I have been trying to learn the Russian alphabet for the last three years. Rather, I keep forgetting to learn. I manage to study for one or two days at a time then for some reason my absentmindedness kicks in and the continued learning stops. It’s a strange tings-like phenomenon. However I was able to absorb at least half the letters. Word comprehension unfortunately is weak. Beside the usual words used in everyday conversation like “privet,” “paka,” “maladets,” “kharasho,” “sbasiba,” and my personal favorite term for finality, “vsyo,” I only know about twenty or so, including some phrases. For some reason, there has always been very little opportunity to learn despite being surrounded by fluent Russian speakers all day long. And there aren’t any Russian-language classes to attend for adults since Russian is more or less the shared mother language here, although Armenian is obviously still preferred. Hiring a tutor is not an option since I work long hours and it should never have been necessary in the first place. But I know one thing: I can’t do much without actually being able to read the letters and understanding their pronunciation nuances when combined with one another. So until then, looking up words in the dictionary is futile. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.