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A Coffin for the Russian Language
November 22, 2006 18:16

It can often be heard recently that Russia needs to strengthen the authority of its language in the world. However, the question naturally suggests itself: why strengthen something which is already on the top? Many know that French kings and imperators, including Napoleon Bonaparte, for instance, sworn on the Slavic Bible when acceding to the throne. This Bible was brought to Paris in 1049 by the beautiful and educated princess Anna, Jaroslav the Wise`s daughter, who became the wife of Heinrich I. After the monarch’s timeless death Anna took the reins of government and sworn allegiance to France on the Slavic Bible, which later turned into a French relic.

The Russian language is the most powerful branch of the basic Slavic mother tongue. It occupies a lot of space in the modern world: geographical, humanitarian, and cultural. It is also the language of the great literature associated with the names of Alexander Pushkin, Nikolay Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and many others. 1/3 of all world scientific literature has been published in Russian.

The American magazine “Newsweek” has recently tried to bait Russian by inserting a picture of a small coffin with the Russian language inside on one of the magazine’s pages.

 No wonder: what else can one expect from people who have never raised their own language from the “seed” and haven’t preserved it while going through the furnace of history? The best thing to do here is to remind a wise proverb saying that he who digs a pit for others falls in himself.

The Russian language is one of the operating languages of the UN and is a member of the World Languages Club. This elite community includes 6 languages, which are recognized by the majority of countries as the most significant. For instance, the French have added Russian lessons to the schools` curriculum and consider this language “brain gymnastics” for its distinct, like in Latin, grammatical relations, uncommon for such analytical languages as French and English. Nowadays we witness the process of foreign vocabulary, generally English, integration to Russian. However, linguists claim that this process is caused by progress and liberal reformations and is not dangerous for the language, as it has always been open for borrowings which only make it richer and wider. A rare person would remember that such words as gazeta (newspaper) and makarony (macaroni) are of Italian origins. The word okay, which has strongly stuck in everyday speech, can hardly surprise anybody in Russia either. Specialists state that fighting with foreign borrowings is a useless waste of time, as the language “decides” itself whether to accept or not accept a foreign word. Lively and flexible, the Russian language belongs to not only Russians, but all peoples inhabiting the country and contributing to the language so that now it has a multiple gamma of notions and harmonious phonetics.

 The German writer of the 19th century Warngagen von Ense, who mastered Russian and was into Pushkin`s works translation, said: “Russian outstrips Romanic languages in wealth of vocabulary and Germanic ones – in wealth of forms”. Another utterance of his states that Russian is capable of progressive development with no foreseen boundaries. Only time can prove whether the writer’s words were right or wrong, but now it is obvious that by the moment Russian has preserved its high positions and is not going to give up.



Translation: Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: Russian language     

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