Lauren Ryan has more reason than most to learn Russian – her boyfriend was born in Russia and she will be hoping to converse in his native tongue when they visit Russia in the next few years.
“I took the Russian beginners class in Coláiste Chiaráin in Leixlip to learn his language,” says Lauren, who loves languages and took on Irish as an extra subject in her degree. “And I wanted to do something to challenge me after I had finished my degree.
“I’m absolutely loving it. Whilst I have a good grasp of speaking Russian, I wanted to improve my reading – the Russian alphabet is completely different. But it’s so much easier to learn Russian when you can read it, as it is literal and phonetic. Once you can read it, you can sound it out.”
With seven people in the group, there is great variety – and tutor Rodica Darii comes in for great praise. “Rodica has a great way of explaining everything and she talks us through what we’re doing so that it’s easy to understand. She also finds new things for us to do at home so that we practice during the week. She puts her heart and soul into it.”
“People in the class want to travel in Russia and be able to speak the language, which I think is great. The class makes is so that you wouldn’t be apprehensive now about speaking Russian.
“There’s a massive Russian community in Ireland and Russian people are so proud of their language and heritage. And I think it’s really cool that people here are learning Russian for their own personal reasons.”
For Lauren, being able to communicate in Russian now means she can text her boyfriend’s mother in Russian!