It is wrong to say that I know Russian if I can only read it and have difficulty writing a letter. But every skill hides many pitfalls. After all, when we learn a language, we unwittingly learn other people's thinking as well.
The skill of "writing in Russian"
The difficulty for children and sometimes adults is that in Russian you can't write as you hear. And some moments make you perplexed. Why is it necessary to write "и" (i) after "ц" (ts), but in the words "цыган" (gypsy), "цыпочки" (chicks), "цыпленок" (chiken), "цыкнул" (snapped), and "цыц" (shhh) we write "ы" (y)? Why are "насколько" (how much) and "на сколько" (at how much) spelled differently?
Russians themselves admit that writing is difficult: you need to connect the letters correctly, know where to put a comma, and when to write "o" instead of "a." Yes, everything is not so unambiguous here, and our writing process reflects this very well in life.
The skill of "reading in Russian"
We are proud of Russian writers and the fact that we can read their books. Lermontov, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bulgakov, Bunin, and later Pasternak, Dovlatov, Nabokov, Brodsky. And it's not just a matter of enjoying the syllable, the descriptions, the plot. Reading Russian literature, we penetrate into the Russian soul, we understand it more, we become better and more moral. The list of writers who, according to Brodsky, influence the mind and soul includes our compatriots.
The skill of "speaking Russian"
Where to put the accent in the word "творог" (cream cheese), how to pronounce "вымыть" (to clean) or "защищающийся" (the one who is protecting), what it means "косил косой косой косой." To Russian children it is easier to understand this, because they absorb it with their culture, with fairy tales, in kindergarten and school. It is more difficult for children of immigrants, because they are in a different cultural context. But you can speak Russian, and even without an accent, if you want to. The main thing is to want to.
The skill of "understanding Russian"
All skills are complex, but this one is particularly different from the others. You can only understand Russian by understanding the peculiarities of thinking. How else can we explain that the phrases "ага, конечно" (huh, of course), "нет, конечно" (no, of course), "ну да, конечно" (well, yes, of course), "да нет, наверное" (yeah probably no), "ага, ну да, конечно" (aha, well of course) are negations?
Why in Russia has the phrase from the song "Тополиный пух, жара, июль" (Poplar fluff, heat, July) become a symbol of a person being over 18? And if we say, "He went to Invitro," then those around us will immediately guess that the person went to a medical laboratory, which means that we should ask about his health and be ready to sympathize.