Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.
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For those of you who have been to Ukraine, I'm wondering what percent of women speak a decent level of english? Enough to have a conversation that has some depth to it. I'm thinking of going over there, but I don't speak a word of Russian or Ukranian and it would take a long time before I could reach a decent level of proficiency.
A second question...I'm on the shorter side (about 5'7) and am wondering what percent of women would be shorter than me. I'm not opposed to dating a taller woman but I generally find shorter women more attractive.
Of course I'm open to other suggestions for where to go. Just don't suggest the phillipines to me. I've been there and just don't find the women intelligent enough for me. So somewhere where the women are well educated/intelligent, there's a decent amount of english, and the women aren't stuck-up.
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If you aren't willing to learn their language, then I personally believe you don't deserve to go over there and date one of them, since you obviously don't respect her culture enough to learn her language. You say "it would take a long time to reach a decent level of proficiency", well then start today! If you can learn 10 words and phrases a day, after a month you already will have learned 300 words and phrases!
Here in Mexico I never expected anyone to speak English to me. I studied Spanish for hours a night in order to learn the language. At first no Mexican woman would date me since I did not know her language, but now that I do know the language I am engaged to a Mexican woman. Why would a woman want to date a man who comes into her country and refuses to learn her language? Would you want to date a Ukrainian woman who came to the United States and refused to learn English and expected you to do all the communicating?
Where did I say I wasn't willing to learn the language? I never said that at all. I said it would obviously take a long time to reach a decent level of proficiency. And in the meantime, I'd still like to meet women.
Thanks for such a nice welcome to the forums. Sheesh! Hopefully there are other posters on this forum who are more respectful.
Hi emh, I have heard from another member here that people in Ukraine are required to take 2 years of english language classes when they are in high school.
So they should be able to speak at least some english. Maybe some other members here can give you more insight into how well the girls there can speak english.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
Well, they take English, and college educated ones would be able to speak say, better than most Asians ( such as Koreans/ Chinese/Japanese) but worse than W. Euros. So, figure, they would be able to say something bookish / stilted but not able to carry on a decent conversation. The ones that work with foreigners in banks, hotels, etc will speak it OK. Guys that went there did OK unless they tried to communicate in the deep country where even Russian is not spoken, let alone English.
What I would advise is get a good Russian phrasebook and an electronic translator. They have those on sale if you google them. This way you will be able to carry on some kind of mixed conversation to fill in the gap in the speech flow.
I went to many countries with phrasebooks and did OK.
I would also not worry about Ukrainian; Russian will do because you are not likely to end up in the Catholic half of the country where they do not like to speak Russian. It is not a good place to date women period because of too many handsome guys and not enough pretty girls- kind of like the US. You'll probably end up going to Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Poltava, Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk, in the East/South where all the pretty blonds are. College students there will speak English OK although not as fluently as, say, Scandinavians. And the local variety of "colonial Russian" is spoken on the streets- it is kind of simplified ( sort of like the Irish English) so thus, it is easier to learn.
Go, you should be OK. Get lots of phrasebooks, translators and take the plunge.
If you speak only English, though, you will either attract college students who want to be cool ( nothing wrong with that) or gold diggers/party girls or those dying to emigrate. The main market will still not be as open to you although not as closed either if you are attractive and fun to be with.
How long are you planning on staying there, though?
Here is a video for you to watch to see what girls you'll probably be meeting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnhfRpp3 ... re=related
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I actually agree with AmericanInMexico, he may sound harsh, but he has a point. You have to learn Russian in order to understand the people and learning the language will actually give you a so much needed insight into the culture and understanding of the mentality, which is VERY different from American.
Most large cities now have decent English schools, Kiev especially. Now keep in mind that fluent English knowledge is not required to live there. Most, about 80% of young girls will be able to communicate with basic phrases, like "nice, come here, love you, kisses" etc. It would be great for you to learn those basic words in Russian as well - it's a very good start.
