Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

They don't like Russians here.

by slaboymni Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 12:49:21 PM EST

They don't like Russians here

"РУССКИХ ЗДЕСЬ НЕ ЛЮБЯТ"

This is currently the frontpage article on Izvestiya's website.  Their electronic version usually closely follows the print one, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is also on the frontpage there.  In either case, millions of Russians are currently reading this article.

Apparently, the Gallop Institute recently conducted surveys to determine attitudes/relations between certain countries.  It turns out that Russia is least liked in France, Finland, Poland, Great Britain, and South Korea.  The Izvestiya article examines Finland, as the survey indicates that 62 percent of Finns dislike Russia.

In the interests of multilingual diaries (Oops, did I just open a can of worms?), I am including the Russian source, along with my translation.

[Updated to include a link to the poll's source]

It appears that this is the source.

This page is interesting because it has world public opinion on Great Britain, America, France, China, etc. And lots of pretty graphs!

You can see the methodology and the questions in the following pdf: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/feb06/ViewsCountries_Feb06_quaire.pdf


Following is an excerpt from the article:

 Недавно Институт Гэллапа провел опрос общественного мнения об отношении стран друг к другу, пытаясь составить своего рода "имиджевый" рейтинг государств. Выяснилось, что Россию недолюбливают во Франции, Польше, Великобритании и Южной Корее. Пальма первенства - у косовских албанцев (что понятно). На втором месте с 62 процентами оказалась Финляндия - а вот это уже совершенно неожиданно. Неужели финны пошли по пути своих балтийских соседей, где русофобские настроения стали своего рода традицией?

Эксперты с цифрами пытаются спорить. В опросе принял участие 621 финн (всего же в мире было опрошено 50 тысяч человек), и делать какие-либо выводы на основании столь непредставител&# 1100;ной выборки не имеет смысла, утверждает директор института Gullap Suomi Юхани Пехконен. С одной стороны, вроде бы все так - для "широты картины" не мешало бы опросить большее число респондентов. С другой - в финской прессе в последнее время появилось огромное количество материалов как раз о том, что отношения с Россией при всем их внешнем благополучии оставляют желать лучшего. Не говоря уже о бытовых проблемах, возникающих у русскоязычных жителей Финляндии.

"Русофобия по-фински"

Последний пример - нашумевшая публикация открытого письма редактора журнала Focus Magazine Кости Хейсканена, адресованного европейским журналистам, в котором он просит защитить свободу слова в Финляндии. Причиной обращения стала реакция местных СМИ на публикацию в журнале материала о "русофобии по-фински". В нем рассказывалась история одной из "смешанных" семей: отец - финн, мать, Людмила, - русская. Двое детей - Яни и Тимо. В середине 1990-х они перебрались из Санкт-Петербург& #1072; в небольшой финский городок Ловизу. Там-то и почувствовали на себе, что такое национализм в финском варианте.

"Меня обзывали "рюсся" (это пренебрежитель&# 1085;ое прозвище русских) и били, - рассказывает Яни Вялитало. - Когда я спрашивал: "За что?", отвечали: "Так у нас же с русскими война была. А у тебя мать русская".

"Вскоре после переезда я почувствовала, что русских здесь не любят. Русские даже не хотят открыто говорить на родном языке", - рассказывает Людмила.

"Многие коллеги меня критиковали за эту статью, - поделился с "Известиями" Кости Хейсканен. - Наши СМИ негативно настроены по отношению к России: их интересует проституция, бандитизм, не пишут почти ничего положительного. Волна антироссийских публикаций началась в 1990-е, с прошлого же года идет настоящая бомбардировка негативными статьями. Я никогда не думал, что у нас может быть такая ненависть. Если мы смотрим новости, где нам показывают, что Путин - диктатор, что в России бюрократия и проституция, какое мнение может сложиться об этой стране?".

