Many people say that the Russian language is fascinating and very beautiful. What is so appealing about it?
Russian is so beautiful because it sounds fantastic, not just with its phonetics but with special suffixes that make every single word cute and adorable. It has excellent handwriting. Russian is a very emotional and descriptive language that lets you express every single idea, feeling, or emotion. And finally, it’s the best key to mysterious Russian culture.
Do you doubt this? Let me show you the real beauty of Russian.
The Russian Language Sounds Great
In one of his stand-ups, Russell Peters said that Russian sounds like a reversed English. Some say that Russian resembles the sound when you are trying to tune an old granny’s radio. To some, it’s like walrus’s growling.
However, others find that Russian sounds resemble French with it’s “zh” and find it pleasing or even sexy. Don’t you believe it can sound this way? I’ll prove this.
1. Isn’t Russian Speech Sexy?
To some extent, this is a matter of taste. If you learn it from Hollywood movies, it may seem overly aggressive with it’s rolling R, KH, and TS sounds. However, smooth Russian speech has little stops, and words blend in together and sound like a song.
Judge for yourself!
2. In the Russian Language Even “a Toilet” Sounds Cute
Most Roman or Germanic languages are not rich with diminutive suffixes, and they are used for people: Tom – Tommy, Kate – Katty, and so on.
In Russian, every single object can have a diminutive suffix. With it, native speakers express that the purpose is small, or how much they like and care about it. Just look at how words turn from the usual “harsh” sound into a lovely melody.
In Russian, anything can be cute, even a toilet: Tualet – Tualetik.
3. How Many Gentle Variations can a Name Have?
When it comes to living creatures, especially people who we love, the list of gentle words is endless. Let’s take the word “мама” (a mother), for example.
- Mama / Мама
- Mamochka / Мамочка
- Mamulya / Мамуля
- Mamusya / Мамуся
- Mamusik / Мамусик
- Mamik…. / Мамик…
I can keep on going forever.
Can you imagine how many beautiful names can be made out of one with the help of various diminutive suffixes? My name – Anastasia – has about 20 gentle variations. And each one brings its unique nuance with the positive attitude of the speaker. Nasten’ka is used by mommy, Nastyonka – by my dad, Nastusha – by colleagues.
Russian Handwriting is Incredibly Beautiful
Russian cursive has become a well-known meme, but no doubt, it looks magnificent. All Russians learn how to write in cursive, so it’s not just appealing; it’s advantageous.
4. Is it Possible to Learn Russian Cursive?
At first sight, Russian cursive seems quite frightening, but when you learn it, at least a little bit, you understand that it’s very logical. Moreover, it’s convenient, even these days when we mostly use computes; motor memory is still entirely in force.
You might think that it takes ages to master Russian handwriting. Not at all. With this comprehensive guide that contains a free workbook, you’ll learn it in the shortest possible terms.
Russian is an Extremely Expressive Language
Technically, the English language counts more words than Russian, but the Russian language is very descriptive, emotional, and contains words that don’t exist in English. With special grammar constructions, you can not only emphasize important things but also create hundreds of new words with different shadows of meaning.
5. Which one is Richer with Synonyms: English or Russian?
In Russian, many words mean absolutely the same object. For example, there are three words for the noun “granny” that sound entirely different.
When it comes to adjectives, Russian is hard to beat. Let’s take the word “beautiful,” and it’s Russian translation “krasivij” and compare the number of synonyms they have. In English, there are about 40, while in Russian there are about 100. This makes Russian very descriptive.
6. Which of the Words can not be Translated Easily?
Many words are simply unknown to other languages because people look at some aspects of life differently. Such words are very intriguing as they throw light on familiar things and make you look at them from another angle. Here is an example.
- Дух [duh] – a spiritual part of a person, but not a soul. It also means Inner psychic power that catalyzes an action. Also, Inner beginning that determines behavior. Russians often say: “Don’t let your duh fall” (Не падай духом). This means “don’t get discouraged” or “don’t despair.”
Have you ever thought that there’s probably something else, inside of you, which is not your consciousness, not mind, and not a soul? Sometimes when you learn words like that, you begin discovering new things you haven’t noticed before.
The more languages you learn, the more new “definitions” you acquire. And this makes your understanding of the world more complex and full.
