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Russia Expert Michael McFaul Don't Need No Russian Language
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mcfaul-not-maintaining-russia

Speaking of “pathetic” – it’s жалко, not жалько.

Yeah why should a Professor of Political Science at Stanford who supposedly specializes in Russia need the Russian language anyway?

Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. Dr. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015.

In all fairness, you can’t exactly lose what you never had in the first place – during his years as Obama’s Russia ambassador, McFaul earned a reputation for his incessant rape of the Russian language.

Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well.

But this is all quite beside the point. McFaul never failed upwards on account of his linguistic skills or (lack of) analytical prowess. Ever the consummate beigeocrat, he has always been carried forwards by scrupulous conformity to the Establishment line: Apologizing for Yeltsin’s electoral fraud under Clinton, shilling for neocon wars under Bush, promoting “democratic” regime change in Russia under Obama, and reinventing himself as a Russiagate conspiracy theorist under Trump.

Update:

mcfaul-responds

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Language, Russia, Russophobes 
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  1. neutral says:

    He doesn’t seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    The American political class is anti-Russia in general (legacy of the Cold war, plus the belief that America has a right to permanent global hegemony so other great powers with regional spheres of influence can't be tolerated), this isn't a Jewish/non-Jewish issue.
    , @Dmitry
    If there were actually many Jews in America who were interested in Russia, he would be out of a job - since there are hundreds of thousands of native speakers of the language that you could hire. The issue is that most of the Russian-speakers in America are totally disinterested in anything to do with their home country, which they (in my experience of talking to them) seem to try not to think about wherever possible, and don't even bother to teach the language to their children. The fact that he could be hired, probably shows the lack of people in America that have an interest in the country (beyond usage of it for internal politics and scare-mongering).

    Americans are interested in France, Italy, even Japan. Judging by YouTube the only Americans who upload stuff about Russia are somehow employed to do so for propaganda; whereas there's a thousands of genuine videos about other countries being uploaded all the time (Japan does not need to employ 'Japan Insider' to upload videos about Japan - all the youtubers are doing it anyway).

    , @Mikhail
    The Unz venue has a few too many folks with Jooz on the brain.

    McFaul is a careerist opportunist going with the wind.
    , @Anonymous
    Anti-Russian posturing is where the money and excitement is. Defense contractors, "intelligence" agencies (but I repeat myself), energy, etc.

    Then there is the biggest lobby of all - China with its "One Belt, One Road" plan to become the undisputed master of Eurasia and its African appendix. The Chinese haven't forgotten about Haishenwai and the Treaty of Aigun.

    (Oceania will be swallowed, morsel by morsel, as the opportunity arises, parenthetically.)

    Think about it: where is the fun in just managing relations with Russia peacefully, in the interest of regular people in the U.S. and its alleged "allies" in Europe? Peaceful commerce and human exchanges don't make for much of a dinner conversation in D.C. or Manhattan.

    So much better to opt for the world of action and excitement, casually overthrowing a government here (Ukraine) and there (Libya) with a little sexual sadism thrown in, personally hitting the "FIRE" button for a drone strike to annihilate a wedding party in Yemen, etc.

    Ladies - you too can be legally JAMIE BONDE from the comfort of your office at the NSC or Brookings.

    , @Oscar Peterson
    "He doesn't seem to be a Jew, so what is the motivation for all his Russia hatred?"

    He's a shabbosgoy, which is the same thing in practice. He takes his marching orders from the neocon/pro-Israel blob and all its funding mechanisms.
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  2. iffen says:

    Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well.

    LOL!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Nevermind his language skills, his grasp on reality is slipping.
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  3. @neutral
    He doesn't seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    The American political class is anti-Russia in general (legacy of the Cold war, plus the belief that America has a right to permanent global hegemony so other great powers with regional spheres of influence can’t be tolerated), this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue
     
    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China, so I think there is more to it. The types like McFaul will not go on about China anywhere close to how they do it with Russia (even before Trump), so I still have a question if his hatred is real or is it because it is expected of him to say what he says.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well.

    Bad link.

    AK: Here’s the “correct” one, if you feel like paying for it: http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=6536&IBLOCK_ID=35 :)

    Read More
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  5. neutral says:
    @German_reader
    The American political class is anti-Russia in general (legacy of the Cold war, plus the belief that America has a right to permanent global hegemony so other great powers with regional spheres of influence can't be tolerated), this isn't a Jewish/non-Jewish issue.

    this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue

    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China, so I think there is more to it. The types like McFaul will not go on about China anywhere close to how they do it with Russia (even before Trump), so I still have a question if his hatred is real or is it because it is expected of him to say what he says.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China
     
    US elites are also anti-China. Probably not as much as they are anti-Russia (because the US and China were quasi-allies against the Soviets during the later Cold war, and all the economic links between the two countries today; plus the Chinese aren't white, so one can't bash them as a collective quite as much), but you can frequently find articles in US media about how China needs to be contained, about the prospects of war with it etc.
    , @Dmitry

    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.
     
    This is not quite true - and another reason it is usually helpful to promote language learning and real interaction with people from different nationalities, who have multi-layered views.

    Since this is off-topic, I write a more detailed explanation if you click below the more tab here:

    The Jews who arrived in the United States during the collapse of the USSR, or earlier, are predisposed to viewing it as a 'complete shithole'. [Note this is also self-selecting (emigrants usually leave, because they feel like they are living in a shithole).]

    This view of Russia/Ukraine (or whatever republic they came from) as a shithole, usually comes along with shocking amount of disinterestedness in anything about the country. They just don't have interest in it or bother thinking about it.

    People who were unhappy with their shithole country, are naturally not interested in it anymore (usually they will dismiss it with a few sentences, and then go back to talking about the miracle of the United States). Most of the Jewish emigrants in the US are like this in my experience - they find any news about the home shithole country somewhat boring, like someone who grew up in a small apartment, in a boring suburb - before moving to a shiny new house in a wealthy country.

    In Israel, there is a more complicated scenario, as you have ideological immigrants (who arrived in the 1970s - view Russia as a shithole). But then you also have the Sausage Aliyah (who arrived for economic reasons) - the view in this group is more mixed, depending on if they identify as Russian or Ukrainian.

    You also have recent immigrants (about 14,000 a year), who have a different view again, including the recent wealthy 'Camembert aliyah' who are inclined to view Israel as a shithole after a few months, when they realize it doesn't have same amenities they are used to in Moscow.

    Finally you have in Israel what is called 'generation 1.5' or 'generation one and a half'. Tens or possibly even hundreds of thousands of young people who feel like they are living between two languages, and somehow outsiders in Israeli society. The generation 1.5 are often very pro-Russia or pro-Ukraine, even when everything they write is in Hebrew. Their facebook pages will often have memes with pictures of Putin and so on.

    Pictures of Israelis in the army doing things like putting Russian flags on Israeli military vehicles, is not uncommon. These are people - including various celebrities - which struggle with the Russian language, but say they will kill you if you call them Ukrainian - i.e. below in Hebrew - it's a comedian, but she's joking she doesn't care about being called Russian, just Ukrainian.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg0-2XrCp4w

    , @Anonymous

    The types like McFaul will not go on about China [as much as] Russia
     
    A - possibly apocryphal - story:

    During World War II, Thailand found itself at at the fault line between Japanese and Allied spheres of control. Against this background, the king convened a meeting of his senior military and civilian advisers to decide which side Thailand should ally itself with.

    The king asked his advisers which side they thought would lose the war, and explained: "Whichever side is going to lose, that side is our enemy."
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  6. Dmitry says:

    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One – we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two – we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language – as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these ‘tone-deaf’ self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers’ countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @lol
    RT is indeed rubbish. We took to call it "America Today", because that's pretty much all it shows. But Russian language teaching overseas? Who is gong to work there, and risk arrest? I am still hitting F5 to learn what are the important secrets that Chapman stole.

    And study there? Half of the students will be CIA pretend-students, looking to set up some moron for "espionage" or, better,"terrorism". Much easier than countering the real Arab terrorists or the Israeli spies. And the other half will have a hard time getting in any airplane for the rest of their life. The teachers will be some Russia Jews who, after one year, will apply for asylum, claiming their salaries were not increased because antisemitism.

    Americans are actively preventing any cultural contact with nations they want to depict as foreign barbarians, and, in any case, Americans' interest in the world is limited to food and available women.
    , @Anon 2
    "even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian"

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, ... found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I'm not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents ("kresowe") are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., 'reka' (river) is
    'rzeka' in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don't bite
    , @melanf

    Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.
     
    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Great point. We have young children and have looked for Russian immersion programs in a public elementary school and can’t find one even in a big diverse metro area like LA — which is one of the top three or four places where Russians settle in North America (along with New York City Metro and Florida).

    Even a daily class in Russian in a public junior HS is almost impossible to find, and HS doesn’t seem much better.