У самого Кости жена тоже приехала из России. У них двое детей - Ника (9 лет) и Тим (6 лет). Они на себе ощутили, что такое в Финляндии быть русским - пусть даже наполовину. "К нам приходит много писем - и все они об одном и том же: русским в Финляндии быть нелегко. И на работу устроиться трудно, и зарплаты ниже, чем у финнов. В основном это касается небольших городов. В Хельсинки "национальный вопрос" так остро не стоит", - считает Кости.


Following is my translation of the above into English:


Russophobia a la Finland

The latest example is the publication of an open letter by the editor of Focus Magazine Kostya Heiskanena, addressed to European journalists, in which he asks for help defending freedom of speech in Finland.  The reason for this letter was the reaction of local media to the publication in his magazine of an article called "Russophobia a la Finland".  In it was told the story of a "mixed" family (father: Finn; mother, Lydmilla: Russian; two kids: Yanni and Timo).  In the mid-90's they moved from St. Petersburg to the small Finnish town of Lovizy.  There they felt for themselves what nationalism means in its Finnish form.

"They called me "russya" (this is a deragatory name for Russians) and beat me", said Yanni Vyalitalo. - When I asked, "Why?", they answered, "Because we had a war with Russians.  And your mother is Russian."

"Soon after our move here I felt that Russians are not welcome.  Russians don't even want to openly speak their native language", said Lydmilla.

"A lot of my colleagues criticized me for this article", Kostya Heiskanena shared with "Izvestiya".  "Our media are negatively disposed towards Russia: they are interested in prostitution, bandits, they hardly write anything positive.  A wave of anti-Russian publications started in the 90's, since last year there has been a bombardment of negative articles.  I never thought that here we could have such hatred.  If you watch the news, where they are telling us that Putin is a dictator, that Russia has only bureacratism and prostitution, what kind of opinion of that country will be formed?"

Kostya himself has a Russian wife.  They have two kids - Nika (9 years old) and Tim (6 years old).  They have experienced themselves what it means to be Russian in Finland - even if only half.  "We get a lot of letters - and they're all about the same thing: it's not easy to be Russian in Finland.  It's hard to find work and the salaries are lower than Finns make.  Generally, this is true for small towns.  In Helsinki "the nationality question" is not such an urgent problem", according to Kostya.

Display:
It's still on the frontpage, but it has scrolled down some.  It was the main story since I woke up this morning - around 5AM.  It's almost 1:30PM now.
by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:25:08 PM EST
It turns out that Russia is least liked in France, Finland, Poland, Great Britain, and South Korea.

That is a truly perplexing set of countries.  What could they all possibly have in common?  I suppose they all hate the Russians for different reasons.  

But surprising that they hate them moreso than Czechs or Afgahnis or even Americans.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:31:24 PM EST
I was a little surprised, too.  You can see in the article that the Kosovo Albanians, however, hate Russians more than any other group.
by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you translate us the exact wording of the poll question?

Dislike/hate/negative-opinion-of Russia/Russians?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any link to the poll questions asked?

I'm curious about the South Korea result, it doesn't fit with things I've seen before.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I updated the diary with the following information:

It appears that this is the source.

This page is interesting because it has world public opinion on Great Britain, America, France, China, etc.  And lots of pretty graphs!

You can see the methodology and the questions in the following pdf:
http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/feb06/ViewsCountries_Feb06_quaire.pdf

by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please tell me if you think each of the following are having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world...

Hm, that's as much about Russophobia as a negative view of Israel's influence in the world is anti-semitism. (Not that it may not be related to prejudices.) This also explains South Korea - they may have the view that Putin props up Kim Jong Il.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Russophobia in Finland is real.  The experience of the newspaper editor and the other anecdotes corraborate that.

After having searched everywhere for the poll's source ;-) though, I would wonder how reading the results led them to investigate Finland above any of the others with a negative perception.

by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:41:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Russophobia in Finland is real.

