Russian Keys

Russian language offered to tourism workers in Jamaica

THE Tourism Ministry and its agency Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) last week launched the Russian and Spanish Language Skills Training Programme for tourism workers in a bid to better accommodate visitors from non-English speaking countries.

Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill said the programme is a big boost to the industry as front-line service providers will be better equipped to deal with visitors from new and emerging markets. "We are confident that this programme will greatly enhance our tourism product by making our workers more sensitive to the needs of our guests who speak foreign languages," McNeill said.

He further pointed out that the programme will equip the participants with basic communication skills that will enhance customer satisfaction levels and ensure repeat guests.

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The Bible will be translated into modern Russian language

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has stated his wishes to the translation of the Bible into modern Russian.

 "Everyone understands the Synodal Translation [which was made in the 19th century]. There are some flaws and mistakes that should be corrected from the point of view of modern knowledge and modern style, but we should by no means create a new version, thus reducing to naught the significance of the Synodal Translation," the patriarch said at the 7th theological conference.

 The patriarch believes there is a need to maintain a healthy balance between tradition and modern phraseology and style "to prevent the text from becoming vulgar and to maintain its elevated tone," he said.

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Millions to vote in support of making Russian an official EU language

Activists of the European Russian Alliance are certain that the Russian language has a legal right to be used as an EU official language. Russian-speaking EU residents make their home in different EU countries. They are due to launch a campaign in EU nations to collect signatures in support of the Russian language. One million signatures are needed for the European Commission to consider the issue. The Alliance Chairperson, a Latvian European Parliament deputy, Tatyana Zhdanyuk, has briefed the Voice of Russia correspondent on prospects for the Russian language in Europe.

Russian is one of the five mostly used languages in the European Union, along with English, German, French and Spanish. Some seven million Europeans speak Russian as their second language. Another six million EU citizens speak Russian as a native language. The largest Russian-speaking community, some 3 million people, resides in Germany. Russian is also traditionally spoken in the east of Poland and Romania. Descendants of Old Believers have lived for centuries in the area of the Danube delta and have preserved their Russian language and their culture. More than a million Russian-speakers make their home in the Baltic countries.

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Hongkongers say ‘Da’ to Russian language

As economic ties grow, Hongkongers are learning to speak Russian, writes Brian Yeung.
Russian is emerging as a fashionable foreign language to learn, according to schools in Hong Kong. Experts believe strengthening economic ties between Russia and Hong Kong have been a driving force behind the growing appetite for learning Russian as a foreign language.

"The majority of my students want to speak Russian for business purposes, as Russia is becoming more open to the international markets and many companies are starting their businesses with Russia," says Elena Filenko, Russian language instructor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE). "Economic ties between Russia and Hong Kong are growing fast, [and] the importance of the Russian language in Hong Kong is rapidly increasing."

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Colour symbolism in the Russian language

In every language, words denoting colours are associated with some additional meanings. Russian is no exception.
The brightest colour in the Russian language and the one that has most positive connotations is red. The word red in Russian (krasny) has the same root as the word beautiful (krasivy), and the meanings of these two words are indeed very close. Moscow's main square is called Red Square. Historically, it is believed, the square was given that name not because of the presence of red buildings on it but because it was considered to be beautiful. So it would have been more appropriately called not Krasnaya but Krasivaya square.
In the early 20th century the word red acquired a new meaning and has since then been primarily associated with communist ideology. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, red became the colour of the national flag, until the collapse of the USSR in 1991. In Soviet mythology, red was considered to be the colour of the bloodshed by the working class in their fight against the yoke of capitalism.

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