    Russian gov would do well to spend real money to provide textbooks, software, and even subsidize travel and visa expenses for native-speaking Russians to move to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc., to teach Russian to younger kids especially.

    For example, given the relative population, land mass, natural resources, military strength, and significance of France and Russia, it is not sensible that vastly more kids continue to learn French in USA junior HS and HS than Russian.

    Even more true of Italy vis-a-vis Russia, and i’ll bet that even the small number of kids learning italian in the USA exceeds the number learning Russian.

    I would hope that Russia would both continue RT and create a major language instructional project abroad. One of the best investments they could make.

    , @songbird
    I was recently struck by the utter silliness of how the German government maintains Goethe Institutes worldwide while welcoming in endless hordes of non-Europeans at home. There is absolutely no way anyone could rationalize it.
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  7. @neutral

    this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue
     
    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China, so I think there is more to it. The types like McFaul will not go on about China anywhere close to how they do it with Russia (even before Trump), so I still have a question if his hatred is real or is it because it is expected of him to say what he says.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China

    US elites are also anti-China. Probably not as much as they are anti-Russia (because the US and China were quasi-allies against the Soviets during the later Cold war, and all the economic links between the two countries today; plus the Chinese aren’t white, so one can’t bash them as a collective quite as much), but you can frequently find articles in US media about how China needs to be contained, about the prospects of war with it etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    If you had the measure the frequency of anti Russia vs anti China articles you would probably come up something like a 100 to 1 occurrence of Russia to China articles. Then there is also the fact that things like Russian media are labeled foreign agents and US companies are hauled before government panels discussing how they are countering Russia.
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  8. Dmitry says:
    @neutral

    this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue
     
    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China, so I think there is more to it. The types like McFaul will not go on about China anywhere close to how they do it with Russia (even before Trump), so I still have a question if his hatred is real or is it because it is expected of him to say what he says.

    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    This is not quite true – and another reason it is usually helpful to promote language learning and real interaction with people from different nationalities, who have multi-layered views.

    Since this is off-topic, I write a more detailed explanation if you click below the more tab here:

    [MORE]

    The Jews who arrived in the United States during the collapse of the USSR, or earlier, are predisposed to viewing it as a ‘complete shithole’. [Note this is also self-selecting (emigrants usually leave, because they feel like they are living in a shithole).]

    This view of Russia/Ukraine (or whatever republic they came from) as a shithole, usually comes along with shocking amount of disinterestedness in anything about the country. They just don’t have interest in it or bother thinking about it.

    People who were unhappy with their shithole country, are naturally not interested in it anymore (usually they will dismiss it with a few sentences, and then go back to talking about the miracle of the United States). Most of the Jewish emigrants in the US are like this in my experience – they find any news about the home shithole country somewhat boring, like someone who grew up in a small apartment, in a boring suburb – before moving to a shiny new house in a wealthy country.

    In Israel, there is a more complicated scenario, as you have ideological immigrants (who arrived in the 1970s – view Russia as a shithole). But then you also have the Sausage Aliyah (who arrived for economic reasons) – the view in this group is more mixed, depending on if they identify as Russian or Ukrainian.

    You also have recent immigrants (about 14,000 a year), who have a different view again, including the recent wealthy ‘Camembert aliyah’ who are inclined to view Israel as a shithole after a few months, when they realize it doesn’t have same amenities they are used to in Moscow.

    Finally you have in Israel what is called ‘generation 1.5′ or ‘generation one and a half’. Tens or possibly even hundreds of thousands of young people who feel like they are living between two languages, and somehow outsiders in Israeli society. The generation 1.5 are often very pro-Russia or pro-Ukraine, even when everything they write is in Hebrew. Their facebook pages will often have memes with pictures of Putin and so on.

    Pictures of Israelis in the army doing things like putting Russian flags on Israeli military vehicles, is not uncommon. These are people – including various celebrities – which struggle with the Russian language, but say they will kill you if you call them Ukrainian – i.e. below in Hebrew – it’s a comedian, but she’s joking she doesn’t care about being called Russian, just Ukrainian.

    Read More
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  9. 22pp22 says:

    I was raised in a monoglot household.German is very much my second language. I hadn’t used it in years and then I went to Germany again in 2016. People I spoke to complimented me on my excellent German.

    If you speak a foreign language to a high level, you don’t just forget it in a couple of years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    Actually, if you get compliments you aren't all that good. Once you get better, the natives stop complimenting you.
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  10. Dmitry says:
    @neutral
    He doesn't seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    If there were actually many Jews in America who were interested in Russia, he would be out of a job – since there are hundreds of thousands of native speakers of the language that you could hire. The issue is that most of the Russian-speakers in America are totally disinterested in anything to do with their home country, which they (in my experience of talking to them) seem to try not to think about wherever possible, and don’t even bother to teach the language to their children. The fact that he could be hired, probably shows the lack of people in America that have an interest in the country (beyond usage of it for internal politics and scare-mongering).

    Americans are interested in France, Italy, even Japan. Judging by YouTube the only Americans who upload stuff about Russia are somehow employed to do so for propaganda; whereas there’s a thousands of genuine videos about other countries being uploaded all the time (Japan does not need to employ ‘Japan Insider’ to upload videos about Japan – all the youtubers are doing it anyway).

    Read More
    • Replies: @on the way to work
    Dmitri you're sound like Dmitro and you're full of it.
    Got to go to work now.
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  11. Lots of Middle East experts at Unz.com can’t speak Arabic or Hebrew (or Farsi or Amharic or Aramaic)

    I’d even go as far as to say that the more mid-East languages a writer knows the fewer comments they get here, and vice-versa.

    just to help:

    Read More
    • Agree: Dmitry
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Sure, you need the language (and even better to live in the countries) - before you usually have at least an informed (if still subjective) view.
    , @bb.
    true, but why even bother? Jews prefer American or Russian anyways, nobody speaks Hebrew and even if they do, they are most likely at least bilingual with aforementioned. Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day - why even bother in a world after oil. All the relevant expertise comes from the Jews anyways and luckily, you will find diverse viewpoints among them (from arab-hating to arab-loving). Farsi may be a thing in a couple of years I give you that..
    , @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA6AObvAbI0
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  12. Dmitry says:
    @anony-mouse
    Lots of Middle East experts at Unz.com can't speak Arabic or Hebrew (or Farsi or Amharic or Aramaic)

    I'd even go as far as to say that the more mid-East languages a writer knows the fewer comments they get here, and vice-versa.

    just to help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIlG9aSMCpg

    Sure, you need the language (and even better to live in the countries) – before you usually have at least an informed (if still subjective) view.

    Read More
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  13. lol says:
    @Dmitry
    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One - we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two - we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language - as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these 'tone-deaf' self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers' countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up 'Pushkin centers' in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature - the results would be far more positive.

    RT is indeed rubbish. We took to call it “America Today”, because that’s pretty much all it shows. But Russian language teaching overseas? Who is gong to work there, and risk arrest? I am still hitting F5 to learn what are the important secrets that Chapman stole.

    And study there? Half of the students will be CIA pretend-students, looking to set up some moron for “espionage” or, better,”terrorism”. Much easier than countering the real Arab terrorists or the Israeli spies. And the other half will have a hard time getting in any airplane for the rest of their life. The teachers will be some Russia Jews who, after one year, will apply for asylum, claiming their salaries were not increased because antisemitism.

    Americans are actively preventing any cultural contact with nations they want to depict as foreign barbarians, and, in any case, Americans’ interest in the world is limited to food and available women.

    Read More
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  14. Anon 2 says:

    Sadly, part of the reason is the dumbing down of higher education
    (in fact, all education) in America. This began in the 1960s with
    grade inflation when professors would give higher grades to students
    to keep them from being drafted and sent to Vietnam. It accelerated
    in the 1970s with the feminist movement and the massive influx of female
    students (and minorities) into colleges when it turned out that the
    latter couldn’t handle hard quantitative disciplines like physics, computer
    science or economics as well as the men. But the coup de grâce came in the
    ’90s when the higher education system switched to a business model in
    which the student was no longer a student but a customer, and the customer
    in the U.S., with its worship of the god of the marketplace, is always
    right. Recruitment and retention became the new buzzwords. It’s how
    many warm bodies you brought to the classroom that mattered. Hence
    the massive recruitment of students from Asia and the Middle East. I’ve
    been in American academia for decades and along with many others have
    watched these developments with growing alarm.

    Foreign languages could be demanding so they simply went by the board.
    This was of course partly due to the growing domination of English as the
    lingua franca of today’s world. The teaching of German was the first to go.
    French is barely holding on for its dear life. Spanish is now the preeminent
    language taught (badly) in the U.S. today. Spoken Mandarin can be picked
    up fairly easily but I don’t see a serious interest in the study of Chinese or
    Japanese except possibly in California.

