We use cookies to help make LingQ better. By visiting the site, you agree to our cookie policy.

us   United States

Why is no one proud to speak Russian?

November 2014

Edit: I shouldn't say 'no one' but rather a small number.

Learning Russian, I've met quite a few native speaking people but it seems a very small fraction are willing to admit they speak the language or are willing to talk about their heritage.

I find this rather strange. I can talk to many people on campus and they'd be proud to talk about their Spanish speaking background or Japanese (figuring you find the person at the right time) but when it comes to Russian speakers, it's like they'd prefer to keep it a secret.

Is this a cultural thing? It seems to me Russian is one of those languages where you're not going to really get positive praise for. I would say 1/5 people I talk to are somewhat interested that I learn the language. The other 4/5 are "....why?" "why Russian?" or "cool." then end of story. It seems unless you speak on a native level, they won't reciprocate.

My guess, is how the culture is portrayed in the media. The Cold War probably resulted in many of the countries shrouded in mystery, so the culture of Russian speaking countries was not really known. Also, it's unfortunate that they're not portrayed much in a positive manner. The only aspects covered are that Russia is involved with all the events in Ukraine.

Not to mention, there are negative stereotypes around where I live that Russians/Ukrainians steal your cars and are not the friendliest people. This isn't the case in my experience. A lot of the speakers I've met are quite friendly and funny.

This only adds another challenge to learning Russian (other than the adjective declensions and noun aspects) is the lack of reciprocating speakers.

I hope this doesn't offend anyone. I'm just being frank in my observations on this.