over the world. Listening to their diverse and interesting stories is, without any doubts, one of the most inspiring parts of the journey because it allows us to come into contact with diffent cultures, interests, life decisions, and learn from them.
Rupert started studying at Liden & Denz one year ago at the A1 level and has already reached C1. We asked him to share his story, including his motivation for learning Russian and feelings about the city that has been his home for one year.
Why did you decide to study Russian?
First of all, after my high school studies, I was not sure what I wanted to study at university so I decided to get acquinted with a new cultural circle. I chose Russia as a country and St. Petersburg as a city because of its cultural history. I have always been passionate about Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and I am also interested in Russian literature as to me, Dovstoevsky is one of the greatest writers ever. Moreover, being from Austria as well as from Hong Kong, I speak German and Chinese. For Russia, Germany and China are the most important trading partners, so I thought that learning Russian could be useful for future potential job opportunities.
Do you have any study tips for fellow students learning Russian?
I think it is always important to be interested in what you are learning and since Russian is such a diverse language, if you try you will find something to learn that you are interested in. In my case, I really wanted to read Russian classics in Russian and it is immensely satisfactory when you realise that you know the language enough to understand them. For this reason, my suggestion is to try to learn things that you actually like, and not just what you have been told to learn.
Can you suggest any places to meet Russian people and improve your language skills?
Russian speaking clubs are really useful, you can meet Russian people who are trying to learn a foreign language, especially English. Another option is joining a Russian sports team or a Russian gym to make new Russian friends.
What are you going to miss most about Russia?
First of all, the people. Certain people that I met here have become some of my closest friends. Before due to stereotypes in western culture, I had thought that Russian people were distant and cold. Once you come here you realise they are incredibly nice and open-hearted and that is why I am going to miss them so much. I will also miss the vibrant cultural life that I can have here and the unique vibe that St. Petersburg gives off. On one hand, it is one of the centres of Russian history and culture, the city where some of the most important writers based their stories, but nowadays it is also becoming a technological hub with some of the most qualified IT specialists.
What is your favourite Russian word?
My favourite Russian word is мост, bridge, because, to me, Russia symbolises a cultural bridge between Europe and Asia.