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On the 12th of February we will open a new Group lessons for expats and for complete beginners! This option is adapted to suit the daily schedule of expat families. Lessons will be held during the evenings (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday – 18:00-19:30).

Join us at CREF school in the city center of Moscow and you will improve your Russian language skills with the best teachers of Russian.

To register, call us at +7 (495) 545 4745 or russian@cref.ru

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It is time to learn Russian! Enroll in a new group for beginners that starts on February 5!

Join us at CREF school in the city center of Moscow and you will improve your Russian language skills with the best teachers of Russian !

Free trial lesson included !



It is often said that one needs a certain amount of courage – му́жество (moozhestva) to face the long Russian winter. So, if you’re already in Russia or are planning to visit this winter, CREF would like to offer to recharge your optimism by giving you a bunch of helpful expressions on the themes of courage and tenacity.

There was once a time, in Russia, when children from the nobility were educated by private French tutors. One stubborn myth – сто́йкий миф (stoiki mif) holds that these private tutors had all arrived after the revolution of 1789 and that they weren’t actually qualified to teach – преподава́ть (prepadavaat). Even if it’s true that a portion of the French that offered their services in Russia were not up to the mark, there were many others who were very successful in the education of children from the highest echelons of Russian nobility, even that of future Tsars, like Alexander the First, for example. Read more



It is time to learn Russian!

Enroll in a new group for beginners that starts on January 29!

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF.

To register or get more information, call us at +7(495)5454745 or russian@cref.ru

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Russian culture

Russian culture – русская культура (roosskaya kultoora) – experienced a golden age in the 19th century, followed by a silver age in the 20th century, producing, during these two centuries, an enormous amount talent. Besides, it is possible to learn something about Russian culture, even if you have not been to Russia. In fact, Russia has produced several world-famous celebrities – знамени́ты (znamineetee). CREF would like to present a small review of Russian culture, accompanied by some useful vocabulary.

You have probably heard – слы́шали (slishali) about at least one of the following artists: Chagall, Tchaïkovski, Dostoïevski and Stanislavski.

Read more

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November is here and with it comes a new event : Beaujolais Nouveau

The event will take place on November 17th (a friday) at 19:30 at CREF.

Regardless of whether you are a client of the CREF or not yet, we will be happy to see you at this evening, which promises to be 100% French!

You can come with friends and take part in our competitions, karaoke, and, of course, wine tasting Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 …

We suggest you register by calling CREF or writing an e-mail to russian@cref.ru at your earliest convenience, as the number of seats is limited (participation fee: 300 rubles per person).

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Magic Formulas

Although Moscow today has certainly become more bilingual, there are still several signs that are only in Russian, hence the interest in learning the Cyrillic alphabet, which is a lot easier than it looks. On moving to Moscow, it’s equally important to find one’s bearings. CREF, as is our wont every September, has taken the opportunity, provided by the arrival of new expatriates, to share a few useful expressions that offer a window into life in the Russian capital.

Будьте добры – Boodtiye dabree (Please…)

A more refined way of making a request than можно (mowzhna), which literally means “possible”. Here, the equivalent is asking someone to “be so kind as to”, and it is a more sophisticated way to start a conversation when one wants to ask a question or make a request. Read more

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Dear students,

We would like to inform you of temporary changes to the registration procedure for every foreign citizens staying in Russia for the duration of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup (from June 1st to July 12th 2017).

Between June 1st and July 12th, 2017, the time given to process your registration is shortened to 24 hours after your arrival.

This means that if you plan to leave Russia or travel around the country (and get registered in another city, hotel, …) and return to Moscow during this period, you MUST bring your passport to CREF on the morning of your re-arrival in order to renew your registration within 24 hours after your arrival.

A fine between 40 000 and 50 000 rubles can be charged by the Russian authorities to anyone not complying with this temporary measure in case of police check for instance.

Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact your manager at CREF.

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A new intensive Russian group for beginners

For all those who want to learn Russian quickly:

A new intensive Russian group for beginners will start on monday 29 may 2017.

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF. To register or get more information, call

us at +7(495)5454745 or russian@cref.ru

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A stroll in downtown Moscow

With its broad sidewalks – тротуары (trotwaree) and painted facades – фасады (fasaadee), downtown Moscow (tsentr Moskvy) has morphed into a great place to go for a stroll – прогуливаться (pragoulivatsa). It is also the intersection for a variety of architectural styles – архитектурные стили (arkhitektournyé stili). Let CREF take you on a journey through time to get you better acquainted with the city.

It’s easy to pick out the quintessentially traditional in Russian architecture: roofs that are steep and multi-faceted – многогранный (mnagagrannyi). Another hallmark: the “shatyor” – шатëр, a pyramid-like structure that crowns not only the Kremlin’s peripheral towers, but also numerous other ancient towers – часовни (chasoavni). The oldest stone specimen can be found on the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye Park (built in 1532). One can encounter Russian residences characteristic of the 16th century – палаты (palaaty) sprinkled around Moscow: squat houses painted white, with small windows – окна (oakna) and gray-tiled roofs – крыши (kryshi), like in Varvarka street, or like those from the Romanov era near the Red Square. Read more