    As to Russian specifically, the primary culprit is I think the end of the Cold War.
    At its height in the ’60s-’70s CIA made sure that anything worth translating
    in Russian was actually translated. Hence thousands of research papers
    and technical books were translated into English. If the Soviet Union was
    on the verge of developing a diabolical Doomsday Machine, the Congress
    and the President had to be informed. Now that the Cold War is over,
    the translation program was significantly curtailed or simply replaced
    by instantaneous machine translation.

    Read More
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  15. Anon 2 says:
    @Dmitry
    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One - we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two - we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language - as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these 'tone-deaf' self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers' countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up 'Pushkin centers' in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature - the results would be far more positive.

    “even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian”

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, … found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I’m not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents (“kresowe”) are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., ‘reka’ (river) is
    ‘rzeka’ in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don’t bite

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Just wanted to add that growing numbers of Russians and Belarusians
    (and, of course, thousands of Ukrainians) are now studying at Poland's universities.
    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more
    in common (in a good way) than we thought
    , @Pol5
    Current situation has nothing to do with muh opression(studying english never was forbidden) or any reaction but practicality - english just more useful currently. More students study russian in Poland then french(both single digits of %), I suppose it's reaction to french opression. And with growth of Russian economy growing interest to language.
    But it has nothing to do with subject. because it's not about commoners but experts of particular country
    American is different case - it not fit for citizens of the empire to study barbaric languages, it's barbarians must study human language/
    , @Mitleser

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don’t bite
     
    Poland is full of Ukrops who do that.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    Poland is famous for its hospitality.

    Not really. At least not outside of Poland. Poles are friendly but probably about as hospitable as Americans. (Which is not an insult, I consider Americans very hospitable compared to most Western nations, especially outside the Northeast). Poles are not like Russians or Ukrainians, or crazy hospitable like Iranians. Poles like to maintain some personal distance. Especially in Warsaw.
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  16. Dan Hayes says:

    Anatoly,

    Prof Emeritus Steve Cohen shares your jaundiced views about McFaul. But being an academic he couches them in a more genteel and roundabout way.

    BTW, I am under the impression that Cohen gets a lot of flak from The Nation’s staff for his Russian views and also quite possibly from his wife who is the magazine’s controlling interest.

    Read More
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  17. melanf says:
    @Dmitry
    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One - we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two - we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language - as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these 'tone-deaf' self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers' countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up 'Pushkin centers' in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature - the results would be far more positive.

    Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Sounds like reverse-inosmi for culture.

    Good idea.

    Topic-related:


    I would say so, with one qualification: the Americans’ fear of Russia is the fear of the unknown; the Russians’ fear of America is the fear of the known.

    Americans:

    Don’t speak Russian, even where one would think speaking Russian would be a job requirement: Clinton 'reset button' gift to Russian FM gets lost in translation

    Have not traveled to Russia much.

    Are unaware of Russia’s prose, poetry, film, hopes, dreams, aspirations, political culture (beyond what their 15 min CNN/Fox digests tell them).

    Have inherited the society damaged by decades of Cold War propaganda.

    Russians:

    Well-traveled

    Speak English

    Read English-language Internet

    Watch every US-made film worth watching

    Read every US-made book worth reading, in Russian, the moment the original comes out of print and sometimes even earlier (I kid you not)

    Know Shakespeare better than Americans (in Russian translation of course, but an excellent one). Yes, I know Shakespeare is kinda un-American, but you can’t understand a WASP culture without him.

    Ditto Hemmingway, Mark Twain, Jack London, etc.

    Were subjected to Cold War propaganda but came out immune to it; witness 95% US approval rating in Russia in 1991, which stayed up until it had a darn good reason to fall.

    So, while it’s not nice to have nukes trained at you, Russians fear the known devil, which is much less emotionally draining; Americans don’t really know what they fear, thus making it worse.
     

    https://www.quora.com/Do-Russians-view-America-as-threatening-as-Americans-view-Russia/answer/Anna-Vinogradova-1
    , @Dmitry

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    There's a few things here.

    First of all - when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process). I know myself as I put a lot of effort into English as a teenager, and then started becoming very positively viewing English-speaking culture and even buying English books, watching everything in English on YouTube and dreaming of applying to Oxford or Cambridge University one day. This is all the result of the language learning process.

    In parallel, the best way to get foreigners to like (the positive parts and heritage of) Russian culture (which has nothing to do with political nonsense), is to make them invest their time in it, which is what learning the language is - a massive investment of time.

    This is why promotion of the language should be a priority, ahead of other kinds of PR efforts (which often are counter-productive).

    The reason there are so many Westerners genuinely in love with France, or in love with Spain - has a lot to do with the promotion of the language-learning courses. All these young people learning French - will start listening to French music, travelling to Paris, watching French films, reading Flaubert, etc - to practise their language. France as a result has a huge population of 'Francophiles' around the world, especially with elites.

    Secondly, you can't get any feeling for the other cultures, unless you enter a bit into their conversations.

    , @Swedish Family

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    Hear! Hear! The maddening thing about Kremlin's attempts at getting soft power is that the truly effective options are so obvious and inexpensive. If I were Russian propaganda czar, I would have a team of a dozen or so first-rate translators translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube. The long-term soft-power value of one properly translated season of Кухня, let's say, easily equals that of thousands of hours of RT America shows. But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. Anon 2 says:
    @Anon 2
    "even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian"

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, ... found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I'm not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents ("kresowe") are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., 'reka' (river) is
    'rzeka' in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don't bite

    Just wanted to add that growing numbers of Russians and Belarusians
    (and, of course, thousands of Ukrainians) are now studying at Poland’s universities.
    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more
    in common (in a good way) than we thought

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more in common (in a good way) than we thought
     
    I know nothing about Polish universities, but there was a recent article here about how Poland is rapidly moving left wing. Add the fact that universities tend to be left wing already and no doubt Polish ones are being fed a lot of EU incentives to be "democratic". Assuming this is the case, are you sure you want all the Slavs to be getting their ideas from leftist Polish universities?
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  19. Pol5 says:
    @Anon 2
    "even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian"

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, ... found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I'm not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents ("kresowe") are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., 'reka' (river) is
    'rzeka' in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don't bite

    Current situation has nothing to do with muh opression(studying english never was forbidden) or any reaction but practicality – english just more useful currently. More students study russian in Poland then french(both single digits of %), I suppose it’s reaction to french opression. And with growth of Russian economy growing interest to language.
    But it has nothing to do with subject. because it’s not about commoners but experts of particular country
    American is different case – it not fit for citizens of the empire to study barbaric languages, it’s barbarians must study human language/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    In Communist Poland of the 1950s and 60s, and beyond, Russian was a required
    language starting in the fifth grade. At the gymnasium level in addition to Russian
    you had a choice among German and Latin, and very rarely French or English.
    So, true, English was not forbidden but the study of English was simply not
    available in most schools. By contrast, to graduate from a gymnasium you
    were required to complete 7 years of Russian, typically taught badly by teachers
    who barely knew the language. Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.
    , @Anon
    American schools usually require foreign-language instruction, typically Spanish or French, but sometimes other things. Since, however, English is the international lingua franca, most do not get much practice after high school.
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  20. Mitleser says:
    @Anon 2
    "even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian"

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, ... found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I'm not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents ("kresowe") are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., 'reka' (river) is
    'rzeka' in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don't bite

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don’t bite

    Poland is full of Ukrops who do that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Ukrainians are now in every European country, certainly
    in Germany and in Czechia, not just Poland
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. Mitleser says:
    @melanf

    Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.
     
    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    Sounds like reverse-inosmi for culture.

    Good idea.

    Topic-related:

    I would say so, with one qualification: the Americans’ fear of Russia is the fear of the unknown; the Russians’ fear of America is the fear of the known.

    Americans:

    Don’t speak Russian, even where one would think speaking Russian would be a job requirement: Clinton ‘reset button’ gift to Russian FM gets lost in translation

    Have not traveled to Russia much.

    Are unaware of Russia’s prose, poetry, film, hopes, dreams, aspirations, political culture (beyond what their 15 min CNN/Fox digests tell them).

    Have inherited the society damaged by decades of Cold War propaganda.

    Russians:

    Well-traveled

    Speak English

    Read English-language Internet

    Watch every US-made film worth watching

    Read every US-made book worth reading, in Russian, the moment the original comes out of print and sometimes even earlier (I kid you not)

    Know Shakespeare better than Americans (in Russian translation of course, but an excellent one). Yes, I know Shakespeare is kinda un-American, but you can’t understand a WASP culture without him.

    Ditto Hemmingway, Mark Twain, Jack London, etc.

    Were subjected to Cold War propaganda but came out immune to it; witness 95% US approval rating in Russia in 1991, which stayed up until it had a darn good reason to fall.

