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Author Topic: Kazakhstan -Almaty - Алматы - Alma-Ata - Алма-Ата - Verniy - Верный  (Read 14105 times)

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Offline AKA Luke

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Hello Guppy, I only spent a few days in Almaty but spent a week in Astana. I preferred Almaty as a city, has more character and it is an eclectic city where you can go a few blocks and find quite a different ambience and architectural style. Almaty also has a very multicultural population, the two biggest groups being Kazakh and Russian but there are many other ethnic groups present there.

Found the locals to be generally friendly. As for English language, I urge you to learn some Russian, in particular the Cyrillic alphabet because the Kazakhs also use this.

Younger Kazakhs are learning English and in the future that will make KZ more tourist friendly but for now, having some basic Russian would come in very handy.

I will probably spend about 10 days in Almaty on my next trip so should have more insightful observations than right now  :)

Thanks Isthmus. From my recent trip to Ukraine one of the biggest things I took away was the fact that knowing the Cyrillic alphabet is practically mandatory when traveling to the FSU. I'm a fairly experienced traveler and can usually slug through a lot of languages that are written with Roman letters. That was not the case in Ukraine. I would imagine that a country that's truly out in the middle of nowhere like KZ would be even less tourist friendly. Still, it seems like an intriguing place with a lot of natural beauty. Who wouldn't want to see the ninth largest country in the world?

I am teaching myself some Russian and haven't gotten cracking on the alphabet yet but I WILL know it before my next trip. Absolutely. For me learning languages is fun, but Russian is DIFFICULT!

Tell me about it Guppy. I purchased the Pimmsleur Approach collection of Russian CD's on Ebay about a year and half ago. I have been through only the first 2 CD's and cannot get past the first 2 CD's......I do not know the Cryllic alphabet, perhaps that is preventing me from speaking it, I dunno? But what I do know is learning Russian is enormously difficult.

I took 4 years of Spanish in HS and I learned Spanish pretty easily. I mean Spanish is so darn easy to learn, at least for me Spanish was extremely extremely easy to learn. Russian, on the other hand.....oh my goodness, there is absolutely no comparison, for me at least, between learning Spanish and Russian. Spanish is a peace of cake. Russian....absolute nightmare. I am just going to have to rely on the woman I marry in Ukraine, when she moves to the US with me eventually, to teach me a fair amount of Russian, enough to where I can atleast have a very basic conversation with someone in Russian, eventually. So that whenever we  go back and visit her family in Ukraine every year, I will be able to semi-understand what is going on around me when her family and friends speak to each other, and not have the pathetic "Deer in the headlights" look one has when you cannot speak a word of Russian.  :)

It took me about 3 x 2hr one-on-one lessons to fullybunderstand the Cyrillic alphabet - those lessons weren't focused just on the alphabet but learning words too, so go figure.

So you started learning Russian 18 months ago? Was this part of your 15 year plan?
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