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Slavonic Studies

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Beginners Course: Slavonic Studies

The first year of the ab initio Russian course is intended to introduce you to the basics of the Russian language (in papers SLA1 and SLA2), as well as to the interdisciplinary study of Russian culture (paper SLA3). You will attend classes and small-group supervisions for language work, as well as lectures and supervisions for your work on cultural and literary topics.

By the end of the year, you should be able to use elementary grammar and syntax with a reasonable degree of confidence and accuracy, and should have sufficient vocabulary to be able to engage in simple conversation, tell a story, and translate simple texts. You will also have read a range of short 19th and 20th-century texts in Russian and will have studied key events and issues in Russian cultural history from the medieval period to the present.

Russian belongs to the group of Slavonic languages, and although there are many similarities between Russian and Romance and Germanic languages, there are many differences too, so the learning curve in the first year is very steep. You are strongly advised to study as much basic Russian grammar as possible before you arrive in Cambridge.

Additional independent study and/or attending language courses either in Great Britain or abroad is encouraged. Ab initio students, on completion of their first year, are encouraged to attend a summer language course in a Russian-speaking destination. Some financial assistance is usually available.

Summer Preparation