Russian Keys

Outrage as Russian MPs outlaw explicit language in public arts

The law forbidding the use of explicit language in theater plays and concerts has come into force, despite protests from the artistic community. The ban covers any public show – from amateur speech or standup comedy to cinema blockbuster. From now on films with obscene words will only be sold with special warning stickers. The fines vary from $60 to almost $1,500 depending who breaks the law, be it ordinary people or companies. When the bill was being discussed it met with opposition from politicians and artists. The politicians claimed the bill lacked an official list of obscene words and therefore could be abused by those who would enforce it. Artists simply said that it was an unnecessary limitation of their right to artistic expression, and that banning obscenities in cinema and on stage would create a brushed-up reflection without affecting reality.

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In the current political situation India continues to study Russian

In the current political situation there is a considerable rise of interest in the Russian studies around the world. The Russian Cultural Centre in India will open the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Kochi by the end of June as part of  providing more opportunities in the state to study the Russian language.
The institute will come up at the Asian School of Architecture and Design Innovations in Pallimukku, Russia’s honorary consul here and Russian Cultural Centre director Ratheesh C Nair said.
“Initially, we are planning two batches of 20 students each. Classes will be led by K Murugesan Reddiar and Nirmala Devi, former heads of Russian department of Cochin University of Science and Technology and Calicut University respectively,” he said. The institute will commemorate Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, known as the father of modern Russian literature, in more than one way - one, it is named after him, and two, the institute is being inaugurated in June, the month in which he was born.

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Russian MPs want to introduce fines for using foreign words

State Duma members from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) have proposed introducing fines for excessive use of loanwords. The government and the general public have dismissed the initiative as useless.

Russian MPs, concerned about the purity of the Russian language, have submitted to the State Duma a bill on fines for excessive use of words borrowed from other languages, or loanwords. The deputies are primarily concerned by the abundance of English words in Russian, made all the more widespread thanks to the internet, modern technologies and fashionable trends. The State Duma is scheduled to discuss the bill on July 1, but it has created quite a stir already. The bill is the brainchild of a group of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) deputies. They believe that not only should foreign words which have equivalents in Russian be banned, but the use of such words should be punishable with a fine. If the bill is passed into law and becomes part of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations, the following fines will be introduced for using foreign words: for private individuals, from 2,000 to 2,500 rubles ($50-70); for officials, from 4,000 to 5,000 rubles ($110-150); and for legal entities, from 40,000 to 50,000 rubles ($1,160-$1,460).The bill has provoked a wave of comments both from members of the general public and from its authors' fellow MPs.

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Celebrating Russian Language Day

Pushkin

6 June is UN Russian Language Day, which coincides with the birth of Aleksandr Pushkin (Александр Пушкин), possibly the most well-known Russian poet, and often referred to as the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin was exceptional for not only writing about life as it was known, something unusual at the time, but also credited for writing in the Russian that was spoken by the people, rather than the more formal style that was prevalent in writing at the time.

That’s not to say the old style didn’t appear in Pushkin’s works. In fact, he was able to marry the structures of the formal style with the Gallicisms (галлицизм) employed by the upper class, as well as the spoken colloquial Russian at the time, all the while creating entertaining stories rich with calques, double meanings, and parody. An unfortunate consequence of its complex nature is that translation of his works is a difficult task, and there is no doubt that many are left with the sense that some of the original beauty has been somehow been lost in translation.

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Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests.

Researchers found that reading, verbal fluency and intelligence were improved in a study of 262 people tested either aged 11 or in their seventies.

A previous study suggested that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years.

The study is published in Annals of Neurology.

The big question in this study was whether learning a new language improved cognitive functions or whether individuals with better cognitive abilities were more likely to become bilingual.

Dr Thomas Bak, from the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said he believed he had found the answer.

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