Eight reasons

Sunday, January 13, 2019

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GLOBALISATION forces people to communicate and cooperate more for political, academic, economic, and cultural reasons. It is therefore becoming increasingly valuable for people to speak or study at least one language other than their mother tongue.

There are more than 7,000 languages worldwide, some 23 of which account for more than half of the world's population. Russian is one of them.

Top Reasons to Study Russian:

The US Government needs more Russian-language specialists: Federal agencies have identified Russian as a priority language of national need. Among the agencies that seek expertise in Russian: the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Human Development, Department of Labor, and Department of the Interior.

Russia is a regional power and is returning as a world power: Russia has associations with the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, such as a customs union and collective security treaty organisation. Key Russian politicians are proposing a “Eurasian Union” embracing these states, strategically encompassing the economic and security spheres. This prospectively boosts Russian economic, foreign policy and military influence in the region. NASA depends on the Russian Space Agency to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. Russia's resource-based economy has emerged from the global crisis relatively unscathed, with energy industry analysts suggesting that up to 50 per cent of Europe's natural gas could be owned by Russia by 2030.

The Russian economy is among the largest in the world: Russia is one of the largest producers, if not the largest, of numerous natural resources and raw materials including petroleum, diamonds, gold, copper, manganese, uranium, silver, graphite, and platinum. It is the second-largest steel producer in the world after Japan, and has an enormous timber reserve. Russia is the world's largest producer of natural gas, third-largest producer of oil and fourth-largest in terms of the mining of coal. Russia has an estimated 40 per cent of the world's total reserves of natural gas. Its proven oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's, and it is the top oil producer in the world.

Russian is an important language for science and technology. According to a recent study, the number of publications in the sciences is highest for English, with Russian second. This is the case for chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics, and biological sciences. Russia always has had a rich tradition in the sciences, from Mendeleev to recent Fields medallists in mathematics.

Russian is spoken by hundreds of millions of people: The Russian Federation spans nine time zones and covers about 1/8th of the world's land surface. It is the largest country in the world, almost twice the size of the United States. Russia has a population of almost 150 million people, which constitutes slightly more than 50 per cent of the population of the former Soviet Union. There are around 270 million Russian speakers in the world.

Russia is home to some of the world's finest traditions in the arts. Ballet, theatre, cinema, literature, music, and visual arts are only a few of the areas in which Russians have established great traditions and continue to produce remarkable innovators, among them George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sergei Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky, Anton Chekhov, and Constantine Stanislavsky. And did you know that knowing Russian helps you to see the world differently? Russian speakers, who have more words for light and dark blues, are better able to visually discriminate shades of blue.

Russian complements many other disciplines well: business and Russian, science and Russian, political science or history and Russian, English and Russian, another foreign language and Russian, engineering and Russian, mathematics and Russian, music and Russian. Russian provides you with opportunities your non-Russian studying classmates don't have. For instance, a student majoring in biology and Russian can go to Russia on a study abroad rogramme and work with Russian biologists in a laboratory there, get a fellowship to study fresh water ecology in Lake Baikal and Lake Tahoe, and then go on to medical school.

Studying Russian helps you enter postgraduate programmess: Students who study Russian have a high rate of acceptance for graduate study in law school, business school,medical school, and other professional programmes.

— ratemyprofessors.com


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