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03:13 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Sochi Residents Learn English for Olympics - Report

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A program has begun to teach everyone in Sochi more than 600 words of English before the Russian resort city hosts the Winter Olympics in 2014, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday

A program has begun to teach everyone in Sochi more than 600 words of English before the Russian resort city hosts the Winter Olympics in 2014, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday.

The “Word of the Day” scheme will display English vocabulary throughout Sochi, with the average Sochi resident reportedly expected to encounter each day’s word five times.

“The residents of the city of Sochi will see and hear one word or one phrase daily, as spoken by a native speaker,” Olga Medvedeva, head of the Sochi education department, said in comments reported by Kommersant.

The plan relies on locals learning “on a subconscious level”, she said.

The goal is to turn Sochi’s residents, known as Sochintsy, into useful guides for foreigners traveling to the Olympics, Medvedeva said.

“Every resident of the city of Sochi will be able to greet guests, say kind words and give directions.”

A force of 25,000 volunteers is being recruited and trained in cities across Russia to staff the games in February 2014, with a further 3,000 local volunteers expected to guide visitors in Sochi.