Agreed, even if the article details anecdotal evidence. It seems like a similar too-long-lasting war psychosis like in Poland and to a lesser extent in Britain against Germans (I have read of a very similar case as the Russian-Finnish one in DER SPIEGEL BTW), something most Germans and Russians respective French and Germans could bring behind themselves. Hopewfully works of art like the film Kukushka will eventually counter-act this.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think it has anything to do with being invaded not so long ago?

(Now that I'm flagged as anti-Russian, I'm getting comfortable in the job!)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 03:52:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, by that logic Russians should be anti-French, but they are no more than anyone else ;-)
by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 04:08:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, interesting.

How do you feel about all this having read the methodology?

I guess the thing that rang the bell for me was that I know China is less popular than Russia in South Korea and that is borne out by the figures on the page you quote.

(The bell also rang because N. Korea has a worse image than either of them.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I looked at the USA's numbers - apparently, in Poland stands out, most mother countries with a non-negative opinion of US influence were the countries with non-representative samples.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The USA is also the country with the highest percentage who think their own country has a negative influence in the world (30%) - that's something speaking of a wider willingness for national self-criticism than elsewhere.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pure speculation about South Korea but there might be leftover anti-Russian feelings from the Korean war among the older populatin, or it might be related to the (relatively) recent influx of visitors and migrants from among the Central Asian Korean community - in Central Asia courtesy of the NKVD travel bureau. On the other hand the impression I've gotten is that the Central Asian Koreans aren't particularly anti-Russian.
by MarekNYC on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 02:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russians shot down Korean passenger airliners not just once, but twice (1978, 1983) when they invaded the controlled airspace. The last incident resulted in 269 deaths. "Target destroyed..." Remember anyone?

Incidentally, an American frigate shot down an Iranian passenger plane (Airbus, I remember) in 1988 resulting in hundreds of deaths. The American public brushed it aside, until it was discovered some of the passengers were visiting Europeans.

At that time NYT editorialized that we could understand the circumstances if we would put our foot in the shoe of the American frigate captain. Maybe they could have put their foot in the Sukhoi fighter pilot's shoe too.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 10:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should comment.

Negatives
A) The VISIBILITY of Russians in Finland (ie not numerical instances) is either people with more money than style (there is a shop in Helsinki called 'Expensive' which only caters for the newly-rich Russians with more money than style), corrupt embassy officials, hookers, gangsters and students. This is the media at work...

B) The recent-folklore-history of Russian interference in Finnish politics. It is not many years ago so people still recall it. It is active memory.

Positives
A)  Many young Finns running creative endeavours in 'Wild West' St P = fewer restrictions.

B) increasing respect for Russian IT expertise and science.

C) That Russian and Finnish histories are positively intertwined - apart from the 2 short wars.

In short, we need to get along. We are neighbours, and I think - deep down - we understand each other. Which is more than can be said about many EU pairs of nations...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 05:50:42 PM EST
Yes, I agree Russians and Finns do get along surprisingly well.  At least the one Finn I met in Russia did :-)  I was only in St. Petersburg for 10 days, however, or I'm sure I would have met more.

increasing respect for Russian IT expertise and science.

This is often overlooked.  I work in IT in America.  The few Russians that we have are our highest performers [besides me, of course ;-)].  They have totally changed management's mind.  In fact, if they have a choice now between hiring a Russian candidate and one from India or China, they always go with the Russian.

by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don;t happen to work in NY? We visited some Russian friends of my wife's who were running an IT company in the Big A.

I think she was from St.P and he from Moscow

by PeWi on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 08:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, PeWi.  I missed your question yesterday.

No, unfortunately not.  I'm American - from The South, even ;-)

I do, however, work in the bowels of a large Mega Corp on the East Coast.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 02:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
D) A number of Finns go to get drunk in St P as a nice public service just for them collects them off the street.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:38:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, people used to um, make fun, of the Finns in St. P when I was there.  Quite a lot.  For being so nice and clean and affluent and generally dorky.  I know, terrible.  But they just really stuck out against the backdrop of the Russian streets with their brightly colored parkas and all.