Ladislav said everything already and listed the cities you should go. I was born and raised in one of them, by the way. I will add Odessa and Nikolaev to the list. Also take his advice on phrasebooks and electronic translator, you will definitely use those.
As far as height goes, I would say most girls are around 160-170cm. There are some that are shorter, some that are taller. Also don't forget that most girls WILL wear heels, so they could be a little taller, but once she takes them off you will be fine. I am actually fine having a girl who is my height or taller than me, when she kneels down a little to kiss me Ahahaha I dated one like that, although she was 5'11" and I am 6", her heels would make her a bit taller than me.
What is your goal? Are you looking to bring a wife over to the U.S.? How old are you and what age are you looking for? Are you using any dating agencies or talking to girls on-line and going to visit them on your own? All those things matter. Also, make sure you DON'T go during Euro 2012 (this June, unless you love soccer of course)! Air tickets will be crazy expensive and hotels extremely expensive and hard to get, also most restaurants and clubs will raise their prices too!
Thanks Jamesbond, Ladislav and Have2Fly. I appreciate the input/info. Definitely helpful. Sounds like I'd have problems finding someone to have in-depth conversations with unless I was able to learn Russian. Which ultimately could be a problem. While I'm willing to learn Russian, I also know myself well enough to know that I'm just not someone who loves learning languages. I'm actually fairly good at it....I took spanish classes when I was living in Mexico and Colombia and I was normally able to pick up on concepts quicker than my classmates. The problem is that I can't motivate myself to learn outside of the classroom setting. I reached intermediate status via my classes but just couldn't get myself any further. And spanish is obviously a lot easier to learn than Russian. Which means I'll probably hit a wall even quicker with Russian.
Anyway, I'm looking around for a place to live for at least a few years. And would eventually like to find someone to settle down with. Given my level of spanish, somewhere where people speak spanish theoretically makes sense. But I get tired of the chaos that comes with living in Latin American cities. And while I've dated wonderful women in Colombia and Peru, there was just something missing. I've found Latin American women to be intelligent but not intellectual (if you understand the difference). And I really need someone who's more intellectual and cultured. But it sounds like Ukraine probably wouldn't work for me.
So...where to??? Argentina might be an option since there tends to be more english than other parts of latin america. And I'm already intermediate in spanish. And the women tend to be better educated/cultured than other latinas. But I've read very mixed things about Argentinian women. Hmmm.....other ideas?
(have2fly: AmericaninMexico's response was rude, arrogant and presumptuous. Even if you agreed with him, your tone was much more civil. How someone communicates is just as important as what they say).
lol So exactly why Ukraine isn't going to work for you? You haven't even been there, I would love to go live in Ukraine again given I have a steady income. You don't even know how many hidden treasures are over there. Your plan is totally right by the way! Going to live there for a few years - that is the best way to find a woman, I advocate that every time on this forum!
Even if you don't like learning or have problems learning Russian, just by living there you will pick up a lot of it. Crap, I've seen African students from Africa that didn't know a single word in Russian. When I was attending university in Ukraine, we had 2 Chinese guys from China, they didn't know any Russian at all! But we invited those guys to drink with us and those Chinese guys kicked a** later! They became happier, more loose and funny You can turn language learning into a romantic adventure. For example, you meet a girl, date her and make her teach you Russian words while you drink champagne at your place. In response you teach her English words and tell her about places you visited and lived. OMG, women in Ukraine LOVE that stuff! Trust me!
As far as intelligence and culture, that's the place to be. For example, you may meet a stunning looking girl who has a Ph.D. in Social Science. Easy! There are many business women, professors in universities, you name it. I still remember my history professor at the university in Ukraine. She was around 28, SO SO SO HOT! She would wear heels with skirts and open jackets that would show off her breasts. I would freaking marry a woman like that if she would've lived in the U.S. I could describe more - there are girls who are professional athletes, professional dancers, performers, crafts, writers etc. All kinds of women, actually. And you have the time to meet all of them. Friendship connections are very strong there, once you meet a few girls and guys - they will love to take you around with them and introduce you to their friends because they will be very interested to talk to a guy from another country.
