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Old March 20th, 2013, 11:05 PM   #19661
ChrisZwolle
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Russian is a major native language in Ukraine, especially the more industrialized east. Russian is also the most widely spoken mother language in Europe.

Russian language in Ukraine:
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Old March 21st, 2013, 03:29 AM   #19662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I'm happy to see Russian language shunned from former Eastern European countries. I wish its use decline more and more.
Usage of Russian is growing here because of numerous Russian tourists, but only in certain tourist towns, which Russians are very fond of for some reason (particularly spas). You'll hardly see Russian inscriptions in (central) Ljubljana, for example.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:08 AM   #19663
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Russian is widely spoken and used in all three Baltic States, due to the high amount of ethnic Russians living there. Here in Mayrhofen, a lot of information, menus in restaurants and advertising are in Russian, due to the ever increasing number of Russians spending their holidays with us.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 01:38 PM   #19664
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Russian is widely spoken and used in all three Baltic States, due to the high amount of ethnic Russians living there.
That is true, although the younger generation of Estonians (including myself) can hardly speak any Russian at all. As a rule, Estonians speak worse Russian than Latvians or Lithuanians due to language differences.

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I'm happy to see Russian language shunned from former Eastern European countries. I wish its use decline more and more.
While Russian usage might be declining in the former Eastern European countries, it's definitely on the rise everywhere else. One example is Finland. At the moment it's compulsory for all students to learn Swedish since it's a second official language but the Eastern parts of Finland now wish to replace Swedish with Russian due to the influence of Russia.

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Incidentally, I'm quite sad with the slowdown on the removal of former communist symbols, some countries almost stopped defacing hammer and sickle minor signs or removing vestiges of communist administrations from public buildings, hospitals etc.
Only one building in Tallinn comes to mind that still has communist symbols on it, although I don't mind it really since it's practically an integral part of the design of the building: http://goo.gl/maps/jzhJm It's nothing if you compare it to the Soviet war memorial in Vienna



While we're on the subject of Russians and Cyprus is about to go bankrupt, I actually visited Cyprus in the summer of 2012. The number of Russian tourists there is just ridiculous. My estimate is that over 90% of tourists there are Russians. It often felt as if I'd left the EU and went into an unknown part of Russia.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; March 21st, 2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 02:56 PM   #19665
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It's amazing what you can do with a fresh lick of paint. Old communist blocks have been refurbished and freshly painted in a lot of former eastern block countries, including Russia, and a lot of them look a lot nicer than these ever depressing tower blocks in London and Birmingham. The buildings in Jena are a lust to the eye seen from the A4, and this is someone talking who is not a tower block fan.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 03:44 PM   #19666
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Meanwhile in Poland...
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster vow to take Poland to European court

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Poles belonging to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have pledged to take the Polish state to the European Court of Human Rights after the government refused to list it as a recognised faith.

In a statement posted on its website the Polish branch of the “church”, which believes the world was created by a pasta-based entity, said all faiths faced persecution as first and that the Polish state had underestimated its believers’ faith in “His Noodliness”.
“Do not be afraid, as it will only be a matter of time before our community is registered as a religious association,” the statement continued, adding it will first appeal to the Polish supreme court.
“If there are further problems, we declare that we will bring a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,” the statement vowed.
Although it claims to have existed in quiet anonymity for hundreds of years, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster first emerged into the public eye in 2005 during a dispute over a decision by the Kansas Education Board to allow the teaching of “intelligent design” as a counter-measure to creationism.
It has since then attracted widespread publicity on numerous occasions, mainly through the actions of “Pastafarians,” as the devotees of the church call themselves.