Mostly I think people were very just envious that the Finns could always just leave whenever they wanted while we were stuck there.

This was back when the whole idea of coming to Russia for a fun weekend jaunt was still bizarre.  So we assumed the Finns were too.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what was so great about the one Finn I met in St. P!  He would stand at the door to the train in the metro and let everyone go in front of him instead of packing himself in no matter what.  People looked at him like he was from Mars!
by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the drive for gender equality in Finland, few men still hold doors open for women.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:42:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure if he was doing it out of politeness, or if he was just overwhelmed by the complete lack of decorum.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finns are never overwhelmed. Maybe heavily underwhelmed on occasion....   ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russians refer to the Finns (from the experience you describe) as 'Our four-legged friends' ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to this survey, Finnland has a mainly negative attitude toward the US, China and Iran too. Since I am not very acquainted with Finnland's foreign policy line, what should the reasons behind that negativism be? (I don't need an explanation about Iran though:-))

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:28:11 PM EST
You need one for the US?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:32:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guess not...only if there is something rather extraordinary very few people, excluding myself, are aware of :) How about China?

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Off topic, but...  You're from Bulgaria right, Little J?  Do you speak Russian?  Can you read the Russian text above?  I've often been told that Bulgarian is very similar to Old Church Slavonic and I was just wondering if you could understand written modern Russian.

Thanks!

by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 06:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't speak Russian, because it wasn't compulsory at school after 1989, as it used to be before that, and I started going to school in 1990. My parents do.

And yes, it is a similar language, but from what I know the grammar is very different. If I listen carefully and if the others are not speaking very quickly, I understand more than 50% of what they're saying, without being able to respond:-) But it also goes the other way round- I've tried to talk to Russians in Bulgarian and they understood. Same thing with written modern Russian- if I go, say, to a Russian website, I can always find what I'm looking for.

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde

by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, does Bulgarian retain anything from its non-Slavic origins?

It must have kept some. Hungarian retains some 200 words from the time the Finno-Ugric Magyar tribes mingled with Bulgarian-Turkic tribes North of the Caucasus, for example bika=bull, which I find is биков in Bulgarian; or csat=fastener, which I find is (also) цип in Bulgarian.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 05:04:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The words you mention are almost the same in Russian:
бык, ципление
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I am no linguist :-)

One possibility is that Russian got those words from the same source as Hungarian.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:43:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a linguist either, but I find it a fascinating subject.  I regularly read this site to find interesting tidbits.  There's a good article there now on German dialects.  I remember this was discussed heatedly a couple of months back ;-)
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, but I'm sure we have such words.
But we certainly use a good number of words, which are from Turkish origin. Of course, this comes naturally having in mind that my country has been under Ottoman rule for five centuries.
And bull in Bulgarian is бик, not биков (this is the adjective):-)

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I stand corrected :-)

But we certainly use a good number of words, which are from Turkish origin. Of course, this comes naturally having in mind that my country has been under Ottoman rule for five centuries.

Yes, Turkish words from the time of Ottoman occupation are a second source for Turkic words in Hungarian, too (and a third is other nomadic Turkic tribes that were settled in the Hungarian Kingdom and later assimilated).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Little L, according to Wikipedia:

...Old Bulgarian (9th to 11th century, also referred to as Old Church Slavonic) was the language used by St. Cyril, St. Methodius and their disciples to translate the Bible and other liturgical literature from Greek. Middle Bulgarian (12th to 15th century) was a language of rich literary activity and major innovations. Modern Bulgarian dates from the 16th century onwards; the present-day written language was standardized on the basis of the 19th-century Bulgarian vernacular. The historical development of the Bulgarian language can be described as a transition from a highly synthetic language (Old Bulgarian) to a typical analytic language (Modern Bulgarian) with Middle Bulgarian as a midpoint in this transition.