Kiev is definitely the safest, but also more expensive and very exposed to foreigners. Odessa, I heard, is very slutty and dirty sexually, but you may still find a good wife there. You may try Kharkov or Donetsk as well, lots of students there. As an American, you have 3 months visa-free, just like in EU. You may take a trip for a few days to other countries or just get an extended visa.
learn russian just like ladislav recommends. HAVE2FLY actually recommended to me that i learn russian. as most of the FSU countries speak russian still.
i plan on being fluent in russian. then learn the language of the country i want to live in in east europe.
hope this helps ya.
Honestly I'm not sure I'll ever get past the language barrier. It sounds like I have to if I want to make a deep connection with someone there. But I plateaued at the intermediate level with my spanish and I'm not sure I can even make it even that far in russian.
And I've never been good at just "picking up a language". I need formal instruction but that only gets me so far.
I also wonder if I could handle the weather (I HATE cold) and the cost of living seems to keep going up and up. I was starting to look at places like Bulgaria and Romania where the cost of living hasn't skyrocketed but looks like they're both poised to join the Schengen Zone later this year. Which means Americans can only stay 90 days every 6 months. That's the one advantage of Ukraine...I "think" Americans can still stay as long as they want as long as they leave every 3 months.
It used to be the case but does not seem to be the case anymore. From what I know it has the same Schengen 90 in 90 day out rule. However, laws in Ukraine are often treated as "suggestions" so I have heard of people actually staying longer. That would be a good topic to ask on any expat Ukraine forum.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Yeah, they seem to be constantly changing the rules and not enforcing them. Hard to keep up sometimes. The whole Schengen thing is annoying. I just want to come to your country, spend some money (and meet your women of course). As long as I'm not doing anything illegal and I'm paying my bills, why should they care??? Some of these countries should take a cue from Peru. You can get 6 months when you enter...after that you can either leave and come back the same day and get another six months or just overstay and pay a $1 a day fine.
Instead of focusing on the "I couldn't possible learn Russian well enough" aspect (which is probably selling yourself short anyway), focus on making the attempt and pleasing your prospective girlfriend enough by trying, that she'll learn English faster, in order to meet you halfway. Slavic people tend to learn foreign languages very fast and very well, so just put in an honest effort and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the reaction.
Also, you mentioned Bulgaria. I've heard (but haven't studied or validated this) that Bulgarian is supposed to be much easier than Russian or other Slavic languages, since it doesn't have complicated verb conjugation and noun declension rules. Can one of our Slavic contributors speak about this point? I've known Bulgarians and they were nice people and they also have pretty girls and a warmer climate. So, maybe it's a possibility for you, after all.
Finally, as I've suggested on here many times before, check out www.slovio.com and take a couple weeks to learn this artificial Slavic language, which is ridiculously easy. The Slavs will confirm that it is simple for them to understand and read with absolutely no study or effort, since it's a "middle road" between the Slavic languages, and doesn't have a real grammar to speak of.
Thanks man, appreciate the input. I think part of my problem is that I don't have a "can do" attitude. If the barriers seem really high, I tend not to even try. I'm not one of those people who says "I'll figure out a way to make this work". Don't get my wrong...I've done lots of hard, challenging stuff in my life but normally it's been stuff that I knew beforehand that I could do. If there are doubts about my future success, then I don't try or I give up quickly.
I actually briefly tried to learn Russian a few years ago. I checked out the beginner Pimsleur cd from the library. I listened to the first minute of it and gave up. I couldn't even figure out how to make the sounds that were coming out of the speaker's mouth.
As for Bulgaria, I was getting excited about it...warmer climate, less expensive. But they're likely joining the Schengen Zone in a few months which limits me to 90 days in the country every 6 months. Granted I could do something like Bulgaria for 3 months, Serbia for 3 months, Bulgaria for 3 months, etc. but that would get old real quickly.
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