This question might seem very broad or opinionated but I did not find a better way to put it in short.

I like to travel to the Czech Republic and often times my English and German combined help me be understood. But that's not always the case. Because of that, I contemplated learning either some Czech or some Russian.

Many people in the Czech Republic speak Russian and this language would be more helpful in all eastern Europe. While Czech would be more helpful there, it wouldn't help as much elsewhere.

I already learnt the Cyrillic alphabet some years ago (my ex-GF tried to teach me Bulgarian and I could read the menu in restaurants) so it should be easy to reacquire that knowledge.

So you could say: should I aim for specialized knowledge or broader knowledge?

  • Russian is definitely useful in Eastern Europe (Belarus, Ukraine, etc.), but isn't too useful in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, etc.). The percentage of people who speak Russian in Central European countries is around 20%. – michau Nov 7 '16 at 16:50
  • Russian was the case when the Eastern-European countries were occupied by the Russia's "USSR" after WWII, its language was proclaimed an "language of international communication". Since the liberation of these countries in 1989, this is no longer the case. Yes, people over 40 y.o. would recall some of their Russian school classes (and some may even learn it nowadays), but how that could help a visitor? OTOH, learning Czech makes a huge benefit of mastering generic linguistic patterns of Slavonic languages. This may appear helpful even in other East-European country, e.g. Bulgaria or Poland. – bytebuster Nov 7 '16 at 18:31
  • 2
    This is a blatantly opinion-based question. There's no right or wrong answer to this question because it depends entirely on your specific situations. – fi12 Nov 8 '16 at 2:14
  • Unfortunately, nobody other than yourself can tell you what you should do. If you have a more concrete question that we can help with, please feel free to edit your question and flag to be re-opened. – Flimzy Nov 8 '16 at 11:08