Rus Articles Journal

How Heinrich Shliman learned Russian?

Working in the new company which dealt with Russia, Heinrich Shliman began to learn Russian. In several weeks he could already write business letters to the Russian partners in their native language.

the Company sent the young talented employee to Russia, having appointed him the sales representative. At the beginning of 1846 Heinrich came out to the new duty station.

Having arrived to St. Petersburg, Shliman was able to read and write in Russian, but to understand the interlocutor and most it was necessary to speak to it to learn. Having a little thought, he solved this problem with wit peculiar to it. From the previous experience of studying of languages it acquired that the living spoken language can be mastered if constantly to listen to the Russian speech. Thus it is possible to get quicker the correct pronunciation and an articulation, he successfully did it in Amsterdam.

Difference consisted that when studying the English, French, Portuguese, Dutch and Italian languages it went from listening to reading, to grammar and the letter, and when studying Russian Heinrich already knew the letter, grammar and reading.

Now time of listening of carriers of a modern language came. Shliman decided to employ to himself tutors. As those simple Russian men were chosen. In their duty entered to listen as the barin reads aloud the Russian books and to answer his questions on the text. They were ready to work for real pennies. To their “homespun“ mind it was not let know why such important and rich German reads books to the simple man moreover and for it gives money. With the Russian rich men everything was clear: if the man makes something not so, for this to him the muzzle will be filled, here and all is short. Such Russian “tutors“ Heinrich could find, to the top of the bent.

Shliman was very hardworking and did not waste in vain time. When he went on the commercial cases on Russia, employed the next little man, put it in the carriage and read long: roads in Russia were smashed, and runs long. After reading Heinrich began conversation in the read text. It was control check: whether the listener understood about what the speech whether the reader`s articulation was right. From the questions connected with book contents, Shliman passed to discussion of life of the man, asking from where he is whether he is married how many children at it how much now bast shoes. Such direct talks helped Shliman to carry on dialogue, to listen to the interlocutor and to perfect the pronunciation.

Having set a goal to master in perfection Russian and possessing an unbridled imagination, Shliman organized the educational process by it unusually. It could ask study questions in hundreds, the long way disposes to long conversation. If his listener fell asleep or it was reticent, then the businessman quickly employed to himself new, more sensible and talkative “teacher“.

Having learned quickly enough Russian a spoken language, in 1847 Shliman became the Russian citizen and became Andrey Aristovich. Besides work for the trading company, he organized the business, trading in different goods worldwide and having the representations in Russia, France, Holland and England. Shliman became very outstanding figure in the Russian business world and was even entitled the honourable citizen. Heinrich spoke of the new homeland precisely “my favourite Russia“.

In 1852 Heinrich Shliman married the daughter of the influential St. Petersburg lawyer Ekaterina Lyzhina. From this marriage at it was three children. It would seem, Shliman became successful and very rich person, got a family - well, live on pleasure to and to the children. But not such is there was Heinrich …

him was always pulled on adventures and new adventures. In 1853 the Crimean war began. Shliman realized at once that it is possible to increase the capital on military deliveries. Just in case from - for possible blockade of the Russian ports by British he decided to send the goods through Memel (nowadays Klaipeda). And here the destiny nearly played a dirty trick with it. When he arrived to Memel to look how there is an unloading of goods, the city which burned down completely was presented to his look. Surprisingly, but warehouse where its goods were stored, did not suffer from the fire. And the enterprising businessman sold everything at the double price, having successfully enriched on this operation.

In 1861 the imperial government was going to inform the population the manifesto on cancellation of a serfdom. It was supposed that the text of the document will be published on big paper posters. In advance having learned about it, the businessman Heinrich Shliman quickly began to buy up the paper reserves which are available in the country. When time of publication of the manifesto approached, it sold this paper at inflated price, having put a considerable jackpot to itself(himself) in a pocket.

Having quickly learned Russian and having lived many years in “favourite Russia“, Shliman could not understand up to the end soul of the Russian person. And delivery of low-quality goods and aspiration to profit at the expense of others did not remain unnoticed. When after one of the numerous travel all over the world G. Shliman appealed to the emperor about return to Russia, wrote the instructions on this document Alexander II: “Let comes - we will hang up“.