Anastasia Orlova, 9th form, theRussian Embassy School in Finland
Language makes people get closer Language makes people get closer n Foreig ges a Langu
Language is an integral part of diplomatic relations Language is an integral part of diplomatic relations
The second part of the XX century became the period of the widest circulation of the The second part of the XX century became the period of the widest circulation of the Russian language and the Russian culture all over the world. Russian language and the Russian culture all over the world.- It became one of the leading world languages used in all the largestinternational organizations (there were about 350 million persons knowingRussian in 1980s);-the Soviet system of education was considered one of the best in the world;it brought big contribution to spread of the Russian language.;-in 1989-1990s educational years 180 thousand foreign citizens were trained inRussian various civil, military, party, trade-union and Komsomol educational institutions- there were founded High Schools (universities, institutes and specializing faculties),special secondary educational institutions, Technical Training Colleges andcomprehensive schools in 36 foreign countries, the USSR allies (the USSR equippedthose educational institutions with special methodical literature and organized training with the help of the forces of the Soviet experts)-significant efforts on creation of the courses of the Russian language for foreigners were made(in the end of 1980s 600 thousand persons from 90 countries of the world studiedRussian on such courses). During the existence of the Soviet Union 286 million persons used Russian as the basic state language. During the existence of the Soviet Union 286 million persons used Russian as the basic state language. ItItwas known almost by all inhabitants of union republics and, without fail, each schoolboy knew ititwell. was known almost by all inhabitants of union republics and, without fail, each schoolboy knew well.
Disintegration of the USSR and loss of the former economic, technological and geopolitical Disintegration of the USSR and loss of the former economic, technological and geopolitical influence in the Post Soviet space and in the world in general reflected on the position of the influence in the Post Soviet space and in the world in general reflected on the position of the Russian language and culture in Near and Far abroad. Russian language and culture in Near and Far abroad.By present time the population of 14 formerrepublics of the USSR numbers over 140million persons (the number of thepopulation of Russia).However, the Russian language is:- actively known and constantly used at workand in everyday life by only 63,6 million ofpeople;- 39,5 millions know Russian passively (theyunderstand it but do not use as a mean of communication) and gradually looselanguage skills;-and almost 38 million of people totally do notknow Russian.
The number of people differently knowing the Russian language The number of people differently knowing the Russian language The number of The number of The number of The number of Status of the people Total number of people actively people passively people not Countries Russian language considering population knowing the knowing the knowing the in the country Russian their Russian language Russian language Russian language native language Azerbaijan foreign 8200 250 2000 3500 2700 Armenia foreign 3200 15 1000 1200 1000 Belorussia state 10200 3243 8000 2000 200 Georgia foreign 4500 130 1700 1000 1800 Kazakhstan official 15100 4200 10000 2300 2800 Kirghizia official 5000 600 1500 2000 1500 Latvia foreign 2300 960 1300 700 300 Lithuania foreign 3400 250 500 1400 500 language of Moldova 3400 450 1900 1000 500 interethnic dialogue language of Tadzhikistan 6300 90 1000 2000 3300 interethnic dialogue language of Turkmenistan interethnic 4800 150 100 900 3800 dialogue/foreign language of Uzbekistan 25000 1200 5000 10000 10000 interethnic dialogue language of Ukraine 48000 14400 29000 11000 8000 minorities Estonia foreign 1300 470 500 500 300 Total 140700 26408 63600 39500 37700
Library of the University of Library of the University of Coimbra, Portugal Coimbra, Portugal Bristol University, Bristol University, England England East Europe, West Europe and the Russian language East Europe, West Europe and the Russian languageDuring the existence of the USSR the countries of East Europe were allies of the Soviet Union and they had to use the Russian language as the language of the business communication. But after disintegration of the USSR the Russian language lost its previous meaning there.As to West Europe, during the Russian “perestroika” at the end of 1980s it was very interestedin learning of the Russian language. But after disintegration of the USSR they lost their previousinterest. Oxford University, Oxford University, England EnglandHowever, nowadays interest in the Russian language is increasing what is connected with the development of economy and foreign-policy relations. Young population of the countries of East and West Europe also shows a big interest in our culture and some Russian emigrants are spreading Russian there. (You can see some pictures of the foreign universities where the Russian language is taught)
North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian language North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian language Harvard University, Harvard University, USA USA In North America, Australia and New Zealand situation that concerns the Russian language is similar as in Europe. These countries were interested in learning Russian before disintegration of the USSR but after that they changed their opinion. However, nowadays there are a few high and secondary educational institutions where the Russian language is taught in North America, Australia and New Zealand. (You can see some pictures of the foreign universities where the Russian language is taught) Macquarie University, Macquarie University, Macquarie University, Macquarie University, Australia Australia The University of The University of Auckland, New Auckland, New Zealand Zealand
Asia and the Russian language Asia and the Russian language Russian is not very popular in Asia. Its place is taken by the English language. Russian is learnt most of all only in China, Mongolia, Turkey and Japan. In spite of it many people come to live and to work in Russia. Tourism between these (as other) countries and Russia is rather developed. This helps us in spreading of the Russian language because tourism is a mover of progress in learning of any language. Near East and the Russian language Near East and the Russian languageAs to Near East nowadays the state of the Russian language is stable there. A lot of emigrants, especially Russian women who have married Arabic men spread the Russian language. Most of their children are taught three languages – Arabic, Russian and one more. As a personal example I can tell the following: living in Jordan I studied at the Russian Embassy School. Children of mixed families also studied there. I revealed the fact that the Russian language was known well by many Jordan doctors who had studied in Russia. The countries of Near East also use Russian economic and military help. Africa and the Russian language Africa and the Russian language Unfortunately, the African countries’ interest in learning the Russian language is very low. In 1990s Russian was taught in 40 African countries but today there are only 13 countries continuing such experience.