Fewer than 20 words remain in Bulgarian from the language of the Bulgars, the Central Asian people who moved into present-day Bulgaria and eventually adopted the local Slavic language. The Bolgar language, a member of the Turkic language family or the Iranian language family (Pamir languages), is otherwise unrelated to Bulgarian.

Whoa. So Hungarian has more Bulgarian-Turkic words than Bulgarian!

About the Bolgar language:

...It was used in Great Bulgaria, and later in Volga Bulgaria and in Danubian Bulgaria. The language became extinct in Danubian Bulgaria in the 9th century as the Bulgar nobility became gradually Slavonized through intermarriages with the Slavic majority there.

The language remained, however, in use by the population of Volga Bulgaria until the 13th or the 14th century when it adopted a number of words and constructions from the Kypchak language. The language spoken by the present-day Volga Tatars represents a mixture of Bolgar and Kypchak. The Chuvash group of the Volga Bolgars kept their language and it evolved into the modern Chuvash language.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I wonder which those words are! Thanks, DoDo, interesting info from you again!

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder, too! I found one:

Bulgarian: къс
Hungarian said to be of Bulgarian-Turkic origin: kis
(English: little)
(Russian: can't find similar-sounding synonym)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:55:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally I found an entire page about the preserved parts. It also says that the grammatic features of modern Bulgarians that it set apart from other Slavic languages were recently tracked back to Bolgar, based on inscriptions discovered in the "last few decades".

Two more words shared with Hungarian I discovered:

Dog: Hungarian kutya, Bulgarian куче

Yoke: Hungarian iga, Bulgarian иго

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:31:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another thing I just learnt:

The word Βονλγαροι (Boulgaroi) is derived from the word Βονλγα (Voulga).  Βονλγα is the Koine name of the river Volga where the Proto Bulgarians originated.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So maybe the right word should then be Voulgaria:))!

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:45:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, I found another page suggesting a different etymology, a Turkic word meaning sabble...

But maybe the Volga was named "sabble"?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:58:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

Nice words I see here. If I even mention some of those to another Bulgarian, they will burst with laughter!

It is strange that I've never thought of the etimology of the simple words I use in my daily communication. I'll definitely save a copy of this page. Cheers, DoDo!

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde

by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Little L!

I've never personally met anyone from Bulgaria and was just wondering if you could understand Russian, as the languages seem to be closely related.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 05:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are welcome.
By the way, what does your signature mean: Russian mind doesn't understand?

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is from a poem by Tyutchev.  It means "you can't understand Russia with your mind alone".
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh....I know Russian grammer has eight cases, right? This is an obstacle for me to get the correct meaning, even though I know what the words mean.

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the cases are a thing of beauty as far as poetry.  You can make almost anything rhyme.  Without knowing the cases it is impossible to understand the meaning.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:40:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Bulgarian we have just three cases, but some of the forms sound really weird, and nobody uses them. Russian sounds to me not a very easy one to master.

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:44:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three cases?  Boy, did you get off light ;-)

I think the shaking of the head to indicate assent, instead of nodding, would throw me off.  I tend to make a lot of hand/facial gestures when I talk.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:47:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I no longer know what the right thing to do is in a certain situation- I don't know whether to nod, or to shake my head anymore. Being a Bulgarian and having lived abroad for certain periods in my life, I am so confused. I just spin my head in all directions...and roll my eyes:-)

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!

By the way, how do Bulgarians perceive Russia/Russians?  Is it also somewhat generational - where the older generation has negative connotations?

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, it is really hard to tell, and it all varies from government to government (speaking of the years after Communism. They will go from total rejection to a milder position, depending on the political party they are formed by.

Bulgaria has been traditionally pro-Russian oriented, and this dates back to the Russian- Turkish War, which set Bulgaria free from the Ottoman yoke in 1878. The first governments after the Liberation also considered Russia a key partner. Russians were always our "bratushki" (brothers). Then, in the years of Communism, we were a Russian satellite state.

