What Could Russians Be Proud Of?

Sadly, even positive things turn into negative ones with the Russians. They are very proud of their language, for instance, and keep saying that it’s the richest, most beautiful language in the world. That’s obviously not true, since Russian has a very limited vocabulary, is very monotonous, and is not in the least melodic but who cares, these things are never reasonable.

This could be a good thing: taking pride in the language, working to preserve the literature in the language, funding scholarship, supporting libraries, etc. The nation could unite around this shared project and foster good, positive feelings of cultivating the language together. This is one of the really great things that a nation-state can offer. And there are examples of this happening in other places. The Jews got together and recovered the dead Hebrew. Ukrainians are relearning their language with joy and excitement. Quechua scholars bring the language of their ancestors to students around the world. How hard can it be to do something like that with Russian?

But what do the Russians do with their linguistic pride? They become aggrieved that not everybody in the world wants to speak their language and start invading countries to force them to speak it. Once again, an intrinsically good thing degenerated into gloomy suspiciousness and a carefully cultivated sense of moral outrage.

Gosh, if the Russians could only get over being upset with the rest of the world for two seconds, maybe they could even do something good for a change.

13 thoughts on “What Could Russians Be Proud Of?

  1. \ That’s obviously not true, since Russian has a very limited vocabulary, is very monotonous, and is not in the least melodic but who cares

    A very limited vocabulary? Compared to English? German? French? All of them?
    I am sure Hebrew has much poorer vocabulary, for instance.

    As another native speaker, I do want to say that I love the sound of Russian more than of any other language I’ve heard.
    French sounds “softer” but not more pleasant.
    Arabic sounds quite unpleasant with all kinds of “rude” sounds (hhh- sounds?), judging by conversations of Arabs I’ve heard on the street.
    Hebrew sounds neutral to me, but it is considered a guttural language like Arabic. I don’t hear any special beauty in it.
    Actually, after Russian, English sounds the best. 🙂

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    1. “A very limited vocabulary? Compared to English? German? French? All of them?”

      • All of them. I grew up surrounded with dictionaries, and the Ожегов was the tiniest. The poverty of vocabulary is compensated for with suffixes.

      “As another native speaker, I do want to say that I love the sound of Russian more than of any other language I’ve heard.”

      • Portuguese (the Brazilian version) is absolutely beautiful.

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        1. My very subjective listing of most beautiful sounding languages (in no real order)

          Brazilian (almost not the same language as Iberian Portuguese)

          Hungarian (weird and alien sounding, I love listening to it)

          Italian (what more need be said?)

          Thai (among east Asian languages)

          Hebrew (I don’t know why but listening to it makes me happy)

          Telugu (prettiest sounding Indian language imho)

          ugliest

          Mandarin

          Vietnamese (some interesting stuff going for it, but it’s not…. pretty)

          Danish (ugliest for sure in Europe, maybe the world)

          As a native speaker I don’t find English has much aesthetically going on for it phonetically. My favorite accents would be Southern US.

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  2. “My very subjective listing of most beautiful sounding languages (in no real order)”

    I’ve always laughed at Mark Twain’s description of Dutch as ‘as disease of the throat’.

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  3. The ironic thing is that if it weren’t for dysfunctional and aggressive Russian politics and foreign policy, probably a lot more people would like to learn Russian.

    I’ve had a whole bunch of Polish people tell me they like Russian as a language, it’s just the political culture they can’t stand.

    When tensions are lowered (as in the early 2000’s the number of Poles learning Russian dramatically increases and then the Russians go and act all Russiany and ruin it.

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    1. “When tensions are lowered (as in the early 2000’s the number of Poles learning Russian dramatically increases and then the Russians go and act all Russiany and ruin it.”

      • So true. 🙂

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  4. “They become aggrieved that not everybody in the world wants to speak their language and start invading countries to force them to speak”

    I can see you have no idea what’s going on in Ukraine.
    If you look at the census of 2014, only 3% of citizens in Crimea said their native language is Ukrainian. In 2001, the figure was 10%. Most of the people are Russian-speaking.

    And after nationalists came to power in Kiev first thing they did was they banned Russian language from being used as an official one.
    People in Crimea really had enough. That western media will tell you is that Putin’s troops annexed Crimea. What they are not telling you is that actually it was the deputies of Parliament of Autonomous Republic of Crimea who decided Crimea needs to separate from Ukraine. Putin’s troops just didn’t let Kiev use military forces against the people of Crimea. Actually, 70% of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea took a side of Putin’s troops right away, but 30% remained.

    “Ukrainians are relearning their language with joy and excitement”
    Most people have no excitement in learning it at all. They are forced to learn it. Actually, the problem is so old that even my dad was also forced to learn it. He told me how pathetic those classes in Ukranian were when he was a child.
    It’s like making american children learn some extremely stupid and hard-to-understand dialect of English, while claiming what not only it is a separate language from English, but also that it is their native language that they should speak.
    Of cource, most children learn nothing and continue speak normal English. Dreaming of growing up to put a stop to this nonsense.

    And people in Crimea really did put a stop to this linguistic nonsense.

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    1. You poor bit of trash. With you hysteric rant you are just proving my point. You little idiot.

      I’m a Russian – speaking Ukrainian. I speak this ugly language that I detest because my ancestors were put through hell to make them stop speaking their own language and practicing my own culture. I don’t even have my own last name because we were forced to adopt Russian – sounding last names. I’ve hated the ugly Russian language that is so impotent that it produced less art than any other language I know my entire life. Yes, it’s true that there are weak, sad victims in Ukraine who were so torn apart and demolished by the Russian invaders that they hate their own language and culture. That’s not surprising given what the Russians subjected them to.

      Yes, we are all Russian speakers in Ukraine. But this was not our choice. The only task a Russian person who is at least marginally human today has is to cower in shame for how completely horrible and underachieving the Russian culture is.

      I spit on you, you disgusting little insect.

      Like

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