Russian language, culture, history, traditions, Russian study abroad experience

Is there any difference between Russian in Russia and Russian in Latvia?

What kind of accent do people in Daugavpils have? To put it in a nutshell, people in Daugavpils speak Russian without any accent. Why have we come to this conclusion? Let’s look into it together. First, we should decide what an accent is. Dictionaries provide the following definition for the word “accent”: peculiarities of pronunciation […]

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Is there any difference between Russian in Russia and Russian in Latvia?

Russian language, culture, history, traditions, Russian study abroad experience

Is there any difference between Russian in Russia and Russian in Latvia?

What kind of accent do people in Daugavpils have?

To put it in a nutshell, people in Daugavpils speak Russian without any accent. Why have we come to this conclusion? Let’s look into it together.

First, we should decide what an accent is. Dictionaries provide the following definition for the word “accent”: peculiarities of pronunciation typical of a person speaking in a non- mother tongue. The crucial words here are ” a non- mother tongue”. Russian is a mother tongue; therefore, they speak Russian without any accent.< Why does this issue arise at all? The thing is that people sometimes consider linguistic peculiarities of a region to be an accent. Daugavpils was part of different states during all its history; today it's a cross-border city. This fact could not but influence the language. In the speech of local Russians there is a number of words borrowed from neighboring languages, mainly from the Polish and Belarusian languages. There are also borrowings from Latvian, although they are used less often and only in particular situations. Is it bad for learning Russian? No. In other words, it is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. Regional differences are typical to many languages. For example, the speech of Moscovites is different from the speech of Petersburgers. However, both versions are considered to be a norm. Nowadays all regional differences within Russia as well as outside it are gradually disappearing. First of all, it can be explained by the fact that people quite often move quite, and by the common media scene. Russians in Russia and Russian outside it watch the same TV channels, read the same newspapers and in this way they absorb the language norm of mass media. What kind of accent do people in Daugavpils have?

It should be mentioned that the state language of Latvia, Latvian, has not affected the phonetics of Russian in Latvia. For example, in Belarus and Ukraine, local languages have influenced dramatically the pronunciation of local Russian-speakers.

Daugavpils Russian speech can be called “correct”. Although, you should remember that the “correctness” of a language is rather nominal.

The fact that Latvia is one of the EU states and at Daugavpils University there is a department of Russian language makes our city a unique place for learning Russian in Europe.

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Why do people speak Russian in Daugavpils?

As it seems to us, Daugavpils is the best place to learn Russian now, because our city is situated in the EU and NATO, but at the same time 90% of the city’s population speak Russian at home.

Research publications

ЭТЮД О ДВИНСКЕ

Etude on Dvinsk by F.Fedorov

The Baltic region is one of the most catastrophe prone regions of the 2nd millennium, especially its second part; it is the centre of attraction of ‘geopolitical’ interests of the European world. Probably the most tragic fate has befallen to the eastern part of the present Latvia and its multi-titled town of Dinaburg – Dvinsk – Daugavpils. During its 730 years long history, the town went through five rather autonomous periods of development, five different lives (German, Polish, Russian, Latvian, Soviet), and at the beginning of the 1990s it entered into the 6th period.

The history of Dinaburg – Dvinsk – Daugavpils is the history of five attempts by the town to begin its life anew; and this is determined not only by the fact that the town was four times burned down and had to start life from scratch, but first and foremost because each of these periods was characterized by a total change of ethnos and the socio-cultural field.

The present article deals with the cultural space of the town in one of the most efficient periods of its development – from the 1860s till World War I.

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