I am a native English speaker, and I also speak Spanish with a decent accent having lived in Spain for years. For example I know how to roll my 'r' letters the Spanish way.

I have decided to learn Russian from scratch as it will be a huge help towards my future career. Many people have said that learning Russian will be easier, as I can pronounce some of the letters which are similar to Spanish.

From my experience in life, I also know how to learn a language by repeating words/phrases, but also by studying the 'boring' grammatical rules.

I was wondering if someone could provide some type of benchmark, given my capabilities and experiences listed above, as to how much there is to learn in Russian compared to Spanish? For example, if Spanish had 100 grammar rules how many does Russian have? I have already compared their alphabets where Spanish has 27 letters, as opposed to Russian which has 33 and are mostly different to the Latin alphabet.

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    (1) I doubt you can quantify grammar rules; even though it's grammar, that would still amount to comparing apples and oranges because there is no standard for the level of detail in grammatical descriptions of languages. (2) It is a misconception that you must necessarily study grammar rules.
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 18, 2021 at 16:52
  • @Tsundoku Because I already know grammar rules and how they work from Spanish I believe I could pick up the language more quickly that way. I know the argument of speaking the language but IMO that just applies to people that are new to the whole world of language that is different to English. Jan 19, 2021 at 14:33
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    Knowing Spanish probably won't help you learn Russian, but it works the other way around. For a Russian speaker it's easier to learn Spanish if one knows English already.
    – Vitaly
    Jan 27, 2021 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


Short answer: Knowledge of Spanish would not help much while learning Russian.

Long answer: It could be easier for you to learn a second foreign language, but it's impossible to quantify it, as @Tsundoku mentioned. Also individual mileage may vary. If you asked about another language in the Romance group (e.g. Italian, French, etc.) then it would be reasonable to expect that you would learn it faster than an average English learner. Russian language, while being a member of Indo-European family, is significantly different from both English and Spanish languages.

Initially, you can just use the average number of hours expected for an English speaker as a ballpark estimate. As you start learning you may adjust your expectations. Some estimates for learning Russian... According to FSI it takes 1100 hours to reach B2 level in Russian. According to a Russian language school: It takes 100 hours to reach A1; A1 + 150 hours to reach A2; A2 + 345 hours to reach B1; B1 + 540 hours to reach B2.

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