Celebrating Russian on ‘Russian Language Day’!
06 June, 2016
Russian Language Day
Today marks the ‘UN Russian Language Day’ – an event established first celebrated in 2011. It was established with the aim of both raise awareness of the culture, history, and development of the language, as well as commemorate multiculturalism around the world. It’s no coincidence that it falls on the 6th of June – it’s also famous poet Alexander Pushkin’s birthday.
When learning Russian we will uncountable spent hours confused over seemingly inexplicable rules: why does the number ‘one’ need a plural? Where is ‘to be’ in the present tense? What does grammatical animacy even mean?
Today, however, is not a day for complaining over grammar and pronunciation, but celebrating the quirks and wonders of this language we have all embarked on the journey of learning! Just remember: you are learning to communicate with over 277 million people, and are one step closer to fully understanding some of the greatest works of literature, film, theatre, philosophy, music, and art known to humanity.
And if you need any more reason to celebrate the Russian language today, is what writer Ivan Turgenev had to say about his mother tongue in 1822:
Во дни сомнений, во дни тягостных раздумий о судьбах моей родины, — ты один мне поддержка и опора, о великий, могучий, правдивый и свободный русский язык! Не будь тебя — как не впасть в отчаяние при виде всего, что совершается дома? Но нельзя верить, чтобы такой язык не был дан великому народу!
In days of doubt, in days of dreary musings on my country’s fate, thou alone art my stay and support, mighty, true, free Russian language! But for thee, how not fall into despair, seeing all that is done at home? But who can think that such a tongue is not the gift of a great people!
So, I leave you with this: хорошего Дня русского языка – good Russian Language Day!
Elara Shurety is currently studying Russian and interning at Liden & Denz.