South America and the Russian language South America and the Russian language The number of people learning Russian in South America is much lower Me (the second girl than it is in Africa (there are only 3 national schools where 65 persons Me (the second girl on the right) on the right) with my Brazilian with my Brazilian study Russian as one of the foreign languages). However, living in Brazil friends, Brasilia friends, Brasilia I had an opportunity to see that many young people were very interested in the Russian language and Russian culture as well. I studied at Music and English schools in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, with other Brazilian students who sometimes asked me about the Russian language (its words and expressions). I also met some Brazilian people, especially doctors and teachers who had graduated from Russian universities. Unfortunately, big distance between the countries led to a low level of knowledge about Russia of the biggest part of Brazilian nation. Some of Brazilian people do not even know about the existence of the Russian Federation; or Russia, in their opinion, is a very cold country with bears walking along the streets.
In the Russian Federation the Russian language is the only state language but it is not the only republic language. At the same time there are other 28 republic languages in national republics. By 2005 the Russian population has been shortened. The quantity of population is continuing to shorten; accordingly, number of Russian-speakers in Russia will also decrease. In national republics, especially of the Northern Caucasus, the place of Russian is taken by the native national languages. Russia is upon the influence of the Western culture, economy, techniques and technology. That is the reason of many (especially young) people’s desire to study foreign languages (first of all, English, German, French and some others). Many foreign languages’ borrowings appear in the Russian language. Such borrowings are usually ‘gifted’ by the American and the English language.
As many people have come to live and to work in Russia from the CIS countries the question of changes in the Russian educational institutions appears immediately. Teachers meet with some difficulties: for example, foreign students need more lessons of the Russian language. That is why the Department of Education in Moscow had to open “The Courses of Qualification Increase” for the teachers of secondary schools specializing in “Teaching of the Russian language as the foreign language”. Many foreign people study in the Russian educational institutions. The number of foreign students went growing steadily in 1960s and achieved its peak in 1990s. Later it dropped but didn’t surrender and increased in 2005s. There are special institutes where foreign people can study in Russia. One of the most famous is called Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia named after Patrice Lumumba. By the way, my teacher of the Spanish language was from Columbia. He came to our country with the aim of studying in this university on the medicine faculty and also had to study Russian. Moreover, Russia practices in “exchange of experience”. With the help of this program many foreign students also come to live in Russia and to learn the Russian language.
After the 1917, when Finland got independence, Finnish inhabitants started to lose interest in learning the Russian language gradually. Nowadays less students of Finnish schools want to learn Russian. More and more people are willing to learn the English language instead of learning other languages. Nevertheless, the Russian language is topical for the Finnish society. Finnish president T. Halonen, Prime Minister M. Vanhanen and MPs presenting different parties have repeatedly expressed their views on the need to support those organizations and municipalities, which will mostly focus on the study of unpopular languages. Russian language was called primarily due to the increasing role of Russia in the Finnish foreign trade. In general, development of trade between any countries leads to the active development of the interest to the languages.