    So, while it’s not nice to have nukes trained at you, Russians fear the known devil, which is much less emotionally draining; Americans don’t really know what they fear, thus making it worse.

    https://www.quora.com/Do-Russians-view-America-as-threatening-as-Americans-view-Russia/answer/Anna-Vinogradova-1

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Her statement could be right about a majority of Americans - but many of those 'positive' points in the second half of the post only apply to high-educated sector of the public in Russia.

    For example, only half of people in the Russian Federation read books.

    When you talk on an English website like this, you are already dealing with people that have unusually good English that found this place because they are searching specifically for English articles.

    On average, the foreigners posting on English forums like this are better educated than the native English-speakers posting on these forums - as the foreigners are already self-selecting themselves by the fact they want to read an article in English.

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  22. Anon 2 says:
    @Mitleser

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don’t bite
     
    Poland is full of Ukrops who do that.

    Ukrainians are now in every European country, certainly
    in Germany and in Czechia, not just Poland

    Read More
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  23. neutral says:
    @German_reader

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China
     
    US elites are also anti-China. Probably not as much as they are anti-Russia (because the US and China were quasi-allies against the Soviets during the later Cold war, and all the economic links between the two countries today; plus the Chinese aren't white, so one can't bash them as a collective quite as much), but you can frequently find articles in US media about how China needs to be contained, about the prospects of war with it etc.

    If you had the measure the frequency of anti Russia vs anti China articles you would probably come up something like a 100 to 1 occurrence of Russia to China articles. Then there is also the fact that things like Russian media are labeled foreign agents and US companies are hauled before government panels discussing how they are countering Russia.

    Read More
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  24. Anon 2 says:
    @Pol5
    Current situation has nothing to do with muh opression(studying english never was forbidden) or any reaction but practicality - english just more useful currently. More students study russian in Poland then french(both single digits of %), I suppose it's reaction to french opression. And with growth of Russian economy growing interest to language.
    But it has nothing to do with subject. because it's not about commoners but experts of particular country
    American is different case - it not fit for citizens of the empire to study barbaric languages, it's barbarians must study human language/

    In Communist Poland of the 1950s and 60s, and beyond, Russian was a required
    language starting in the fifth grade. At the gymnasium level in addition to Russian
    you had a choice among German and Latin, and very rarely French or English.
    So, true, English was not forbidden but the study of English was simply not
    available in most schools. By contrast, to graduate from a gymnasium you
    were required to complete 7 years of Russian, typically taught badly by teachers
    who barely knew the language. Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zzz
    If this is actual rationale - It's what we're call
    to freeze one's ears to spite grandma

    ( sameperson)
    , @reiner Tor

    Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.
     
    The same was true in Hungary (up until 1989!), and I thought that was the main reason why no one learned the language, but an older guy then told me that the real reason was that the language was totally useless.

    All countries tried to maintain autarchy even within the Eastern Bloc, I remember reading a document from the company where my mom worked how procurement should always prefer Hungarian products (it actually made sense because imports were less reliable, often arrived much later or in worse quality, and it was difficult to complain in case of problems), then socialist imports, then bourgeois imports (the latter needed hard currency so was the most difficult). Any foreign trade was done through a very small number of “impex” companies with a very limited supply of jobs for Russian speakers (or really, anyone else). The military and the diplomatic service needed a small number of Russian speaking specialists (all military officers could speak some Russian since they were in contact with their Soviet peers), and for everyone else, it was totally useless.

    Even travel was discouraged (I know some people went to Crimea for summer vacation on some special trips, but it wasn’t something advertised or easily available to people), so you couldn’t even use the language during vacations.

    But then why learn it?
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  25. Anon 2 says:

    The (quiet) rebellion against the required teaching of Russian in
    Communist Poland is analogous to how Uzbekistan has recently
    abandoned the Cyrillic alphabet and Kazachstan is in the process
    of doing so now. Both countries are switching to the Latin alphabet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ERM
    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy if they find it convenient two decades into the 21st century to change alphabets just to spite the Rooskies or cargo cult as developed Western countries.
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  26. bb. says:
    @anony-mouse
    Lots of Middle East experts at Unz.com can't speak Arabic or Hebrew (or Farsi or Amharic or Aramaic)

    I'd even go as far as to say that the more mid-East languages a writer knows the fewer comments they get here, and vice-versa.

    just to help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIlG9aSMCpg

    true, but why even bother? Jews prefer American or Russian anyways, nobody speaks Hebrew and even if they do, they are most likely at least bilingual with aforementioned. Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day – why even bother in a world after oil. All the relevant expertise comes from the Jews anyways and luckily, you will find diverse viewpoints among them (from arab-hating to arab-loving). Farsi may be a thing in a couple of years I give you that..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day – why even bother in a world after oil.
     
    You might need it for visits in Europe.
    , @Dmitry
    In Israel, they love Hebrew - the language is an obsession for them. It's one reason they are so insulated from what everyone else in the world thinks, even if the more educated people can speak English with tourists, immigrants or when they travel - all the main thinking they do with each other in Hebrew.
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  27. “Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well.”

    The lack of Russian language skills would not disqualify him from the open position of Moscow Bureau Chief for the WSJ (seriously!), but this might. Neither is likely to be an impediment at CNN.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The lack of Russian language skills would not disqualify him from the open position of Moscow Bureau Chief for the WSJ
     
    NO RUSSIAN is a qualifying requirements.

    Russian speakers need not apply. Actually understanding the language and the country might interfere with the Narrative.
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  28. Zzz says:
    @Anon 2
    In Communist Poland of the 1950s and 60s, and beyond, Russian was a required
    language starting in the fifth grade. At the gymnasium level in addition to Russian
    you had a choice among German and Latin, and very rarely French or English.
    So, true, English was not forbidden but the study of English was simply not
    available in most schools. By contrast, to graduate from a gymnasium you
    were required to complete 7 years of Russian, typically taught badly by teachers
    who barely knew the language. Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.

    If this is actual rationale – It’s what we’re call
    to freeze one’s ears to spite grandma

    ( sameperson)

    Read More
    • Replies: @szopen
    You expect rational behavior from kids all below 15 y/o?
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  29. Art Deco says:

    Among the two founders of The Exile was Matt Taibbi. You might at least quote a more reputable publication. Any supermarket tabloid will do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    The Yoburg gaffe was quite real-- you'll find it in the New Yorker, which you should like, though personally I prefer tabloids; they hold to a higher standard.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. Mitleser says:
    @bb.
    true, but why even bother? Jews prefer American or Russian anyways, nobody speaks Hebrew and even if they do, they are most likely at least bilingual with aforementioned. Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day - why even bother in a world after oil. All the relevant expertise comes from the Jews anyways and luckily, you will find diverse viewpoints among them (from arab-hating to arab-loving). Farsi may be a thing in a couple of years I give you that..

    Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day – why even bother in a world after oil.

    You might need it for visits in Europe.

    Read More
    • LOL: bb.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. DFH says:


    You’re right, he should choose a real Russia expert like Luke Harding at the Guardian or Ed Lucas at the Economist

    Read More
    • LOL: Cortes
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  32. Art Deco says:

    Wha happened? This guy get your dad fired from his job, or did his son steal your girlfriend?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Nah, he's just a pompous, ignorant, stupid fuck. Like you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. ERM says:
    @Anon 2
    The (quiet) rebellion against the required teaching of Russian in
    Communist Poland is analogous to how Uzbekistan has recently
    abandoned the Cyrillic alphabet and Kazachstan is in the process
    of doing so now. Both countries are switching to the Latin alphabet.

    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy if they find it convenient two decades into the 21st century to change alphabets just to spite the Rooskies or cargo cult as developed Western countries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters. Each word would look extremely different and what takes a minute to read would go up to at least three-four minutes. Granted, with practice you could get used to it, but I seriously doubt it would ever get so easy as what I’m used to since childhood. These people must not be reading much at all, not even clickbait articles or Facebook posts, if they find it a good idea.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy

    This is true, since Russian was for decades the language of literacy. Kazakh has never been a real literary language, Uzbek is related to Chagatay, the dominant literary language before the Russians took over Central Asia, the way that English is related to Chaucerian Engliish. The adoption of awkward new alphabets will probably just encourage the general use of English as the language of science and business in the region.
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  34. @ERM
    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy if they find it convenient two decades into the 21st century to change alphabets just to spite the Rooskies or cargo cult as developed Western countries.

    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters. Each word would look extremely different and what takes a minute to read would go up to at least three-four minutes. Granted, with practice you could get used to it, but I seriously doubt it would ever get so easy as what I’m used to since childhood. These people must not be reading much at all, not even clickbait articles or Facebook posts, if they find it a good idea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters.

