Friday, May 7, 2021


A Beautiful Language

Americans think that Russian is "primitive," indeed that Russians are primitive, as some of them are.

But the language is not primitive.   We only think that because native speakers of Russian whose English is not very good carry into their English grammatical idiosyncrasies of the native tongue, most notably the complete absence of articles as well as a word order that seems eccentric to us simply because it is so different from our own.

Rather than primitive, Russian might be said to be elegant and economical insofar as it does without superfluous things and only says what is necessary.

No one writes letters anymore.  But back when we all did, Russians did not close a letter to a dear one with "Yours" or "Sincerely" or even "Love."   They would close it with «Целую.»   "Tse-loo-yoo."  "I kiss."  But the "I" is not a separate word; it is embedded in the first-person-singular verb form.  And even the "you" is understood!  Where English would have three words, Russian gets by quite well with one.

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