Russian-English Conversational Exchange

Russian-English Conversation on Zoom

This is a new initiative, available to members of CamRuSS and local subscribers to CamRuSS newsletter free of charge during the period of social distancing (spring – summer 2020).

  • Currently runs every Friday at 5pm (or later) for one hour, on Zoom.
  • The first meeting took place on Friday 8th May 2020.
  • If you wish to join, please email us on

The Waterstones Group

The Waterstones face-to-face group (a.k.a. “Kruzhok“) was running since 2012 under the auspices of CamRuSS, and flourished for many years, but has recently dwindled and has been put on hold, due to a change of circumstances of many members and, more recently, due to the lockdown in 2020.

History of the group:

The group used to meet every Tuesday morning, at 10am, on the second floor of Waterstone’s Bookshop (22 Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HG) at the table up the stairs at the back.

Map: click here.Waterstones2

The meetings ran from 10 am until 12 noon, but people were welcome to arrive or leave at any time during the two hours.

There were roughly equal numbers of Russian- and English-speakers, who would speak each of the two languages in turns, and help each other.

Some conversations flowed around people’s life experiences, especially during the period when neither country had known much about the other, but discussions could digress freely in any direction, whether connected with matters English-Russian or not.

There was no subscription – you could simply come to one of the meetings, and would always feel very welcome. It was warm, friendly and informal, with people of different age, gender and ethnicity.

The group was originally run by Susanne Burbridge, then John Farrington, and in more recent years by Beverley Dear, whom you can contact on, should you have any questions.

The members of Kruzhok used to hold Christmas parties that were always jolly and delicious occasions:

Razgovornyy Kruzhok 1

Razgovornyy Kruzhok 3Razgovornyy Kruzhok 2

Last updated: 11th May 2020

22 Responses to Russian-English Conversational Exchange

  1. Учительница says:

    Успехов Вам!

  2. Lauren says:

    Are there any plans to have a Russian/English conversation exchange during non working hours? I’d absolutely love to come along but I have to work. I lived in Russia for the last 3 years and I’ve moved to Cambridge and want to be able to carry on practising Russian and meeting Russian people.

    • Dmitrijus says:

      Hello Lauren. I’m from Lithuania, though I speak pretty fluently on Russian. My grammar is pretty good as well. Right now I’m in search for people to improve my English. And if it would be possible, I could meet with you wherever it’s most convenient for you and we could help each other. I got a car and live not far from Cambridge. So I can come to any place which best suits you. Just in case, I’m 26 years old unformal and quite ambitious. But still am calm and decent person. I live with family and of course do not wish to do any harm to anyone. Just wish to improve my English skills before starting to study in UK. You can contact me by skype: datenshiyasha. Hope to hear from you

      • Dmitrijus says:

        Oh my…it was more than half a year ago. I hope this group still exist?

      • Tanya says:

        Dear Dmitrijus, I suggest that you may like to come to our Conversational Exchange Group – please go to “Clubs and Socieites” and click on “Russian-English Conversation Exchange”. You are also welcome to attend our regular events (please see “Forthcoming Events”), where you can meet many new peole, some of whom may be able to help you with your English! Good luck!

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Lauren. We tried to set it up, but there was insufficient interest from the Russian-speakers…

  3. John Farrington says:

    I was talking to Tanya Yurasova today and she told me that there are Russians out there in Cambridge who would like to come to our Conversation Exchange but feel awkward about turning up as they do not know anyone. I would like to reassure anyone who would like to come along at 1000 in Waterstone’s cafe in Cambridge each Tuesday that you will be made extremely welcome and we will be very pleased to see you. Our motto is the more the merrier. Please come along and tell your friends to come along as well.

  4. Robbie Craig says:

    Hi John
    I’ve been studying Russian grammar for the last 18 months and am keen to embarrass myself attempting some basic Russian conversation. I’m afraid it’d be pretty basic Russian on my part, do you consider this group suitable? If yes I might drop in tomorrow

    • eugenia says:

      hi! i am looking for an english speaking friend to practise english via skype) i am russian and i am ready to help you with russian in exchange. Contact me if you like))) (

  5. Оксана says:

    Здравствуйте. Хотелось бы узнать, актуальны ли еще эти встречи?

    • Tanya says:

      Здравствуйте, Оксана! Да, встречи продолжаются – приходите. Ждём. 🙂

  6. Irina says:

    Добрый день! Продолжаются ли языковые встречи? Думала отправить к вам маму в феврале…

  7. Tom Probert says:

    Hello everyone. Do these language exchange meetings currently take place on Tuesdays at 10am? I would like to keep up and improve my very basic Russian.
    Thanks in advance,

  8. Geoff White says:

    I live in central Cambridge and I’ve been learning Russian for about a year, and would love to practice with someone, in exchange for helping them with English.
    Please email me if this of interest to you (I work freelance, so I’m quite flexible on time and days, etc)

  9. Irina says:

    Hi, I would love for my mum to join this reading group. Does this still happen?



  10. Marina says:

    Good day! Do language meetings continue?

    • Tanya says:

      Hello, Marina. They do, as far as we are aware, although at certain days they are not very populous. It may be worth checking with Beverley (the coordinator) before venturing to one. 🙂

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