Number of people learning Russian English

Is there way to know the total number of people learning Russian from English?

11,996 have started, 481 are learning it this week.

How do I know that?

I just briefly added myself to that language, went into the 100 most common collection, and kept hitting the first option in multiple choice until I got one question right (because I have little idea about the Russian alphabet), then checked the scoreboards.

I was at the bottom of the all time scoreboard (in 11,997th place with 4 points), and at the bottom (in 482nd place) for the week.

There may be a few more who have their scores hidden, but probably not enough to make a material difference. There may also be people who started but then deleted the language (me, for example) but again probably not many. Subtract 1 from my places shown on the leaderboards because I’m no longer there, and you get the totals in the first paragraph.


That’s a decent investigative work. Too bad you are no longer with us. Also too bad that comment section feature is so inactive comparing to other languages. Hopefully more people will come up with questions and suggestions in the future.

1 Like

When I encounter a mistake in an English translation of a Russian sentence, I generally report it here and either fix it at Tatoeba or leave a comment there. When I encounter a mistake in a Russian sentence, I generally report it here and leave a comment at Tatoeba. Finally, when I have a question about a Russian sentence, I generally leave a comment at Tatoeba (or write a private message to one of the Russian speakers I know there). But I don’t tend to post comments on Russian sentences here very often. My feeling is that that’s not the best way to reach native Russian speakers.

I’m a native Russian speaker and a Russian tutor and I use this site on a regular basis now, playing with my students. If you have any questions, feel free to ask here - I’d be happy to try and help out.


Many thanks for offering. In fact, I do have a question.

I’ve heard кушать/покушать used as synonyms for есть/поесть in the sense of “eat”. The people who do this happen to be Russian speakers from Odessa. But when I used покушать to mean “eat” when speaking with a former co-worker from St. Petersburg, she told me that this word was only used in this sense by children or by people speaking to children. Yet when I look at Reverso Context, I don’t see that distinction, and my Odessan friends don’t make that distinction, either. Maybe the restriction of покушать to speech by/to children is a feature of St. Petersburg speech? Or maybe only the people around my co-worker (her family and friends, perhaps) made this distinction?

That’s a very good question, and you’re thinking in the right direction. It’s a regional difference.

From the perspective of standard modern Russian “есть” is neutral and can be used in any situation, whereas “кушать” is a special ‘etiquette’ form, meant to be reserved mostly for children or talking to guests - inviting them to the table, asking if they’re hungry or not etc. This word has extra warmth and tenderness to it. That’s why it’s acceptable to use it when talking to others, but if you use it talking about yourself it might come across as awkward.

There’s an article explaining this in more details - «Есть» или «кушать» - как правильно?.

It’s a good one, but I would recommend to take it with a grain of salt because there’s regional differences and natural changes in the language happening over time. For example how they say that it’s acceptable for women to use it, talking about themselves, but never for the men. This might sounds like a problematic statement, but in reality, as a general observation, I would say, it’s accurate. Still it’s not that strict and the lines are blurred.

1 Like

Many thanks for the interesting notes. The Russian page didn’t get into the regional differences, but I should mention that my two Odessan friends who do not distinguish between есть and кушать are both male adults in their fifties.

Yes, people from the South tend to speak a little ‘funny’. It’s both the accent and the lexicon itself. My grandmother and grandfather were from Kursk and both of them, especially grandfather carried some words and expressions weird to Russians brought up in the Central part; also unlike grandmother grandfather was very stubborn and never even tried to change the way he pronounced his ‘г’ - it’s a sound in-between “г” and “x”, typical for Southern regions.
Also Odessa being a port city is famous for it’s peculiar Russian because it has absorbed so much from other languages. Yiddish would be one of the major influences due to the large Jewish population. Quite fascinating stuff.

1 Like

Thanks LuciusVorenusX for the footwork!

1 Like