Archive for December 18th, 2012

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Dotting the “Yos” – For anybody who has decided to learn Russian

December 18, 2012

There are numerous nuances in any language.  There are numerous grammatically historically correct actions which modern day language has or is making redundant.

Language evolves – if it didn’t then what I am writing now would be no different to the language used by Shakespeare centuries ago – which would probably be very annoying for you – it would certainly be annoying for me to write that way.

Here is quite a funny article in the Wall Street Journal over such an issue relating to Russian.  It is funny and yet has a serious side as the article explains.

I have to say it was an issue for me learning Russian.  Not many modern Russian books bother to put the two dots above the “e” to change the phonetic sound from “Ye” (without the two dots) to “Yo” (with the two dots above) – you are simply expected to know – which you obviously won’t when learning Russian as a secondary language.

yo

Indeed there is a nightclub named Club Yo in Odessa which uses the above symbol as its logo.  (Not the cheapest nightclub in Odessa by a long way – but I have a 20% discount card as I know a few of the women who dance for the club, so not that expensive as far as I’m concerned.)

Anyway, I digress.  For those of us learning Russian (and we never stop no matter how advanced we may become), the disappearance of those two dots can have a fundamental effect on your understanding of why some words sound very different to others.

I find myself on the side of the “yofikaotrs” – as for a non-native Russian speaker it would help a great deal to keep them!

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