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I’ve mentioned before that TV can be a great way to learn a language, so this week I decided to delve further into Russian TV than I’ve ever ventured before. The programmes in question are, purely down to the fact that they could be found on YouTube:

Кто хочет стать миллионером? The Russian version of Who wants to be a millionaire?

Самый Умный, roughly translated as ‘the Cleverest’.

And finally выжитъ после, a thriller/drama also known as ‘The Day After’.

Having seen the English version of Who wants to be a millionaire? it’s safe to say that this was the programme that I initially felt most comfortable with – the Russian format is the same, and it was easier to follow than Самый Умный given that the questions and answers also appeared on screen whilst the host also read them aloud for the audience. All in all, great for picking up bits of vocabulary and improving pronunciation.

Самый Умный was hectic, well at least the episodes that I watched. Not only are the questions read at lightening speed, but the contestant has to also answer them as quickly as possible. Did it help with my Russian? Probably not as it was difficult to understand a word of what was being said, but for entertainment value, I would definitely score it pretty high – it’s a wonder the host manages to draw breath between questions!

After listening to breakneck speed Russian, выжитъ после offered some light relief, if you could call it that. The premise of the series is particularly interesting: “A drug company, attempting to create a perfect human race, releases a virus which proves to be deadly. People are dying by the thousands, but eleven strangers, who wake up in a bunker with no memory of how they got there, find themselves responsible for determining the future of all mankind” (IMDB). Despite being only a couple of episodes in, I am keen to keep watching – admittedly a lot of the Russian seems to go straight over my head, but as it very context driven you can start to pick up a few words, phrases and meanings in a very short space of time – plus I now want to know how it ends!

So, after dipping once again into Russian TV, my advice would be to do the same – it’s great for language learning for so many reasons but if nothing else, you will at least find it intensely entertaining as I did!

Until next time, до свидания.

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