Friday, July 29, 2011
That's according to this article in Russian. Nothing really controversial or uncommon about this - as far as I know anyone going to space by Soyuz ends up learning some. It mentions that the Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori was able to bring his Russian up to the required level in eight months.
A page here gives his thoughts during the training:
"Ho fatto molti progressi. E' stato difficile per me all'inizio. I tempi standard dell'ESA sono di un corso di 300 ore di Russo prima di un corso intensivo di sei mesi. Ma a causa dei cambiamenti di programma io ho avuto poche ore a disposizione. Ho avuto molte difficoltà, specialmente all'inizio, ma ora è passata. Non ho più bisogno dell'interprete."
"I've made a lot of progress. It was difficult for me in the beginning. In the standard ESA program (think that means program) there's a 300-hour intensive Russian course that takes place over six months. But because of a change in the program I had few hours available. I had a lot of difficulty especially in the beginning, but that's done now. I don't need interpretation anymore.
Links to official info on this are welcome.