“In days of doubt, in days of dreary musings on my country’s fate, you alone are my comfort and support, oh great, powerful, righteous, and free Russian language!” - Ivan Turgenev
With 160 million native speakers, Russian is among the top 10 most commonly studied languages, as well as being one of the top 10 most commonly spoken languages. Learning Russian connects you with speakers around the world, including in places and contexts you might not expect!
Geographically the largest country in the world, Russia has a long history with deep and rich cultural traditions.
From Pushkin to Nabokov, the colossus of Russian literature speaks for itself. Russia has produced many of the world’s great literary giants. Reading these great authors in the original Russian is an eye-opening experience, given the grammatical complexities and cultural subtleties of the Russian language.
Russia has equally rich traditions in film, art, and music. It is home to some of the biggest names in film and classical music (Tchaikovsky, anyone?). In addition, Russia created one of the most widely used ballet methodologies, it boasts arguably the top ballet companies, the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky, and it has produced some of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. Indeed, Russia's place in the arts is unrivaled - its literature, philosophy, music, ballet, architecture, painting, cinema and animation have all made their mark on world culture.
Knowing Russian is useful in many fields, from the arts to business and the sciences.
Studying Russian helps you enter graduate programs. Students of Russian have a high acceptance rate for graduate study in law, business, and medicine.
Russia ranks among the top 10 countries for entrepreneurship. It is the world’s largest producer of natural gas and is among the world’s largest producers of many other natural resources. Russia is also an enormous market for US goods and services.
Russian is an important language for science and technology. More articles on the physical and life sciences are published in Russian than in English! Looking for a career in space? NASA relies on Russia to help with its launches and thus requires all potential astronauts to be fluent in Russian.
The US Government is always looking for Russian language specialists! Many federal agencies, including the State Department and the NSA, identify Russian as a priority language and are specifically seeking to employ Russian speakers.