When I was eight years old, I had a mission. I vividly recall my frustration as my mother and grandmother would speak in Russian, knowing I couldn’t understand, whenever there was something said that I wasn’t supposed to hear. That evening I took my mother's Latvian-Russian dictionary and forced her to teach me the alphabet and basic phrases. I took any language dictionaries at school and those lying in our bookshelves that I could fin and said to them both - „one day I will speak it fluently, you’ll see!“.

Whether it was still out of spite or wanting to take my skills and knowledge to a whole new level, I took up learning the language as part of my studies in Germany towards the end of 2016.

Due to Latvia’s historical ties and strong Russian influence, my entire family learned Russian growing up - except for me. Now some might but I saw it as an advantage on my linguistic journey. Its influence upon the Latvian language meant that I automatically knew a lot of phrases from the outset without having even actively set out to learn the language. Just one month after my classes had begun, I met my boyfriend who’s background is Russian which has given my learning a whole new meaning. Our conversations are a blend of German, English and Russian swear words whenever anything annoys us and my days involve Russian conversations with his mother and reading Маша и Медведь (Masha and the Bear) before bed.

I have always felt automatically drawn to Russian people - they are lively, beam with confidence and know how to have a good time. It might be our shared history and eastern block vibe, but the Russian culture is simply so welcoming like no other. Whether you’re a fan of vodka, the Red Square or have always been fascinated by the cyrillic alphabet - learn Russian you’ll be able to converse with 260 million more people in the world! It has broaden my social circle, 

global experience and through learning Russian, I have come across THE FUNNIEST TV series known to mankind where every third sentence is some sort of insult. So get the bratans together and learn some Russian because it will definitely be worthwhile!

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