The Russian language is taught not only in Helsinki educational institutions but also in Jyväskylä, Tampere, Joensuu and Turku universities. Moreover, since 2007, four Russian (St. Petersburg University, Technical State University, European University and Petrozavodsk State University) and five Finnish universities (Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Kuopio, Joensuu and Lappeenranta University of Technology) carry a project, under which students get half of education in Russia and half - in Finland. Today there are more than 44 thousands of people in Finland whose mother-tongue is the Russian language; The Russian language is studied in 7 private Russian-speaking kinder-gardens situated in the capital’s region (for example, “Kalinka”, “Teremok”, “Matreshka”, “Mishka”); Turku, Joensuu and Kotka also have a kinder-garden each; The Russian language as a native language is taught in 60 schools (the Finnish-Russian School is one of the biggest and the most well known one); Finnish-Russian Finnish-Russian The Russian language is extensively studied on the basis of School, Helsinki School, Helsinki the Russian Center of Science and Culture (RCSC) in Helsinki (up to 600 persons per year) which is actively supported by the Russian Embassy in Finland.
The Russian Embassy, The Russian Embassy, Helsinki Helsinki The Embassy of Russia in Finland has recently made its own contribution to promoting the Russian language and the knowledge of the common pages of the Russian-Finnish history in Finland, as well as in Russia. Several diplomats of the Embassy have translated into Russian the book “The Grand Duchy of Finland 1809-1917” written by a well-known Finnish historian Osmo Jussila. The book was edited by the Ambassador of Russia to Finland, academic of the Russian Academy of Science Alexander Rumyantsev. The Russian version of the book was published in 2009, when Russia and Finland celebrated the bicentennial of the formation of the Finnish autonomy within the Russian Empire. Translated into Russian, the book by Osmo Jussila is now available for Russian and international students,historians and everyone who is interested in the Russian-Finnish history and the Russian language. In Helsinki it can be bought in the “Ruslania” book shop that specializes in Russian literature (from classical masterpiece to modern literary production), periodicals, DVDs, audio books – all in the Russian language. By the way, not so long ago HELSINKI BOOK FAIR 2009 was organized where representatives of the Russian literature also took part. The Russian exposition impressed everyone and people are waiting for its following participation in the Fair.
The Russian Center of The Russian Center of The Russian School of the The Russian School of the Science and Culture, Science and Culture, Russian Embassy, Helsinki Russian Embassy, Helsinki Helsinki Helsinki As to the Russian Center of Science and Culture, it is doing everything for the Russian culture and Russian language. A lot of meetings, seminars, exhibitions for the Finnish inhabitants knowing the Russian language are often held there. People are constantly invited to the concerts and performances organized by the Center (you can listen to different types of the Russian music on the Center’s stage: from Russian folk to classical music). Students of the Finnish schools can get more knowledge about Russia on the RCSC’s excursions. Much attention is paid to the Russian prose and poetry (presentations of both time-tested books and modern books are held). With the help of the Russian Center of Science and Culture the Russian newspaper called ‘Spectrum’ is published each month. It is very popular among the Russian inhabitants of Finland as well as the radio station called ‘Sputnik’ where the broadcasting is held in the Russian language. The Russian School also plays a big role in the advancement of the Russian language in Finnish society. It carries out practice of teachers’ and students’ exchange of experience. That is the reason why I had an opportunity to visit the Finnish-Russian School studying at the Embassy School. Our school also organizes open lessons for the Finnish-Russian teachers and Students what is, first of all, very interesting and, secondly, it helps us, the Russian-speakers, in spreading the Russian language.
Despite all that, the prospects of the Russian language in Finnish society are foggy . . Despite all that, the prospects of the Russian language in Finnish society are foggy Local experts allocated the following reasons of this: - most of Finnish schools are scanty; lack of teaching staff does not allow to pay necessary attention to the Russian language; - the Russian language is often dropped out of the planned language programs because of the “preferred” languages, such as English and Swedish and some others; - the country does not work properly upon attraction of the population to study the Russian language. Among the factors impeding the preservation of the language are the following ones: - difficulties in organizing the studies of the native language for children and youth and lack of motivation to it; - the absence of qualified teachers and training materials aimed at specific audiences (the quantity of information materials in Russian is not enough, and the quality of its translations from the Finnish language often leaves much to be desired). Nevertheless, the following factors affect to the preservation of the Russian language in Finland positively; they are: - geographical proximity of Russia; - an opportunity to use the Russian language sources of information; - demand for the Russian language in the business environment.
Time will answer this question. At the same time: - there should be our State’s more active actions directed to the popularization and advancement of the Russian language in the other countries; -we, representatives of Russia, should also try to promote peoples’s interest in studying the Russian language ourselves and find new ways of the development of our language. Surely, the fact that many Russian notable persons of different fields of life are known and respected all over the world is encouraging for everyone and it also helps in the spreading of the Russian language. It is true that the Russian culture is immense and diverse. The main task is to continue developing it. In my opinion, the Russian language is not less worth studying than the languages of “the top of the rate”. It is not less “rich” and beautiful. To conclude, personally I believe that the Russian language is one of the best languages of the world. And I sincerely hope that its day will come in the future.
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