Why Are Russians More Well Read Than Other People?

Hahaha. Did you try to learn English 1.0, Anglo-Saxon? Is or was it as simple, as almost uniflected as modern English? No, it was a nightmare - or a beauty. We were assigned a small class of it, but luckily the exam wasn't very strict. King Alfred must be very unhappy with what his country has done to its poetic heritage almost unreadable now by an average Brit. And mind you that all Saxon word forms were made not just by adding inflections, but with changing quality and quantity of vowels! Russian is much simpler in that respect, and its spelling is much less based on discarded pronunciations, so you don't have to memorize tons of reading rules for letter combinations only to discover their usage is very limited and you have to learn individual word pronunciation: Rome but some; some and sum; sun and son; to, too and two; tea and T. Nightmarish. This but thick, run but put. And so on. Luckily, I don't often teach beginners English.

As for INTERnational communication, a foreign language is a compulsory subject. And English dominates here as such since 1950ies or 60ies. But proficiency in it varies greatly - like in any other school subject. For some learners, all these tenses and articles are rocket science indeed. Like algebra. But almost all research papers published in Russian have summaries and a list of keywords in English for indexing and reference.

Why English and not Russian? From an imperialist point of view Russia wasn't less successful in territorial acquisition. In my school days we learned that our land the Soviet Union was the biggest and its area was 22.4 MILLION square kilometres. After losing Poland and Finland and Alaska. Russian explorers and the military conquered great pieces of Eurasia before the country's westernisation in 18 century. And instead of English the nation had beautiful Church Slavic and Greek, also beautiful rich languages, and has had a millennium-long writing tradition in both chronicles, hagiography and later secular fiction and scientific literature.

Russian Pomors of the European Arctic sailed into the Arctic ocean on rounded wooden sailboats unharmed by heavy ice for half a millennium probably. Novgorod was a large medieval merchants' and craftsmen's city belonging to the Hanseatic ring. Russia was able to successfully overthrow Mongols, fight off Napoleon and Hitler, launch the first artificial satellite, the first man and the first woman in space, build the first civil atomic power plant and the first atomic icebreaker in the world, all the science being done in Russian - of course using lots of international terminology where necessary. Russian is a working language of the United Nations Organisation.

Its alphabet since early 18 century is very easy to read, and spelling is much more phonetic or follows conceivable morphology rules. The richness of the language can be demonstrated by the shades of meaning conveyed by its word forms. A typical example is diminutive forms of personal names in Russian. You have only John versus Johnny, while we have about a dozen forms for Ivan to say he is a sweetheart or a naughty little boy.

Source : https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-Russian-alphabet-so-complex-Why-cant-they-just-use-the-English-alphabet-and-force-kids-over-there-to-learn-English-and-not-Russian

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