Met at Liden & Denz – Yong Cheol Choi

Yong Cheol Choi comes from South Korea and is a marketing manager in an electronics company. Here is his story:  

How did you come up with the idea of learning Russian and why in Russia?

I have worked with the Russian market for 6 years in my company. So far I have only communicated with my Russian clients in English, but I am sure that if I learn Russian it will help me to improve business. It could also give me an opportunity to work in our office in Moscow or some of our many other offices in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan for example. And now my company pays for my Russian lessons here for about one year.

A lot of people consider learning Russian a challenge. Would you agree with this statement? What do you find easy and what do you find difficult?

I had never studied Russian before I came here. Also in my opinion, it is very difficult to study Russian especially for Asian people. Because it is very different from our mother tongue. There is no easy part.  Pronunciation, the words, grammar,  everything is difficult. And sometimes I need to translate from my language into English then into Russian. It is very hard and takes time. But Liden & Denz helps me a lot.

What do you like about your stay with Liden & Denz?

I like that you offer some activities, to go sightseeing together and learn about the buildings in the city etc. And at the vodka party I can meet people from other countries. I have a friend who studies at the university here and in his class there are almost only Asian people, but here mainly European people and also people from many other parts of the world.

Russian is by many considered an “exotic language”. Would you agree and why?

I agree, because the Russian language has genders. It is exotic for me and also that you can change the word order thanks to the cases. We don’t have that in Korean.

Can you compare your stay in Russia with any other experiences of travelling?

So far I have been to about 40 different countries. But here in Russia is very different for me than others. I have seen a lot of classical and fascinating cathedrals and museums  that I have never seen anywhere else. Also, there are a lot of nice parks and nature.

Which experiences or impressions made in Russia will you never forget?

Last week I was on Kizhi island and we were seven people from six different countries. There were three people with Korean heritage from three different countries – me, from Korea, an American Korean and a Russian Korean. It was very interesting. Now we are all friends keeping in touch with each other.

Going back home, what will you miss about Russia?

I might miss everything. I like the scenery here, the classical buildings, beautiful parks and great restaurants. And also Liden & Denz and all of you whom I met in Russia.

Johanna Ängsås is a Swedish student, a current intern and studying Russian at Liden & Denz, St. Petersburg

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