How Completely Ignoring Pronunciation set my Russian Studies back by Months and Years


My name is Kris, and I used to be a chapter-1-skipper.

You know what I mean.

That first chapter or lesson of every self-guided language textbook or course that goes through how to actually pronounce the sounds of the language you're starting to learn...

“I’m not doing that” I said to myself.

This is boring, and doesn’t help me to actually go out and speak my new language.

And, besides I can always return to pronunciation once I’ve built a base in the language - right?

Yeah. You guessed right. I never did return to it.

“Can you seriously not tell the difference between these two words?!?”

My Russian teacher, Anastasia, blurted this out in a moment of frustration after having repeated herself far too many times, and I still wasn’t getting it.

I had been taking Skype lessons for my Russian for a while, and even though I had managed to accumulate a fair bit of vocabulary and grammar knowledge, my pronunciation and listening skills were terrible.

We were talking about the differences between the S-sounds of Russian.

If you’ve looked at the alphabet already you might know that there are 5! different letters with S-sounds in Russian.

С – Ш – Щ – Ц – З

(For reference, Danish, my native language has just 1!)

Anastasia would repeat, for example, Ш & Щ over and over again, asking me to repeat.

But there was a problem.


And not only could I not HEAR the difference, I also wasn’t able to get anywhere near actually pronouncing them either!

(If you can’t hear the difference, how would you ever be able to speak it?)

What followed was a long and challenging amount of time doing drills and trying to undo some of all the bad habits that I had formed…

All because I skipped chapter 1, and ignored pronunciation in the beginning.

I was thinking, there has to be a better way.

Introducing: The Russian Pronunciation Challenge!

Perfect for complete beginners and false beginners, the Russian Pronunciation Challenge offers 30 lessons, intended to be completed in a calendar month (but you can complete them at any pace!)

In the lessons, native-speaker Ekaterina, teaches you every sound and gives tons of examples and comparisons to English so you can relate it to something you know already.

It’s a complete and perfect primer for anyone wishing to speak Russian accurately and understand native speakers much faster.

Plus, you’ll get to have a ton of fun with near-impossible tongue twisters, and apply your knowledge in real-life scenarios near the end of the course.

Pronunciation: The Unsung hero of Language Learning!

Without proper pronunciation, it's not easy for native speakers to understand you, and crucially it's also harder for the learner to understand the native speakers!

Think about it, if you can't produce the sound accurately – how will you be able to hear it when it's being produced by others?

Yet, in modern language learning pronunciation is almost entirely ignored.

Everyone skips the first chapter of text books, apps provide little to no engagement, and group classes are a thing of the past, especially in this pandemic world.

You know the feeling. You're talking to a native speaker in your target language, and they constantly have to ask you to repeat words and phrases.

Or, you're listening to your target language and you just can't make out the individual words.

So you end up looking like a giant question mark, awkwardly nodding knowing full well that you have no idea what’s being said.

Having better pronunciation skills also means native speakers are less likely to switch to English, so you can get crucial speaking practice in.

Plus, everyone in your life will get a whole new level of respect and admiration as you've achived a level of pronunciation in a quick timeframe, which few foreigners reach in a lifetime.

Having a thick foreigner's accent may be endearing to some, but completely inappropriate in a business setting dealing with partners, clients, customers, and colleagues.

Don't just take my word for it though...

Here are the reactions from a few of my email subscribers, when I announced this pronunciation challenge:

"Hi Kris I think the focus on pronunciation is excellent and nobody else out there is taking this approach. My oral comprehension in French has been seriously hampered by poor pronunciation, in fact I’ve just found a coach to work with me purely on that." - G, USA

"I think it is an awesome idea and I would like to learn every language starting with pronunciation first... now I still have some troubles with learnt some pronunciation in a bad way so long time ago... "bad habits die hard".. it is much easier to learn it from the beginning right than to spend the rest of your life trying to correct it" - V, Serbia

The Russian Pronunciation Challenge:

  • 30 Video Lessons (Every Sound of Russian Included!)
  • Audio, Video, and Transcripts for Every Lesson
  • Multi-Device Access
  • Lifetime Access
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

$99 USD

(One-Time-Payment + sales tax where applicable.)


“The explanations are crystal clear with important contrasts with English flagged. There are lots of examples of each sound, first in individual words, then full sentences. What great way to pace your initiation into the Russian soundscape or to revise the basics!”

- Gareth, UK

Meet your teacher, Ekaterina!

Ekaterina Panova is a native Russian speaker from Barnaual, Sibiria.

She has been teaching for over 4 years, after having completed her university degree in bilingual interpretation.

She believes that when learning a language the most important aspect is to have fun and to be relaxed, enjoy the language and do not be afraid to speak.

No Risk, 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

I’m confident you’ll love the course, and greatly improve your Russian pronunciation – all from the comfort of your own home, anywhere in the world.

BUT, if for any reason the course doesn’t live up to your expectations just send me a message and I’ll process you a full refund. No strings attached.

I want you to be happy and successful in your language learning mission, and I truly believe The Russian Pronunciation Challenge is a great partner for that.

A note from Kris, Actual Fluency Founder

I took the initiative to create this course based on my own bad experiences in Russian.

My goal was to create the course I wish I had, before I built all these bad habits and wasted so much time on flashcards and other activities that didn't involve proper sound and pronunciation lessons

Take the challenge, 30 days for a lifetime of better Russian speaking and understanding – you won't regret it!

-Kris Broholm

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What level of Russian is this suitable for?

The Russian Pronunciation Challenge is made for complete beginners, but may be very useful later in your Russian learning. Especially if you're a chapter-1 skipper like Kris!

When does the Challenge start?

The Russian Pronunciation Challenge starts as soon as you enrol. You can do it at the recommended 1 lesson per day, or any other pace that suits your learning style and schedule. It's completely flexible!

Can I do more than one lesson a day?

Absolutely! You'll have instant access to all 30 lessons to work with the materials in whichever way you want. We recommend setting a goal of 1 lesson per day, to reduce the risk of overwhelm, though.

How long will I have access to the materials for?

You get lifetime access. There is absolutely no limitation or renewal fees for the Russian Pronunciation Challenge.

The Russian Pronunciation Challenge:

  • 30 Video Lessons (Every Sound of Russian Included!)
  • Audio, Video, and Transcripts for Every Lesson
  • Multi-Device Access
  • Lifetime Access
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

$99 USD

(One-Time-Payment + sales tax where applicable.)

Copyright Actual Fluency Co Ltd 2022