Communication by Phone
Talking over the phone is one of the best ways to have a spontaneous and interactive correspondence . . . assuming that you can understand each other. If you are fortunate to meet a lady with strong English skills then phone conversations will come easy. Rarely will you find a lady with nearly perfect English skills. Although Russians think of English as a beautiful language, some have difficulty mastering it unless they receive extensive training. If your lady’s English does not seem very good to you at first, be patient and polite if you need to ask her to re-speak a word or rephrase a statement. Make your own effort to improve the communication process by learning some key Russian words and phrases. Not only will this show her your respect for her culture but it will also aid you in developing useful communication skills that will certainly come in handy when you travel to Russia.
If your lady speaks little or no English then you will be dependant on the services of a translator to help you during your call. Translation services are offered by many of the marriage agencies or independent providers located in Russia or your country. We recommend the professional services of WWC Translation.
Surprisingly the cost of placing a phone call to Russia can be very reasonable depending on how you dial, the duration of the call and the city you are calling. Depending on where you live you can dial direct using your existing long distance service, use a dial around service or use a prepaid calling card.
When choosing a method for calling Russia it is best to evaluate the destination city you are calling and the typical duration of your calls. You may find that there are as many as 4 rates for calling Russia. This is especially true for the prepaid calling cards. There is a different rate for Moscow, usually the lowest; St. Petersburg, slightly higher than Moscow; all other Russian cities, higher still; and calls to cell phones in Russia, highest of all.
Using your existing long distance provider such as AT&T, Sprint or MCI may be the most convenient way to dial an international call but it will be undoubtedly the most expensive. Some direct dial long distance providers specialize in calls to Russia or offer more competitive rates. Contact your current long distance provider and ask what their rate is for the Russian phone number you want to call. Regular rates can be very high (up to $1 per minute) so ask if they offer a discount plan. Even with a discount plan your call costs will be extremely high in comparison to the other methods described next.
Using a “dial around” long distance provider will provide you with better rates than dialing direct. If you are calling from the United States you can access any long distance provider by dialing their unique ‘10-10-XXX’ number before you dial any phone number (domestic or international). This enables you to keep your existing direct dial long distance service for your domestic long distance calls while enabling you to use another long distance provider for specific calls. Dial around rates to Russia average $.26 per minute and calls to Ukraine average $.29 per minute.
The third and usually the least expensive way to call Russia or Ukraine is through the use of prepaid calling cards. These cards are offered in a range of fixed denominations and will offer a specific amount of minutes before the card expires. Rates on prepaid calling cards vary significantly so it is best to choose a card that specializes in the country you want to call. Prepaid calling cards can be purchased in local convenience stores or on-line. The best calling card rates to Russia are under $.08 per minute and can be as low as $.02 per minute if calling Moscow.
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