Why Is It Important to Study Russian?

  1. Russian is the major means for communication with the many peoples who occupy 1/8th of the world's land surface. Russian is spoken by over 284 million people whose fate is intricately bound with ours for the foreseeable future. This figure includes about 167 million native speakers of Russian and another 110 million people in former Soviet republics of the Baltics, Caucasus, and Central Asian areas speaking Russian as a second language.
  2. Over 28% of the world's scientific literature is produced in Russian. Research is essential to economic progress, and Russian is the vehicle of some of the most vital technological information in the modern world.
  3. Russian continues to play a major role in international affairs and presents a challenge to other countries. American businessmen must be able to speak to Russian trade representatives; American scientists must not wait a year for Russian scientific reports to be translated into English; American journalists must be able to evaluate information immediately available to them on live Russian TV, in the pages of the major newspapers, and on the internet. American diplomats must be able to negotiate intricate political and economic treaties in the language of their counterparts. Russia sees the U.S. as a very important political partner. For that reason, it promotes strong transatlantic communication by sponsoring study exchanges and research visits for Americans each year in many cities.
  4. Learning Russian prepares you to join the world economy. Russia is the largest or one of the largest producers of numerous natural resources and raw materials including petroleum, diamonds, gold, copper, manganese, uranium, silver, graphite, and platinum. Russia is the second largest steel producer in the world, after Japan, and has an enormous timber reserve. Russia is the world's largest producer of natural gas, third largest producer of oil, and fourth largest in terms of the mining of coal. Russia has an estimated 40% of the world's total reserves of natural gas, and Russia's proven oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's. Russia is the TOP oil producer in the world and new pipelines are being built that will make it cheaper for the US to import oil from Russia than from the Middle East. American companies have been quick to realize the potential of the Russian market; some of these are listed at www.bisnis.doc.gov. The Russian middle class is prospering and growing and US investment in Russia is growing every year.
  5. Learn about one of the world's most fascinating cultures. Some of the world's most prominent writers, artists, musicians, directors of the stage and screen are Russian: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov, Pasternak, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, Repin, Kandinsky, Malevich, Popova, Chagall, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stanislavsky and Tarkovsky ... to name just a few!
  6. Russian classes are FUN and students in Russian classes form a friendly community. Students get lots of attention from their instructors. The Russian Program at UAH offers students the opportunity to study the Russian language for four years beginning with Elementary Russian. Students explore Russian language and culture, examine important works of Russian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, and have the opportunity to read works on a variety of topics in Russian.
  7. Russian combines well with many other disciplines: business and Russian, science and Russian, English and Russian, another foreign language and Russian, engineering and Russian, mathematics and Russian, political science and Russian, history and Russian, music and Russian. We've had students majoring in these areas who have found that Russian provides them with opportunities their classmates don't have.
  8. Russian students go on to great careers. Some students are working as engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (with Russian cosmonauts training for the Space Shuttle), at banks operating in international markets, as professors of Russian literature at small colleges and large universities, in the Peace Corps, in major accounting firms (in Russia and in the US), in large and small law firms, in press offices in Russia, Europe and America, in the State Department and Commerce Department of the federal government, teaching English in Russian high schools, for non-profit agencies such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the National Foreign Language Center, or the US-Russia Business Council.
  9. The US Government needs more staff with Russian-language expertise. Here are samples of: Federal Employers: NASA, FBI, Coast Guard, USAID, Energy Dept., Broadcasting Board of Governors, NSA/CIA,Commerce Dept., State Dept., Dept.of Defense, Nuclear Reg. Commission,Dept. of Agriculture, Export Import Bank, Intl. Trade Com. Sample Private Sector Employers: Delta Airlines, Price Waterhouse, Citybank, 3M, Ford, AT&T, Honeywell, Gillette, Avon, Exxon/Mobil. Sample NGO Employers: Peace Corps, AA, Amnesty International, Citizen Watch, Nonviolence International, Green Cross, International Resettlement Agencies, IREX, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, General Motors, Otis Elevator, Reebok, Hewlet Packard, ACTR/ACCELS, Mother & Child, Church Missions, Women Crisis Center of St. Petersburg.
  10. You (and your resume) will STAND OUT with Russian: Employers, graduate and professional school admissions committees notice students who take on this special challenge! Despite the challenge, English and Russian are both Indo-European languages, sharing more vocabulary than is generally realized. Can you guess the meaning of the transliterated words: telefon, bank, radio, doktor, biznes, ofis, kompiuter, and even marketing?!?

Flyer - "One of the workplaces that look favorable on knowledge of the Russian language"