Why Study Russian?

Studying the Russian language is a challenge, but a rewarding one for those who wish to better understand Russian culture and people.

The wealth of the Russian cultural heritage in literature, visual art, theater, opera, instrumental music, and ballet is enormous. And while it is possible to gain some appreciation for such authors as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, whose works were translated all over the world, no true understanding of the immense richness of Russian culture can be acquired without a thorough knowledge of the language. In particular, Russia has produced one of the world's most vibrant and exciting poetic traditions -- including the works of poets like Pushkin, Lermontov, Blok, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Pasternak, and Brodsky -- and this is almost inaccessible to poetry lovers who do not read in Russian. Despite the upheavals caused by the political and social changes in the country, Russian literary culture remains vibrant, and only a fraction of this fascinating contemporary work is available in translation.

Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation which is the largest country in the world (17,075,200 square kilometres) stretching over a vast expanse of Europe and Asia and spanning eleven time zones, with a population of 143 million people. Russian is also an official language in some of the former Soviet republics and an interethnic language spoken in a number of other countries.

For more facts about the Russian Federation (climate, geography, history, political system, etc.) please visit the article at www.wikipedia.org.
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