    Apart from the anti-Russian element, I would assume that another reason would be to strengthen links with Turkey. It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.
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  35. @Anon 2
    In Communist Poland of the 1950s and 60s, and beyond, Russian was a required
    language starting in the fifth grade. At the gymnasium level in addition to Russian
    you had a choice among German and Latin, and very rarely French or English.
    So, true, English was not forbidden but the study of English was simply not
    available in most schools. By contrast, to graduate from a gymnasium you
    were required to complete 7 years of Russian, typically taught badly by teachers
    who barely knew the language. Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.

    Moreover, one way to rebel against the imposition
    of Marxism, an alien doctrine if there ever was one, was to rebel against the study
    of Russian.

    The same was true in Hungary (up until 1989!), and I thought that was the main reason why no one learned the language, but an older guy then told me that the real reason was that the language was totally useless.

    All countries tried to maintain autarchy even within the Eastern Bloc, I remember reading a document from the company where my mom worked how procurement should always prefer Hungarian products (it actually made sense because imports were less reliable, often arrived much later or in worse quality, and it was difficult to complain in case of problems), then socialist imports, then bourgeois imports (the latter needed hard currency so was the most difficult). Any foreign trade was done through a very small number of “impex” companies with a very limited supply of jobs for Russian speakers (or really, anyone else). The military and the diplomatic service needed a small number of Russian speaking specialists (all military officers could speak some Russian since they were in contact with their Soviet peers), and for everyone else, it was totally useless.

    Even travel was discouraged (I know some people went to Crimea for summer vacation on some special trips, but it wasn’t something advertised or easily available to people), so you couldn’t even use the language during vacations.

    But then why learn it?

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  36. @reiner Tor
    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters. Each word would look extremely different and what takes a minute to read would go up to at least three-four minutes. Granted, with practice you could get used to it, but I seriously doubt it would ever get so easy as what I’m used to since childhood. These people must not be reading much at all, not even clickbait articles or Facebook posts, if they find it a good idea.

    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters.

    Apart from the anti-Russian element, I would assume that another reason would be to strengthen links with Turkey. It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Even if Cyrillic would be used in most important countries around the world, like in China and Japan and the US, I'd still want to cling to the Latin alphabet I'm used to. Learning the alphabet is not that difficult, probably anything else is more difficult. For example I once started learning Arabic, and aside from a couple very short sentences and a few words, I only learned the alphabet. I can still read it. Actually, that's how I learned Cyrillic: the ineffectual compulsory Russian education in Hungary didn't manage to teach me much Russian (and I forgot quickly most of what I learned), but I didn't forget the alphabet. Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.

    You would think so, but Nazarbayev is pushing a very ugly Latinization that (perhaps consciously) obscures similarities between Kazakh and Turkish rather than illuminates. Nazarbayev is afraid of Turkish domination.
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  37. 5371 says:
    @Art Deco
    Wha happened? This guy get your dad fired from his job, or did his son steal your girlfriend?

    Nah, he’s just a pompous, ignorant, stupid fuck. Like you.

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  38. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Pol5
    Current situation has nothing to do with muh opression(studying english never was forbidden) or any reaction but practicality - english just more useful currently. More students study russian in Poland then french(both single digits of %), I suppose it's reaction to french opression. And with growth of Russian economy growing interest to language.
    But it has nothing to do with subject. because it's not about commoners but experts of particular country
    American is different case - it not fit for citizens of the empire to study barbaric languages, it's barbarians must study human language/

    American schools usually require foreign-language instruction, typically Spanish or French, but sometimes other things. Since, however, English is the international lingua franca, most do not get much practice after high school.

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  39. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco
    Among the two founders of The Exile was Matt Taibbi. You might at least quote a more reputable publication. Any supermarket tabloid will do.

    The Yoburg gaffe was quite real– you’ll find it in the New Yorker, which you should like, though personally I prefer tabloids; they hold to a higher standard.

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  40. @for-the-record
    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters.

    Apart from the anti-Russian element, I would assume that another reason would be to strengthen links with Turkey. It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.

    Even if Cyrillic would be used in most important countries around the world, like in China and Japan and the US, I’d still want to cling to the Latin alphabet I’m used to. Learning the alphabet is not that difficult, probably anything else is more difficult. For example I once started learning Arabic, and aside from a couple very short sentences and a few words, I only learned the alphabet. I can still read it. Actually, that’s how I learned Cyrillic: the ineffectual compulsory Russian education in Hungary didn’t manage to teach me much Russian (and I forgot quickly most of what I learned), but I didn’t forget the alphabet. Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.
     
    Depends what kind of script, for something like Japanese or even more so Chinese it's a major hurdle.
    But you're of course right regarding alphabetic scripts. I did ancient Greek at school for three years, and have forgotten most of it (which is very unfortunate), but have the same experience as you with Cyrillic.
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  41. Sean says:

    McFaul wants to go back to when a highly representative Russian (ie a heavy drinker) led the country. There was never any chance of teetotaler Putin being toppled by a colour revolution so the fear of McFaul was alwaysa little over the top. But to be feared is to be hated, and hatred of McFaul, Gene Sharp and Soros meddling probably led Russia into some unwise reciprocal interference in US politics, so McFaul succeeded in damaging Putin and Russia indirectly. Still, Russia and the US could never be friends without an alcoholic like Yeltsn in charge of Russia, so the current situation was probably inevitable.

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  42. @reiner Tor
    Even if Cyrillic would be used in most important countries around the world, like in China and Japan and the US, I'd still want to cling to the Latin alphabet I'm used to. Learning the alphabet is not that difficult, probably anything else is more difficult. For example I once started learning Arabic, and aside from a couple very short sentences and a few words, I only learned the alphabet. I can still read it. Actually, that's how I learned Cyrillic: the ineffectual compulsory Russian education in Hungary didn't manage to teach me much Russian (and I forgot quickly most of what I learned), but I didn't forget the alphabet. Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.

    Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.

    Depends what kind of script, for something like Japanese or even more so Chinese it’s a major hurdle.
    But you’re of course right regarding alphabetic scripts. I did ancient Greek at school for three years, and have forgotten most of it (which is very unfortunate), but have the same experience as you with Cyrillic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    True. I meant alphabets/abjads and not hieroglyphic writing systems like the Japanese or Chinese.
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  43. Sean says:
    @anony-mouse
    Lots of Middle East experts at Unz.com can't speak Arabic or Hebrew (or Farsi or Amharic or Aramaic)

    I'd even go as far as to say that the more mid-East languages a writer knows the fewer comments they get here, and vice-versa.

    just to help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIlG9aSMCpg

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That Red Dawn clip is American actor William Smith playing Col. Strelnikov, the Russian officer who shoots Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. Here’s a little bio:

    All-around tough guy (he was featured on the covers of countless bodybuilding magazines and was the final “Marlboro Man” to appear on TV) and character-actor staple (playing the heavy in dozens of B-movies and TV shows), Smith was born with a real gift for languages. Following a B.A. from Syracuse, he earned a master’s in Russian studies from UCLA, where he later taught (while pursuing his Ph.D.) before trading a career in academia for one in Hollywood. Smith also took courses at both the Sorbonne and the University of Munich — and is fluent in Russian, French, German and Serbo-Croatian.

    http://entertainment.time.com/2012/04/13/top-10-wicked-smart-actors/slide/william-smith/

     

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  44. Dmitry says:
    @bb.
    true, but why even bother? Jews prefer American or Russian anyways, nobody speaks Hebrew and even if they do, they are most likely at least bilingual with aforementioned. Arabic is getting more irrelevant by the day - why even bother in a world after oil. All the relevant expertise comes from the Jews anyways and luckily, you will find diverse viewpoints among them (from arab-hating to arab-loving). Farsi may be a thing in a couple of years I give you that..

    In Israel, they love Hebrew – the language is an obsession for them. It’s one reason they are so insulated from what everyone else in the world thinks, even if the more educated people can speak English with tourists, immigrants or when they travel – all the main thinking they do with each other in Hebrew.

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  45. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser
    Sounds like reverse-inosmi for culture.

    Good idea.

    Topic-related:


    I would say so, with one qualification: the Americans’ fear of Russia is the fear of the unknown; the Russians’ fear of America is the fear of the known.

    Americans:

    Don’t speak Russian, even where one would think speaking Russian would be a job requirement: Clinton 'reset button' gift to Russian FM gets lost in translation

    Have not traveled to Russia much.

    Are unaware of Russia’s prose, poetry, film, hopes, dreams, aspirations, political culture (beyond what their 15 min CNN/Fox digests tell them).

    Have inherited the society damaged by decades of Cold War propaganda.

    Russians:

    Well-traveled

    Speak English

    Read English-language Internet

    Watch every US-made film worth watching

    Read every US-made book worth reading, in Russian, the moment the original comes out of print and sometimes even earlier (I kid you not)

    Know Shakespeare better than Americans (in Russian translation of course, but an excellent one). Yes, I know Shakespeare is kinda un-American, but you can’t understand a WASP culture without him.

