“Complex, ironic, funny and beautiful” – it’s no wonder that some Russian learners talk about having a life-long love affair with the language.
With hundreds of millions of speakers worldwide, Russian is anything but endangered. However, to most of the rest of us, its alphabet makes it look too difficult to learn. To encourage us, Russian Language Day, proclaimed by the United Nations in 2010, provides a focus for cultural events, readings, plays and music. It also coincides with the birthday of Alexsandr Pushkin (1799-1837), whose genius spanned novels, drama, poetry and much more. This year, take a day to appreciate his work, or one of the other great Russian writers on your “to read” list. Why not suggest a novel in translation for your book club or see what your library can offer. Or sidestep the Cyrillic alphabet and search online for a spoken language course.