It is no secret that popularity of Russian language has declined over the last couple decades. One of the reasons behind that is obviously a geopolitical situation. However let’s leave the politics aside and look at why you should choose to invest your time in learning one of the most phonetic languages today.
The boring reason – NUMBERS
- The 8th most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers with 144 million native speakers in Russia and 30 million more across the globe including Ukraine, the US, Germany, Canada, Brazil and many more.
- The 5th most spoken language by total number of speakers with more than 270 million people speaking Russian across the globe.
- One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
- Most geographically widespread language of Eurasia.
- Most widely spoken Slavic language.
- One of the official languages in space.
The serious reason – JOB OPPORTUNITIES
It all starts in the university. Florida State University claims that “students who study Russian have a high rate of acceptance for graduate study in law school, business school, medical school, and other professional programs.”
Being able to speak Russian can open a lot of doors for you in your far away based non Russian job. The truth is that Russia has an abundance of natural resources and raw materials and thus West and East alike always wants to do business with Russia. Being able to speak Russian could easily become your competitive advantage and get you in a position that otherwise would be possible in a much longer period of time.
More importantly, going to Russia on a business trip will put you in a totally different place if you can speak at least a bit of the language. Respect and invitations to close circles comes as a given so we’re not even touching on that. But have you seen examples of a business negotiations where a non-English speaker users a translator and thus has more time to think about their next moves? Imagine that you would be able to understand your Russian counterparts before a translation!
Russia occupies a vast territory across Eurasia and is the largest country in the world. There are 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia, 40 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 41national parks and 101 nature reserves. Russia is home for Mount Elbrus – the highest point in both Russia and Europe, the world’s deepest, purest and oldest bodies of fresh water – Lake Baikal, taiga, spectacular beaches, wildlife and unexplored places. Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers like the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway.
And if it’s not enough – speaking Russian can almost certainly help you to get around across the Central and Eastern Europe including Baltic countries. Plus, Russia will be hosting the 2018 Fifa World Cup!
Not many countries in the world can boast of such cultural heritage as Russia. It’s a homeland to some of the world’s most prominent writers, musicians, composers, ballet dances, theater directors and many other artists who throughout ages have influenced or set trends in the respective artistic areas. Works of Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chaliapin, Tchaikovsky, Anna Pavlova, or Rudolf Nureyev are classics with no substitutes even today. You can obviously find translations of these works, however it will be nothing like enjoying Dostoevsky in Russian.
On top of that, life in Russia is different due to it’s distinctive customs and traditions. Everything from upbringing of children to family values to friends and relationships has its own flavor in Russia. Being able to speak Russian is the only way to taste that flavor and really understand the Russians.
The social reason – PEOPLE
Naturally, the easiest way to meet people is to know their language. It’s even more the case in Russia. With only 5.5% of people being able to speak English, you know that you can’t expect to fall back on English with Russians. Also, contrary to many’s believe Russians are very warm and welcoming people, that is if you are able to communicate at least a bit.
In addition, based on Wikipedia Russian is the second most spread language after English on the Internet. That is a lot of people to meet with just one language.
With more than 30 million Russians living abroad it is very likely that sooner or later your paths will cross. And who knows, with the reputation of Russian women as wonderful hosts who place great importance on family values, this way turn into a romantic relationship. In which case speaking the language will help you to communicate and understand them more fully.
Whatever the reason – you will never regret being able to speak Russian!
And although it might be challenging at times, the rewards are greater than the investment.