It's hard to learn another alphabet, (I know, I learned English,) But Russian is a dying language. We need more speakers, especially from people who decended from the Slavic bloodline. Also it would be most wonderful to be able to have a conversation with your Grandparents in the language they're most comfortable with. Good luck :)
My family also comes from Russia, I speak it fluently (thanks God I never had to learn it because it's difficult ^^), but anyway if even if it's difficult you should learn it
-For your family, to communicate with them
-For yourself, we lack of people who speak foreign languages in America, and Russia is a growing economy, speaking it fluently would be a very good thing for you
I began learning Russian after I made several Russian friends at a previous job. The process of learning a new language challenges and stimulates your mind in such a beneficial way, and it is such a great feeling to apply what you've learned to communicate with someone who you would otherwise have no ability to interact with. Russian is a very interesting language, and I have had very much fun with it. If you intend to learn it without participating in a class, I highly suggest Rosetta Stone. The Level 1 Russian is under $200, and the method in which it teaches you make it quite easy to retain what you are learning. In any case, have fun!
Go for it. Learn Russian. There are many reasons:
1. Talk with your Grandparents (assuming their Russian is up to par. Not everyone who knows a Slavic language necessarily will understand Russian...But as grandparents, they likely studied Russian at some point.)
2. With plenty of oil money, Russia is a growing economy. Think of that little phrase on your resume: Speaks Russian fluently.
3. With a grammar system based on rhyming. Russian is a beautiful language to speak and read.
For a free podcast to get started, check out:
You can NEVER go wrong learning a language.
Because of the impact of the Soviet Union being run in the Russian language, there are a lot of non-Russians who speak Russian. Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and much of central Asia have Russian-speaking populations. That means that travel and business opportunities, and twentieth century documentation regarding politics, art, and history in those regions will be accessible to you as a Russian speaker.
More to the point, the language sounds beautiful; the Cyrillic alphabet is totally cool, and so few Americans speak it that it will make you stand out as a scholar and an American. My wife took Russian at SMU, and she loved it.
Knowing another language is always a useful skill to have.
In addition, the benefits of being able to connect with an older generation are almost limitless. Many consider their grandparents old, decrepit, and boring people who just like to talk and talk. That could not be further from the truth. Having live and learned, they probably have a wealth of information to share with you about life.
Plus, they'll appreciate that you took the time to learn a language in order to connect with.
Go for it, buddy!