I think the overall perception of Russia has not changed significantly since the beginning of democratic changes in Bulgaria. Of course, we have oriented our priorities in a Western direction, we are NATO members, we are US allies, and this definitely shifts the attitudes, but Russia is and will always be an important partner, and I think the Bulgarian society also realizes that.

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde

by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:11:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I seem to remember six cases, not eight from my time learning the language. (nominative, genetive, accusative, dative, locative, instrumental) I remember enough to be able to slowly make my way through an article like that one, relying as much on cognates with Polish as on what I actually learned.  Polish btw. has seven cases - the Russian ones plus the vocative case - i.e. when adressing some one. I assume that one existed at one point in Russian since they use it when invoking God - Bozhe, not Bog.  The biggest problem for me was things that were similar but not quite the same as in Polish, particularly as I had a tendency to be lazy and just rely on Polish to figure out which case or verb aspect to use - place it in Polish, run the kogo/czego, komu/czemu etc. question through my head and presto. My first Russian teacher in college used to get very upset, yelling at me that we were speaking Russian, not Polish. My Russian teachers used to say that aspect was the hardest thing for Americans to learn, not case declensions. Funny thing is, it was only while learning Russian that I realized that there was such a thing as verb aspect (never actually studied Polish) In fact, everything I know about Polish grammar comes from learning Russian.  I also noticed that certain modern Russian words don't exist in modern Polish usage but did in older Polish and/or in peasant dialects. I'm told the reverse is also true.
by MarekNYC on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there are 6 cases.  My Russian teacher (who was Russian) did not use the names of the cases, but used a more practical approach to teaching us the language.  So when someone who is learning the language asks me something like, "What case would I use for book if I want to say 'Give me the book, please'", I just tell them how to say 'book' in the proper case ;-)

The MasterRussian main site is very good for anyone learning the language, but the forum is a really great resource.  It has a very eclectic mix of Russian and American posters.  There are also "Politics" and "Culture and History" sub-topics in English.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 11:04:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there are 6 cases.  My Russian teacher (who was Russian) did not use the names of the cases, but used a more practical approach to teaching us the language.  So when someone who is learning the language asks me something like, "What case would I use for book if I want to say 'Give me the book, please'", I just tell them how to say 'book' in the proper case ;-)

While I'd just translate it into Polish and substitute the question word - so daj mi książkę - daj mi co? - accusative, knigu (I think, it's been a while;)).
 (a with a tail is pronounced like the French on, e with a tail like a French in, z with a dot is a hard zh - as opposed to one with a line which is a soft zh)

by MarekNYC on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 11:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With 24 diaries, Russia is now by far the most written-about country over at EuroTribWiki's Politics and Policy by Country page. Even discounting the RosUkrGas diaries there are 17 diaries on Russia, far ahead of Hungary with 14.

So, if we don't get Russia right here on ET it's not for lack of trying.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 07:17:12 PM EST
Ok, my work here is done ;-)

Well, Russia is the largest (population, geography) country in Europe.  It should have the most diaries! </just kidding>

by slaboymni on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 07:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I think you are correct. It's ironic that the E.U. considers Turkey, but not Russia (west of the Urals), as part of Europe. Turkey is the remains of the Ottoman Empire, while Russia is clearly part of traditional Europe. It would make a lot more sense from the cultural and historical viewpoint to include Russia and exclude Turkey. Which would move the center of Europe to somewhere in Poland, much to the distaste of France.

Right, Jerome?  :-)

[Note: Jerome chided me about this just a couple of days ago.]

by asdf on Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 11:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that people exclude Russia from the EU per se, it's just that Turkey wants to join and so far Russia has not been in a mood to do so.

slaboymni himself is a good example, he doesn't think there is any reason for Russia to be part of the EU.

So, it's only natural, given that Turkey has been interested in membership for some time that more discussion would be given over to their accession.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, the Ottoman Empire controlled all the Balkans and Southern Ukraine, you can't say it wasn't European.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, Metatone.  I, most Russians, and Jerome all agree that Russia does not want to join the EU.

