Using Skype to Communicate with Russian Women
was not very widely known until around 2007-2008. And when I first started meeting Russian women in my search for a wife 5+ years ago it was virtually unknown. At that time one had to rely on email and phone for most communication with Russian women, both of which have major shortcomings.
Of course email is absolutely indispensible in the process, but it isn't interactive enough to really get to know a girl well enough to risk a trip to see just her. And although phone is interactive, it is also relatively expensive, and heavy accents are much more difficult to understand by phone, especially with additional international phone line noise.
But now Skype has seriously changed EVERYTHING!
If a Russian woman has high speed internet access at home (which is almost universal now), reasonable English language skills, a webcam, speakers, and microphone (nearly all recent computers come with these features), then she can install and use Skype. And talk time is FREE when both parties have Skype. It's easy to use, and even comes in a Russian language version.
When this article was first written around 2010 Skype wasn't yet quite as universally available on all smart phones (Android/iPhone). But since 2014-2015 Skype has become available and works well on practically every mobile phone. And since pretty much every mobile phone now has a camera, that extends Skype's reach even further.
Video calling contributes all sorts of dimensions to your Russian online dating communications...
You SEE each other, LIVE, FACE-TO-FACE. There is no hiding behind 20 year-old pictures or lucky photo angles, etc. (for either of you). You get to know each other in a way that really reduces that mystery of the first meeting.
SUBTITLES: Skype has an Instant Message (IM) feature that REALLY helps smoothe out language problems... You say something, she says "Please, say again... slowly please...", so you right-click on her name in your contact list, select "Send IM", and you type whatever words were not understood. You instantly hear "bloop" (the sound indicating an incoming IM on her end), and she says, "OH, you mean ___...". And same in reverse... she says something, you can't understand her, she IMs it to you and it's clear. It's like closed-captioning or subtitles! It's AWESOME!
And for those contexts where she still doesn't understand you (or vice versa), you just keep a web browswer open to http://translate.google.com, paste the English word she doesn't understand into that translation window, and click "Translate". Then you copy/paste the resulting Russian words into the IM window and click "Send".
But Google Translate isn't even necessary any more in many cases. Skype now (at least as of 2015-2016) has built-in translation options! You specify a contact's default language, turn on the Skype Translator, and all instant messages you type in your language are delivered in her language and vice versa.
It will even translate your SPOKEN words into Russian, and her words into English! BUT, at least as of mid 2017 the spoken translation feature isn't all that good yet. I would recommend being VERY careful with it as it could totally butcher what you say and create confusion (if not direct insult). The written translation is a lot better.
Screen Sharing: While you are talking, you can right-click on her name in your contact list and select "Share Screen". This allows you to show her pictures, maps, and pretty much anything on your computer you want to show. She can do the same.
I've heard it said that 7% of all communication between humans is in the actual words, and the remainder is in things like context, tone of voice, posture, facial expression, pauses, and a hundred other things. Some of these can be take place in phone conversations, but the video adds a lot more.
And when you can have more communication, you can get to know each other better, and by getting to know each other better, you can develop more of your relationship from a distance, before you start taking time off work and spending thousands of dollars on airfare and hotels. Basically it greatly reduces your risk of a very expensive bad blind date.
I remember reading once on a forum where a man was complaining about using video calling and because of a "bad experience" he started a policy of never speaking on live Skype video with any Russian woman he had not yet met in person.
So what was his "bad experience"? After a few emails and photos exchanged between himself and a Russian woman, he spoke with her on video, and after 5 minutes she said "I don't really like your face - I don't think this will work out..."
Well, one thing you MUST know about Russian women is that they are often blunt. She wasn't really being harsh, she was just being "Russian", calling it as she saw it. BUT, the upside... Skype video did it's job PERFECTLY! This girl had already seen his pictures and she must have liked those (otherwise she probably would not have agreed to the Skype call). But when she saw him on video she didn't really like the way he looked.
If you were in this situation, would you rather hear something like this after 5 minutes of FREE video, or after taking 10 days off work, traveling around the world, and spending $2000-$4000? DUH! This guy's emotional frailty in being unable to handle rejection will have a HIGH price tag.
My own Skype experience is much more positive... I met a Russian woman online when she responded positively to an "Expression of Interest", and immediately she suggested that the best way to get to know each other better would be through Skype with a webcam.
We exchanged IDs and had our first video meeting. Then we proceded to have Skype video calls nearly every day over the next four months up till my visit to meet her in her city over the New Year holiday. When we met in person it was not like a "blind date" at all. We were already extremely comfortable with each other and had a great time together. Although I made no formal proposal, we started talking about marriage during that visit.
Even if a Russian woman you are pursuing doesn't have a computer, internet, or Skype, Skype can still be an integral part of your communication media. Unless you have a seriously great international calling plan with your cell phone carrier or home phone company, chances are good you are paying at least 20-30 cents/minute for direct-dialed international calls to Russia/Ukraine.
Well, "Skype-Out" (i.e. as opposed to "Skye-to-Skype") allows you to dial to a real phone number from Skype on your computer, and for international calls their rates are competitive with the best.
And if you should ever travel, you can dial to the U.S. for 2.3 cents/minute no matter where you are calling from (with Skype-Out, the rate is only determined by where you are calling TO). So if you are in Russia meeting women and need to call home, as long as you have a high speed internet connection, you can call home practically free with Skype-Out.
Skype "Home to Russia"
Skype also offers another HUGE perk... If you should be so fortunate as to find your special lady in Russia and bring her to the U.S. to marry her, video calling will GREATLY ease the transition for her and remove some of the culture shock by enabling her to maintain closer contact with her friends and family back home (without breaking your bank).