Two years ago an Austrian Pastafarian won the right on to be photographed wearing a pasta strainer on his head for his driving licence photograph. He had argued that a refusal to allow him to wear the kitchen accessory would violate his religious freedom.
Despite this success the organisation has often met with official disapproval supported by suspicions that far from being a legitimate religion the “church” amounts to little more that an irreverent mockery of established faiths and churches.
Pastafarians remain undaunted by bureaucratic disdain.
“Brother and sister, let us join together in the faith,” the Polish branch said in a rallying cry to the faithful. “Together we can overcome the difficulties and low carbohydrates, and fill the uncompromising hearts of civil servants with a portion of penne.”
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:46 PM   #19667
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That is true, although the younger generation of Estonians (including myself) can hardly speak any Russian at all. As a rule, Estonians speak worse Russian than Latvians or Lithuanians due to language differences.
Thats the case in all three Baltic countries, I think. I dont know a word in Russian, for example.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 05:48 PM   #19668
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Thats the case in all three Baltic countries, I think. I dont know a word in Russian, for example.
You are all in EU and Schengen, so maybe that's also a reason?
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:49 PM   #19669
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I don't think so. I think it mostly has to do with the shift from a Russian cultural space to an Anglo-American cultural space. This shift happened pretty much instantly at the beginning of the 90s. I was born in 1991 and all the films or TV shows I watched already as a kid were in English (and in Estonia we use subtitles rather than dubbing).
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:49 PM   #19670
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I've travelled on a Lithuanian registered coach once, from Riga to Berlin, and they've showed two movies : one Hollywood film, very badly dubbed into Russian (actually it was one voice translating the dialogues) , and a classic Russian slapstick comedy from the early 80's about some builders getting in all sorts of trouble. I've actually enjoyed that one, even though I couldn't understand it.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:54 PM   #19671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
and a classic Russian slapstick comedy from the early 80's about some builders getting in all sorts of trouble. I've actually enjoyed that one, even though I couldn't understand it.
Приключения Шурика?
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:56 PM   #19672
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Err... Maybe
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Old March 21st, 2013, 10:54 PM   #19673
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Romanian car thieves... now stealing also car doors:

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my clinched highways
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Old March 21st, 2013, 11:00 PM   #19674
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I learned Russian in 1983-92, 9 years long. I always had marks of 4 and 5, which are the best possible marks in Hungary (and 1 is the worst one). And I hardly speak any Russian.
In Germany some of my workmates are Russians (one from Ukraine, one from Moldavia and one from Kazakhstan, but all ethnically Russian), and I can't speak to them, and hardly understand anything, when they speak to each other in Russian.

And it's not that I forgot it in 20 years, my Russian was in '92 so poor as well. That was the 'high' level of language education in Hungary...
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Old March 21st, 2013, 11:24 PM   #19675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdymol View Post
Romanian car thieves... now stealing also car doors:

Great news!
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Poland.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 11:30 PM   #19676
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdymol View Post
Romanian car thieves... now stealing also car doors:

Maybe the owner tuned the car
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Old March 21st, 2013, 11:46 PM   #19677
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Quote:
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I learned Russian in 1983-92, 9 years long. I always had marks of 4 and 5, which are the best possible marks in Hungary (and 1 is the worst one). And I hardly speak any Russian.
In Germany some of my workmates are Russians (one from Ukraine, one from Moldavia and one from Kazakhstan, but all ethnically Russian), and I can't speak to them, and hardly understand anything, when they speak to each other in Russian.

And it's not that I forgot it in 20 years, my Russian was in '92 so poor as well. That was the 'high' level of language education in Hungary...
One thing is knowing the grammar of a certain language, being able to read simple phrases, translating simple texts, ect... another is being able to speak it fluently and understand natives while they're speaking normally fast.
For example in Italy many people study Latin at high school. I studied the grammar and translated pieces of Latin literature with the help of the dictionary. But I can't translate automatically a phrase in Latin, let alone speaking it. If I read some inscription in Latin on some monument I may be able to understand something.
There are many people who studied English for few years, and are able to read it and speak it slowly but that they would never be able to follow a dialogue between native speakers.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 01:22 AM   #19678
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I was the last generation that learnt Serbo-Croatian at school.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 08:01 AM   #19679
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how different is Croatian from Serbian language, other than alphabet used?
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 09:55 AM   #19680
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They're mutually intelligible. Not many differences. Many words used are totally different, though.

example eng / cro / srb

iron / željezo / gvožđe
air / zrak / vazduh
train / vlak / voz
pants / hlače / pantalone
etc.
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