I don't think there is any disagreement, though, that part of Russia (more than Turkey) is geographically located in Europe.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 05:59:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why does Russia not want to join the EU? I'm just wondering.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:01:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Loss of sovereignty.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:04:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:11:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurasian Union, that's an idea.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:06:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to pick on you or anything, Migeru...  But a lot of the comments I see here seem to assume that all countries aspire (or should aspire) to EU membership.  I seem to remember someone calling this European "manifest destiny".
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, it was in fact me decrying it. And if you go over to the "new meme" thread you'll see my non-coercion principle.

The thing about the Eurasian Union was a snark. It really opens up a whole new can of worms just to consider adding all of Russia to a political EU.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come to think of it, Russia is (or could be) the Eurasian Union.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That wasn't my intent at least: it's interesting why they don't want to join. It helps illustrate their attitude to us.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also an important faction among "us" that has the same fear of "us".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is that. I presume the Russian position is more complicated as well.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You would hope Russian opinion isn't monolythic: they have 1/3 of the population of the EU, and 100M people West of the Urals.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there is a huge diversity of opinion in Russia.

The diversity is somewhat on a generational basis though.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:23:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary!

(sorry)

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:29:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know you weren't implying this, Colman.

I just found it interesting that current EU members often assume that everyone else wants to become a member of the club.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And who says the EU doesn't have a national identity? All we need is a bit more of a sense of superiority over outsiders and we'll be all set.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a scary thought!

For the record, I actually have a lot of respect for what the EU has accomplished and for its principles.  I do worry about its future course though, especially in the direction your comment implies.

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a scary thought!

I thought you'd like it. It really is a danger to be aware of. You think that a nationalist and militarised US is fun? Wait 'til you see what the equivalent version of a unified Europe would look like picking up the white man's burden again and trying to civilise the world by force - for their own good of course.

That image is going to haunt me all day now.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait for a world composed of the EU, Russia, China, the Arab League, the African Union, Mercosur, the US and assorted smaller players.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That I'm looking forward to. It's the assorted smaller players - buffer states - that worry me.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:39:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot India as a "big" entity.

Some countries just don't seem to fit. The US is not going to absorb Canada or Mexico, Japan, (the) Korea(s) and the Phillippines are not going to band together, Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia are hard to place...

[I am assuming China, India, US and Russia are unlikely to absorb others and are too big to be part of a federation with smaller states]

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey will make it into the EU possibly along with some of the other states around the Mediterranean.

Is there space for a central Asian union, possibly including Iran? Again, I don't understand the affinities and histories there.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming the Maghrib would stay in the Arab League.

Israel has its best shot as an EU enclave surrounded by the Arab League.

What about the Caucasus (including Kurdistan)?

I'm thinking there would be room for the various central-asian Istans to band together. Iran is an oddball because it's Shiite, but if it becomes democratic that should not be a problem.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:58:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is membership of the Arab League incompatible with EU membership?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO membership isn't.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO? What NATO? ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm assuming some core of the Arab League would become a political union. The Maghrib states would essentially have a choice.

There can be a Mediterranean trade and cooperation area that straddles both EU and AL, but that is a different story.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why a choice? I'm playing here but the key condition for EU membership is implementation of the Acquis Communautaire and some sort of agreement of how much cash and access you're going to get as you're brought up to speed. If you imagine an Arab League that was a similar sort of surpa-national organisation why could states not be in both, assuming that the membership requirements weren't contradictory?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:08:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their "Commission-level" politicians would have conflicts of interest in EU-AL diplomatic deals. Imagine the nightmare if they also stayed part of the African Union.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:13:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conflicts of interest or abilities to mediate?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, ok, why don't we wait for my diary? We're polluting Slaboymni's.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes boss.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my book the key condition is sharing "European allegiance, identity or interest", whatever that means.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if we talk of the long term and imagine peace and democracy spreading I can see some parts of the Maghrib wanting to join the EU.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:01:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they definitely would have a choice. But the linguistic, religious and cultural affinities are just not there with the non-mediterranean EU members.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:05:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll wait for your diary on the topic.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the cultural links between Ireland and Greece? Or Ireland and Hungary?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The short answer is <shudder> Christianity.

