Met at Liden & Denz: Peter Karajov
Peter Karajov comes from Bulgaria and uses Russian every single day for work. Here is his story:
Why have you decided to come to Moscow and learn Russian?
I got an interesting assignment from Heineken Bulgaria, and Moscow sounded like an exciting opportunity for further development of my career.
Will Russian be useful for your job/your career?
Absolutely! I use Russian language every day. It is for me a door-opener, as speaking in Russian allows me to somehow let people relax and feel comfortable even when the topics are related to business (which is the case predominantly).
What was your first contact with Russian?
I studied (big word!) at school 25 years ago, yet with not a big engagement and desire. I never knew that one day it will be good to speak Russian. So the moral is: in case of opportunity to learn something, grab it, and learn; who knows, maybe one day this piece of knowledge might be useful.
What was your first impression of Moscow?
Big specious streets, great skies, many cars, air smelling like petrol, lots of places to go, a lot of things for kids, and very nice women…
What’s easy about learning Russian?
In my case, the Cyrillic alphabet is the easy thing. This allows me to read and is of great help to visualize the words, which in the end of the day is important as this way the words get a double coding in my memory – one verbal and one visual. Plus, reading in Russian makes it easy to put the dots together when something is not clear only based on what I heard people say.
What is particularly hard?
The various ways a verb can sound (sorry I do not remember what was the grammar term for this; probably form?!?) and the cases. But this was just in the beginning; now I kind of feel the language already. And if I consciously pay attention to what I try to say, I almost make no mistake with the cases. BUT when I am tired or affected and lose focus a bit, the mistakes come back again. So, there is still to learn, and one day the critical mass will appear and the automation of the language will be there to stay.
Could you imagine living and working in Russia in the future?
Yes, I am getting used to that every day. I say this with all the disadvantages in mind. But generally, I like it here. Maybe because the problems which my Russian colleagues and friends are facing are not far from me, being Bulgarian. You know “Курица не птица, Болгария не заграница!” ;-)))