    Ditto Hemmingway, Mark Twain, Jack London, etc.

    Were subjected to Cold War propaganda but came out immune to it; witness 95% US approval rating in Russia in 1991, which stayed up until it had a darn good reason to fall.

    So, while it’s not nice to have nukes trained at you, Russians fear the known devil, which is much less emotionally draining; Americans don’t really know what they fear, thus making it worse.
     

    https://www.quora.com/Do-Russians-view-America-as-threatening-as-Americans-view-Russia/answer/Anna-Vinogradova-1

    Her statement could be right about a majority of Americans – but many of those ‘positive’ points in the second half of the post only apply to high-educated sector of the public in Russia.

    For example, only half of people in the Russian Federation read books.

    When you talk on an English website like this, you are already dealing with people that have unusually good English that found this place because they are searching specifically for English articles.

    On average, the foreigners posting on English forums like this are better educated than the native English-speakers posting on these forums – as the foreigners are already self-selecting themselves by the fact they want to read an article in English.

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  46. @iffen
    Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well.

    LOL!

    Nevermind his language skills, his grasp on reality is slipping.

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  47. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.
     
    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    There’s a few things here.

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process). I know myself as I put a lot of effort into English as a teenager, and then started becoming very positively viewing English-speaking culture and even buying English books, watching everything in English on YouTube and dreaming of applying to Oxford or Cambridge University one day. This is all the result of the language learning process.

    In parallel, the best way to get foreigners to like (the positive parts and heritage of) Russian culture (which has nothing to do with political nonsense), is to make them invest their time in it, which is what learning the language is – a massive investment of time.

    This is why promotion of the language should be a priority, ahead of other kinds of PR efforts (which often are counter-productive).

    The reason there are so many Westerners genuinely in love with France, or in love with Spain – has a lot to do with the promotion of the language-learning courses. All these young people learning French – will start listening to French music, travelling to Paris, watching French films, reading Flaubert, etc – to practise their language. France as a result has a huge population of ‘Francophiles’ around the world, especially with elites.

    Secondly, you can’t get any feeling for the other cultures, unless you enter a bit into their conversations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).
     
    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.
    , @ERM

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).
     
    As someone who was made to learn German, I can assure you that this is not fail-proof
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  48. @ERM
    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy if they find it convenient two decades into the 21st century to change alphabets just to spite the Rooskies or cargo cult as developed Western countries.

    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy

    This is true, since Russian was for decades the language of literacy. Kazakh has never been a real literary language, Uzbek is related to Chagatay, the dominant literary language before the Russians took over Central Asia, the way that English is related to Chaucerian Engliish. The adoption of awkward new alphabets will probably just encourage the general use of English as the language of science and business in the region.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Yes surely English might eventually become the replacement lingua franca for the younger generations. Kazakh elites are currently starting to send their children to study English abroad - often in English-speaking boarding schools.
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  49. Dmitry says:
    @Peter Akuleyev
    Those countries must still have risible levels of general literacy

    This is true, since Russian was for decades the language of literacy. Kazakh has never been a real literary language, Uzbek is related to Chagatay, the dominant literary language before the Russians took over Central Asia, the way that English is related to Chaucerian Engliish. The adoption of awkward new alphabets will probably just encourage the general use of English as the language of science and business in the region.

    Yes surely English might eventually become the replacement lingua franca for the younger generations. Kazakh elites are currently starting to send their children to study English abroad – often in English-speaking boarding schools.

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  50. @melanf

    Even they invested the same money in setting up ‘Pushkin centers’ in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature – the results would be far more positive.
     
    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.

    Hear! Hear! The maddening thing about Kremlin’s attempts at getting soft power is that the truly effective options are so obvious and inexpensive. If I were Russian propaganda czar, I would have a team of a dozen or so first-rate translators translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube. The long-term soft-power value of one properly translated season of Кухня, let’s say, easily equals that of thousands of hours of RT America shows. But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor, Philip Owen
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.
     
    Dubbing is more expensive, but because some people (especially the semi-literate and illiterate ones) prefer them dubbed, I’d create both versions for some blockbusters.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.
    , @bb.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube
     
    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I'll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwzUs1IMdyQ

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles
     
    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.
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  51. @Swedish Family

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    Hear! Hear! The maddening thing about Kremlin's attempts at getting soft power is that the truly effective options are so obvious and inexpensive. If I were Russian propaganda czar, I would have a team of a dozen or so first-rate translators translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube. The long-term soft-power value of one properly translated season of Кухня, let's say, easily equals that of thousands of hours of RT America shows. But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.

    But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.

    Dubbing is more expensive, but because some people (especially the semi-literate and illiterate ones) prefer them dubbed, I’d create both versions for some blockbusters.

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  52. @Dmitry
    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One - we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two - we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language - as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these 'tone-deaf' self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers' countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up 'Pushkin centers' in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature - the results would be far more positive.

    Great point. We have young children and have looked for Russian immersion programs in a public elementary school and can’t find one even in a big diverse metro area like LA — which is one of the top three or four places where Russians settle in North America (along with New York City Metro and Florida).

    Even a daily class in Russian in a public junior HS is almost impossible to find, and HS doesn’t seem much better.

    Russian gov would do well to spend real money to provide textbooks, software, and even subsidize travel and visa expenses for native-speaking Russians to move to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc., to teach Russian to younger kids especially.

    For example, given the relative population, land mass, natural resources, military strength, and significance of France and Russia, it is not sensible that vastly more kids continue to learn French in USA junior HS and HS than Russian.

    Even more true of Italy vis-a-vis Russia, and i’ll bet that even the small number of kids learning italian in the USA exceeds the number learning Russian.

    I would hope that Russia would both continue RT and create a major language instructional project abroad. One of the best investments they could make.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    I would hope that Russia would both continue RT and create a major language instructional project abroad. One of the best investments they could make.
     
    On the topic of RT I have to disagree though. RT is some kind of Kremlin psy-ops. That's why it's 90% negative and only trying to undermine people's view of their own government. They could even learn something from the awful BBC, which at least do a much more subtle propaganda.
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  53. @Dmitry

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    There's a few things here.

    First of all - when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process). I know myself as I put a lot of effort into English as a teenager, and then started becoming very positively viewing English-speaking culture and even buying English books, watching everything in English on YouTube and dreaming of applying to Oxford or Cambridge University one day. This is all the result of the language learning process.

    In parallel, the best way to get foreigners to like (the positive parts and heritage of) Russian culture (which has nothing to do with political nonsense), is to make them invest their time in it, which is what learning the language is - a massive investment of time.

    This is why promotion of the language should be a priority, ahead of other kinds of PR efforts (which often are counter-productive).

    The reason there are so many Westerners genuinely in love with France, or in love with Spain - has a lot to do with the promotion of the language-learning courses. All these young people learning French - will start listening to French music, travelling to Paris, watching French films, reading Flaubert, etc - to practise their language. France as a result has a huge population of 'Francophiles' around the world, especially with elites.

    Secondly, you can't get any feeling for the other cultures, unless you enter a bit into their conversations.

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).

    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.
     
    And one of the richest languages, even despite all the imported latinizations.

    It is something beautiful to show and teach people. Even as the politics, history, economic situation, town planning - is often less than beautiful.

    -

    The other thing is that when foreigners try to speak French, with French people - there is (at least said to be) a culture of looking down on them from the French. That in ironic contrast to the success of the French government in promoting language through the Alliance Française project (where the French have proved to be geniuses).

    -
    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way - it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EIcOQdSfQU

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  54. @Swedish Family

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    Hear! Hear! The maddening thing about Kremlin's attempts at getting soft power is that the truly effective options are so obvious and inexpensive. If I were Russian propaganda czar, I would have a team of a dozen or so first-rate translators translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube. The long-term soft-power value of one properly translated season of Кухня, let's say, easily equals that of thousands of hours of RT America shows. But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.

    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.
     
    What a pity it didn't pan out.

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently, so that's a good start, but they should include entertainment too.

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCa8MaD6gQscto_Nq1i49iew/videos?disable_polymer=1
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  55. @German_reader

    Really learning the script is the easiest part of learning a foreign language.
     
    Depends what kind of script, for something like Japanese or even more so Chinese it's a major hurdle.
    But you're of course right regarding alphabetic scripts. I did ancient Greek at school for three years, and have forgotten most of it (which is very unfortunate), but have the same experience as you with Cyrillic.