Don't the Irish get taught in school about the GrecoRoman roots of Western civilization?

I'm sure I can come up with something about Ireland and Hungary. Let's see: Chritianity (Catholicism, actually); Indoeuropean Language.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would that be the Christianity that was born in North Africa?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:17:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean St. Augustine?

Anyway, be sure I'll draw heavily from Richard Fletcher's writing of Richard Fletcher.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure I can come up with something about Ireland and Hungary. Let's see: Chritianity (Catholicism, actually); Indoeuropean Language.

DANG. No, no Indo-European language here. Finno-Ugric. (Finnish and Estonian too.)

Personally I see no problem with an EU in which cultural ties aren't all-encompassing. (And Morocco long wants to join.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:40:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh!

Agreed, ties can be geographical, cultural, historical...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 08:46:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel has its best shot as an EU enclave surrounded by the Arab League.
Holy shit, this is the Crusader States, redux.

This king of thinking is part of why the EU needs to involve itself heavily in the Israel-Palestine issue, especially on the status of Jerusalem.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:11:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Maghreb - in fact the whole Mediteranean area is definitely long term EU material.

I also think that South America is more likely to join the EU than to join North America in any organised polity. Cuba will be a flashpoint for a long time...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 09:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you assuming a bipolar world?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn you, Colman, now I'm going to have to write a diary about this stuff.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My work here is done... bwahahah.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:03:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was called the USSR. :)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:23:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were much more diaries about Germany during the elections, but I still haven't found the will and time to collect them all...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 03:21:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there you go with your anti-Russian bias </snark>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 04:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What!  Anti-Russian bias!  I guess I'll have to write another diary ;-)  This will also keep Russia ahead in the diary total contest.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just like the olympics, I love it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 06:01:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Боже мой!

How did this dairy end up becoming a grammar lesson? I'm posting down here just because I can't keep track of the threads...

On cases:  Sick and wrong.  Might explain why so many people don't like the Russians.  Who want' to bether learning all those cases?  But great for poets.  I suppose there is no getting rid of them, but I think, this being the 21st century and all, the least we could do is stop assigning genders to inanimate objects.  That would simplify things.  

On Bulgarian:  I'm always surpised how much I can understand written Bulgarian.  Very similar.  Perhaps the only thing closer is Belarussian, which, let's face it, is not a real language. ;) Ukrainian is arguably more similar to Russian, I suppose.  But in a different way...


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:36:40 PM EST
Except that most people who dislike Russians also have lots of cases in their languages.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh, heh!

I was wondering when you were going to drop by ;-)

I think the cases are wonderful.  No need to worry about the, a, an, word order.  Total lexical freedom!

Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seen written Belarussian.  Usually they just write in Russian.  Ukrainian is similar, but is considered kind of a "baby language" by Russians.  In other words, the changes that have been made from Russian are like something a 3-year old Russian would make.  It makes Ukrainian very funny to listen to...

by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:47:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, well, I was trying to find a way to avoid making that observation about Ukrainian.

I once had a Russian teacher yell at me for mispronouncing something.  She said I sounded like a Ukrainian.  It was not meant to be a compliment.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 01:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually gender in Russian (as you know) is much easier to ascertain than in French, for example.  Gender is determined by the ending.  If a word ends in an a sound, it's feminine.  If it ends in o, it's neutral.  If it ends in a consonant, it's masculine.
by slaboymni on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but they still require diff. declensions for fem, masc & neut. :(

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 01:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and this is where the nightmare starts at!

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 01:54:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries