Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Russian language and all its splendours are only available to those who are brave enough to engage themselves in an endless struggle on the cusp of greatness. It’s a gift given to those who earn the right to see wonders written in Cyrillic.
Russia is the biggest country in the world, and I would argue that its language doesn’t fall short of the being one of the largest either. Large in the terms of vocabulary, large in terms of grammar, large in terms of rules and exceptions to those rules. A stupendous language that gives its learners but one simple choice: excel or get out.
There is no end to the ways something can be expressed in Russian. Written and spoken Russian, of course, differs, but the existential beauty of the language remains.
Russian often leaves me bewildered, stunned at how romantic and poetic it is when written. Even simple sentences put in the correct structure allow you to quite literally feel the writer’s desired intention.
Perhaps it’s because I don’t pay too much attention to English, Chinese or other major languages, but I can strongly feel the cultural aspect of Russians inside the words spoken or written in Russian. At times direct and to the point, leaving no space for ambiguity or sentiment, and at other times gracefully tender and warming.
It’s take more than three years for these revelations to surface. It’s almost as if once I had cracked the hard crust; this the tough surface that lurks exposed to the outside warding off intruders, I had reached nirvana. For the first time, I am being allowed a glimpse of the all holy, all eventful sphere in which the Russian language lives and breathes.
There is no limit to the beauty that still lies undiscovered and untouched. This is only the beginning. Russia may just be one of the hardest languages in which to achieve a base level. But once achieved, this springboard propels you to unknown heights.
Learning Russia feels as if it’s a sacred rite of passage. What it leads to is an opening that proves true one of the late Nelson Mandela’s most famous quotes: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Here he alludes to that miraculous moment when Russians not only allow you into their world, but also truthfully and faithfully into their hearts. JSF.