7. What if you Mix Words in a Russian Sentence?
Firstly, in the Russian language, the word order is much more flexible than in English. Here, you decide what’s important to you and express your idea more fully. Let’s take the typical “I love you” phrase – “Я тебя люблю.” If you shift the words, the entire saying will have a slightly different meaning.
- I love you – It’s I love you, not Peter and not John, but I.
- You I love – I love you and nobody else: not Kate and not Maria.
- Love I you – It’s not friendship or sympathy. Love, – that is what I feel.
So generally, Russian grammar gives you much more freedom of expression than languages with fixed word order. This makes your speech more expressive.
Secondly, you can manipulate with intonation and, therefore, change the initial sense of the word. The same sentence: “Masha at home” can be a statement or a question depending on what intonation you choose. Similarly, you can outline the most important parts of the sentence.
8. How Many Words Can You Make Out of One?
Russian stems travel from word to word and bring one general idea with them. However, such words may have very different meanings. Let’s take the word красивый (krasivij) with the steam -kras, which means “beautiful.”
By adding different suffixes and prefixes to this stem, we can create words that would mean: ugly, red, a decoration, a beautiful woman, to paint, colorful, and at least 190 other variations!
This type of word-formation helps you to create words that don’t have direct equivalents in other languages and, therefore, need to be expressed with a phrase or a sentence. Here’s a good example. In English, we have the verbs “to come” and “to visit.” In Russian, there is a very frequently-used word that means: come in for a short moment or to give a quick visit while you are passing by.
So, the Russian language indeed offers you a huge variety of different shadows of meanings. This means that when you are learning it, you broaden your mental horizons, and that’s the beauty of it.
9. You’ll Like to See English Words in a Russian Package
The Russian language borrows many words from English, especially in the spheres that deal with modern technologies and the Internet. When you talk to an average local teenager, you’ll probably hear many of them. However, the language melts them into something very Russian with the help of the suffixes and prefixes we mentioned earlier.
Let’s take the word “to like” photos or comments on social nets. It has migrated into Russian and is widely used, but with little add-ons:
- Laikat’ – Лайкать – to like
- Prolaikat’ – Пролайкать – to like photos or comments one by one
The Russian Language is a Key to the Beautiful Culture
The more Russian language you know, the better you understand the beauty of Russian culture, local people’s behavior, and their way of thinking. Language, like a mirror, reflects peoples’ attitudes to different aspects of life. Here are some glaring examples.
10. Why Does Your Name Sound Majestic in Russian?
It’s not just because of the lovely diminutives that we discussed earlier, but also because of patronyms – an obligatory part of every Russan name that is given by the name of the father. One of my students said “In Russia, everybody has a name fitting a monarch.”
When you call someone with the patronymic (widely known as a surname), you show your respect to a person.
Unlike English middle names, Russian patronymics are commonly used in daily life. You call your teachers, colleagues, and all people significantly older than you are with patronymics.
Sometimes, Russian names, together with patronymics, sound like a tongue twister. Try to repeat “Elena Leonidovna” four times in a row, and you’ll understand what I mean. However, this is a very strong tradition deeply rooted in Russian culture, and there’s no chance you call someone only by name in a formal conversation (unless he or she offers you this).
11. The Russian Language is a Key to the Beautiful Culture of its People
Beautiful Culture of its People
Languages are always associated with the people who speak it natively. So, Russian is exceptionally beautiful for those who want to guess the riddle of the inscrutable “Russian soul” and understand the culture. This is the key to the innermost core of a matryoshka nesting doll.
Languages are different because people that use them have different ways of life and different values. A classic textbook case is a fact that the Eskimos have about 200 words for snow.
In Russian daily life, snow played a significant role too. There are about 100 ways to name different conditions of frozen water. If you want to see the most common of them, have a look at this post where I list all Russian words for snow.
What else can we learn from the Russian vocabulary? It has an inadequate lexicon that describes science, innovations, and technologies. Most of the words are borrowed from other languages, mostly from English. It’s curious to know that the word “biznesmen” (businessman), as well as “spekuliant” (speculator), had a negative meaning. These days “biznesmen” is considered a respectable occupation.
The more facts like that you know, the better you understand the paradoxes of the Russian way of thinking.
All of the things mentioned above make the Russian language so expressive, nuanced, and powerful. What do you find beautiful in Russian? Share in comments below!