    True. I meant alphabets/abjads and not hieroglyphic writing systems like the Japanese or Chinese.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dried peanuts
    Oddly enough, the south koreans have unintentionally managed this already, so language is plainly not an issue. The key elements in their case were 1) some quite good movies 2) an absolute phalanx of cute girl bands and boy bands.
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  56. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Great point. We have young children and have looked for Russian immersion programs in a public elementary school and can’t find one even in a big diverse metro area like LA — which is one of the top three or four places where Russians settle in North America (along with New York City Metro and Florida).

    Even a daily class in Russian in a public junior HS is almost impossible to find, and HS doesn’t seem much better.

    Russian gov would do well to spend real money to provide textbooks, software, and even subsidize travel and visa expenses for native-speaking Russians to move to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc., to teach Russian to younger kids especially.

    For example, given the relative population, land mass, natural resources, military strength, and significance of France and Russia, it is not sensible that vastly more kids continue to learn French in USA junior HS and HS than Russian.

    Even more true of Italy vis-a-vis Russia, and i’ll bet that even the small number of kids learning italian in the USA exceeds the number learning Russian.

    I would hope that Russia would both continue RT and create a major language instructional project abroad. One of the best investments they could make.

    I would hope that Russia would both continue RT and create a major language instructional project abroad. One of the best investments they could make.

    On the topic of RT I have to disagree though. RT is some kind of Kremlin psy-ops. That’s why it’s 90% negative and only trying to undermine people’s view of their own government. They could even learn something from the awful BBC, which at least do a much more subtle propaganda.

    Read More
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  57. @reiner Tor
    True. I meant alphabets/abjads and not hieroglyphic writing systems like the Japanese or Chinese.

    Oddly enough, the south koreans have unintentionally managed this already, so language is plainly not an issue. The key elements in their case were 1) some quite good movies 2) an absolute phalanx of cute girl bands and boy bands.

    Read More
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  58. ERM says:
    @Dmitry

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    There's a few things here.

    First of all - when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process). I know myself as I put a lot of effort into English as a teenager, and then started becoming very positively viewing English-speaking culture and even buying English books, watching everything in English on YouTube and dreaming of applying to Oxford or Cambridge University one day. This is all the result of the language learning process.

    In parallel, the best way to get foreigners to like (the positive parts and heritage of) Russian culture (which has nothing to do with political nonsense), is to make them invest their time in it, which is what learning the language is - a massive investment of time.

    This is why promotion of the language should be a priority, ahead of other kinds of PR efforts (which often are counter-productive).

    The reason there are so many Westerners genuinely in love with France, or in love with Spain - has a lot to do with the promotion of the language-learning courses. All these young people learning French - will start listening to French music, travelling to Paris, watching French films, reading Flaubert, etc - to practise their language. France as a result has a huge population of 'Francophiles' around the world, especially with elites.

    Secondly, you can't get any feeling for the other cultures, unless you enter a bit into their conversations.

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).

    As someone who was made to learn German, I can assure you that this is not fail-proof

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    No one liked Russians when Russian was compulsory in Hungary either. But it’s different if someone studies it for himself. Another question is how useful the language is.
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  59. Dmitry says:
    @Swedish Family

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).
     
    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.

    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.

    And one of the richest languages, even despite all the imported latinizations.

    It is something beautiful to show and teach people. Even as the politics, history, economic situation, town planning – is often less than beautiful.

    -

    The other thing is that when foreigners try to speak French, with French people – there is (at least said to be) a culture of looking down on them from the French. That in ironic contrast to the success of the French government in promoting language through the Alliance Française project (where the French have proved to be geniuses).

    -
    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way – it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way – it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).
     
    Yes, this welcoming attitude to foreign learners is a great plus. I hear the Spanish are the same way, unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French. I seem to recall there is a funny scene about this in Interdevochka (https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/interdevochka-1989-42610/).
    , @Philip Owen
    Cercle Francais receive materials like films and books free; unlike the British Council which charges for everything. The Italians oftenmoffer cooking lessons alongside the language, at least in Russia. Russian food is different enough for this to be a feature of Pushkin Centres.
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  60. @Anatoly Karlin
    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.

    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.

    What a pity it didn’t pan out.

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently, so that’s a good start, but they should include entertainment too.

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCa8MaD6gQscto_Nq1i49iew/videos?disable_polymer=1

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently
     
    >recently

    I am pretty sure that RIA Novosti did that in the 00s.
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  61. @Dmitry

    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.
     
    And one of the richest languages, even despite all the imported latinizations.

    It is something beautiful to show and teach people. Even as the politics, history, economic situation, town planning - is often less than beautiful.

    -

    The other thing is that when foreigners try to speak French, with French people - there is (at least said to be) a culture of looking down on them from the French. That in ironic contrast to the success of the French government in promoting language through the Alliance Française project (where the French have proved to be geniuses).

    -
    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way - it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EIcOQdSfQU

    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way – it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).

    Yes, this welcoming attitude to foreign learners is a great plus. I hear the Spanish are the same way, unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French. I seem to recall there is a funny scene about this in Interdevochka (https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/interdevochka-1989-42610/).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French

    In my experience Swedes are much worse. I have always gotten a positive reception from French people when I speak French. French people get insulted if you consider stringing a few phrases together "speaking French" because they (naturally) find that attitude condescending. But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.

    By constrast, I remember in college a Swedish student pontificating at length after a few beers that no foreigner could ever master the tonal patterns of Swedish so it was pointless to try.
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  62. @ERM

    First of all – when you put a lot of effort into a language, you normally fall in love with the culture (this is a natural psychological process).
     
    As someone who was made to learn German, I can assure you that this is not fail-proof

    No one liked Russians when Russian was compulsory in Hungary either. But it’s different if someone studies it for himself. Another question is how useful the language is.

    Read More
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  63. Mitleser says:
    @Swedish Family

    In 2013 I tried to launch a project called The Russian Spectrum to be like a sort of Inosmi-in-reverse (Inosmi is a RIA project to translate foreign articles into Russian). Initially the idea was to focus on textual translations (politics, culture, etc.), with expansion into video contingent on getting more translators, i.e. funding.

    Russian state media and soft power NGOs expressed support, but unfortunately only of the verbal, not pecuniary, kind.
     
    What a pity it didn't pan out.

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently, so that's a good start, but they should include entertainment too.

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCa8MaD6gQscto_Nq1i49iew/videos?disable_polymer=1

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently

    >recently

    I am pretty sure that RIA Novosti did that in the 00s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    I am pretty sure that RIA Novosti did that in the 00s.
     
    Aha, what do you know. Anyway, the selection is quite good (e.g. also clips from talk shows like 60 Minutes) and the translations are excellent.
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  64. bb. says:
    @Swedish Family

    It will be absolutely a waste of money. Russian language is not necessary for Americans, and they will not teach Russian language .
    For the Russian government it is better to pay the English translation of good books of Russian literature and to pay for the dubbing in English good movies, and then spread it all on one site for free.
     
    Hear! Hear! The maddening thing about Kremlin's attempts at getting soft power is that the truly effective options are so obvious and inexpensive. If I were Russian propaganda czar, I would have a team of a dozen or so first-rate translators translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube. The long-term soft-power value of one properly translated season of Кухня, let's say, easily equals that of thousands of hours of RT America shows. But no dubbing, please. Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube

    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I’ll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles

    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь
     
    Now that's soft power for you. Even my brother's kids love it, and they know nothing about Russian culture.

    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.
     
    Yes, it's beyond awful, haha.
    , @reiner Tor

    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.
     
    In Hungary they only did it until roughly 1990, but never on the state TV, rather on VHS. The voiceover narration was totally emotionless.

    I once saw a very funny example on a Russian channel which I stumbled upon during channel surfing. A guy fell into a pit of molten iron, and he cried out “Nooooooo!” The Russian voiceover quickly and emotionlessly translated it: “Нет.”
    , @Philip Owen
    I use Masha as an example of the potential of Russia to move from raw materials and weapons. The trade delegation in the UK have become big fans of this approach.
    , @snorlax
    Stephen Miller's second career?

    http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_slatest/2017/08/02/stephen_miller_doesn_t_care_for_your_stupid_poem_statue_of_liberty/White-House-Press-Secretary-Sarah-Huckabee-Sanders-Holds-Daily-Briefing.jpeg.CROP.promo-xlarge2.jpeg

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/18/4e/ff/184eff4cb5ec2cf1d08da029bcc073a7.jpg
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  65. @Mitleser

    Russian state media did start translating some news shows recently
     
    >recently

    I am pretty sure that RIA Novosti did that in the 00s.

    I am pretty sure that RIA Novosti did that in the 00s.

    Aha, what do you know. Anyway, the selection is quite good (e.g. also clips from talk shows like 60 Minutes) and the translations are excellent.

    Read More
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  66. @bb.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube
     
    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I'll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwzUs1IMdyQ

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles
     
    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь

    Now that’s soft power for you. Even my brother’s kids love it, and they know nothing about Russian culture.

    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    Yes, it’s beyond awful, haha.

    Read More
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  67. @for-the-record
    That’s what I was thinking, too. I would be greatly annoyed if the Hungarian alphabet was changed to Cyrillic, even though I already know those letters.

    Apart from the anti-Russian element, I would assume that another reason would be to strengthen links with Turkey. It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.

    It will certainly make it easier for Kazakhs to learn Turkish, and vice versa.

    You would think so, but Nazarbayev is pushing a very ugly Latinization that (perhaps consciously) obscures similarities between Kazakh and Turkish rather than illuminates. Nazarbayev is afraid of Turkish domination.

    Read More
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  68. @Swedish Family

    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way – it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).
     
    Yes, this welcoming attitude to foreign learners is a great plus. I hear the Spanish are the same way, unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French. I seem to recall there is a funny scene about this in Interdevochka (https://www.kinopoisk.ru/film/interdevochka-1989-42610/).

    unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French

    In my experience Swedes are much worse. I have always gotten a positive reception from French people when I speak French. French people get insulted if you consider stringing a few phrases together “speaking French” because they (naturally) find that attitude condescending. But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.

    By constrast, I remember in college a Swedish student pontificating at length after a few beers that no foreigner could ever master the tonal patterns of Swedish so it was pointless to try.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Directed not at you, PA, but at such Swedes: Oh no, the Swedes disapprove of our meager efforts to learn their obscure language (which nobody will speak properly within two generations, as Swedes do not bother to have children).

    I’ll have to forgo that vacation in Stockholm now. I was so looking forward to my wife and daughters being groped and harassed by the new Muslim/African overlords while paying the Swedes’ exorbitant prices/taxes for meals and drinks.

    Sweden is done, and they should be grateful that anyone would try to learn even the rudiments of their language.

    , @for-the-record
    But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.


    I lived in France for 15 years, and that certainly wasn't my experience. By contrast, the Spanish and Portuguese really do welcome foreigners who make an effort to speak their language.
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  69. @Anon 2
    "even in Poland many young people study English instead of Russian"

    This is partly in reaction to the time (1945-89) when Poland, Czechia,
    Hungary, ... found themselves against their will behind the Iron Curtain,
    and were forced to study Russian while Russian children were studying
    English and gaining a competitive advantage.

    I'm not aware that the study of Russian is a serious part of the German
    primary and secondary school system either.

    It appears that the young people in Poland got their fill of the West
    in recent years, and seeing the West committing suicide are no
    longer particularly impressed. Interest in visiting Belarus and Russia
    is growing, and, of course thousands are visiting Ukraine. Specifically,
    the relations with Belarus have always been warm so mutual contacts
    are becoming more frequent. The soft eastern accents ("kresowe") are
    delightful to the Polish ear. Polish, due to the palatization of many
    consonants can be a bit harsh sometimes. E.g., 'reka' (river) is
    'rzeka' in Polish.

    I think I can speak for all Polish readers of Unz by inviting Anatoly
    to visit Poland. Poland is famous for its hospitality. We don't bite

    Poland is famous for its hospitality.

    Not really. At least not outside of Poland. Poles are friendly but probably about as hospitable as Americans. (Which is not an insult, I consider Americans very hospitable compared to most Western nations, especially outside the Northeast). Poles are not like Russians or Ukrainians, or crazy hospitable like Iranians. Poles like to maintain some personal distance. Especially in Warsaw.

    Read More
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  70. @bb.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube
     
    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I'll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwzUs1IMdyQ

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles
     
    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    In Hungary they only did it until roughly 1990, but never on the state TV, rather on VHS. The voiceover narration was totally emotionless.

    I once saw a very funny example on a Russian channel which I stumbled upon during channel surfing. A guy fell into a pit of molten iron, and he cried out “Nooooooo!” The Russian voiceover quickly and emotionlessly translated it: “Нет.”

    Read More
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  71. @Dmitry

    Yes, this is the key thing to understand here. And interest in all things Russia, at least from what I can tell anecdotally, is growing in the West, so Russian merely needs to ease things along.
     
    And one of the richest languages, even despite all the imported latinizations.

    It is something beautiful to show and teach people. Even as the politics, history, economic situation, town planning - is often less than beautiful.

    -

    The other thing is that when foreigners try to speak French, with French people - there is (at least said to be) a culture of looking down on them from the French. That in ironic contrast to the success of the French government in promoting language through the Alliance Française project (where the French have proved to be geniuses).

    -
    In contrast when a talented (YouTube) American girl learns the language in a skilful way - it seems charming, and you can read under comments sections only positive comments (no people whining anymore about pindostan).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EIcOQdSfQU

    Cercle Francais receive materials like films and books free; unlike the British Council which charges for everything. The Italians oftenmoffer cooking lessons alongside the language, at least in Russia. Russian food is different enough for this to be a feature of Pushkin Centres.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Cercle Francais receive materials like films and books free; unlike the British Council which charges for everything. The Italians oftenmoffer cooking lessons alongside the language, at least in Russia. Russian food is different enough for this to be a feature of Pushkin Centres.
     
    These countries like France and Italy are just impressive geniuses at marketing their languages (and culture as a whole), and they also aim diplomacy at the middle class and the elite. They are intelligent enough to avoid any kind of political undertone to their cultural diplomacy.

    They are almost too good at the marketing - such that there exists the occasional 'Paris syndrome' when reality does not match packaging to certain markets.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6197921.stm

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  72. Mikhail says: • Website
    @neutral
    He doesn't seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    The Unz venue has a few too many folks with Jooz on the brain.

    McFaul is a careerist opportunist going with the wind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Jews on the brain disease. JOTBD

    Don't be filching my stuff.

    It's contagious, you know.

    JOTBD

    Well, filching too, I guess.
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  73. @Peter Akuleyev
    unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French

    In my experience Swedes are much worse. I have always gotten a positive reception from French people when I speak French. French people get insulted if you consider stringing a few phrases together "speaking French" because they (naturally) find that attitude condescending. But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.

    By constrast, I remember in college a Swedish student pontificating at length after a few beers that no foreigner could ever master the tonal patterns of Swedish so it was pointless to try.

    Directed not at you, PA, but at such Swedes: Oh no, the Swedes disapprove of our meager efforts to learn their obscure language (which nobody will speak properly within two generations, as Swedes do not bother to have children).

    I’ll have to forgo that vacation in Stockholm now. I was so looking forward to my wife and daughters being groped and harassed by the new Muslim/African overlords while paying the Swedes’ exorbitant prices/taxes for meals and drinks.

    Sweden is done, and they should be grateful that anyone would try to learn even the rudiments of their language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Swedes do not bother to have children
     
    They have more than most other Europeans (or whites anywhere). They just have enormous immigration from the most dysfunctional parts of the world.
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  74. @bb.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube
     
    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I'll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwzUs1IMdyQ

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles
     
    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    I use Masha as an example of the potential of Russia to move from raw materials and weapons. The trade delegation in the UK have become big fans of this approach.

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  75. @RadicalCenter
    Directed not at you, PA, but at such Swedes: Oh no, the Swedes disapprove of our meager efforts to learn their obscure language (which nobody will speak properly within two generations, as Swedes do not bother to have children).

    I’ll have to forgo that vacation in Stockholm now. I was so looking forward to my wife and daughters being groped and harassed by the new Muslim/African overlords while paying the Swedes’ exorbitant prices/taxes for meals and drinks.

    Sweden is done, and they should be grateful that anyone would try to learn even the rudiments of their language.

    Swedes do not bother to have children

    They have more than most other Europeans (or whites anywhere). They just have enormous immigration from the most dysfunctional parts of the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Of course you’re right that the immigration of nonEuropeans to Sweden is the biggest danger. But the fact remains that Swedes don’t have children.

    It’s no consolation to say that Swedes May die out a bit more slowly than even less fertile, even more demoralized, strange, cowardly, self-hating white peoples such as the Germans and French.

    The Swedes are dying out, period.
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  76. neutral says:
    @Anon 2
    Just wanted to add that growing numbers of Russians and Belarusians
    (and, of course, thousands of Ukrainians) are now studying at Poland's universities.
    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more
    in common (in a good way) than we thought

    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more in common (in a good way) than we thought

    I know nothing about Polish universities, but there was a recent article here about how Poland is rapidly moving left wing. Add the fact that universities tend to be left wing already and no doubt Polish ones are being fed a lot of EU incentives to be “democratic”. Assuming this is the case, are you sure you want all the Slavs to be getting their ideas from leftist Polish universities?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    "Poland is rapidly moving left wing"

    Not at all. According to the latest survey, the support for Law and Justice
    (PiS), Poland's governing populist/nationalist party, has risen to 47%. That's
    about as high as you can get in a multiparty system. By contrast, the support
    for Civic Platform, the center-right party that governed Poland for 8 years,
    is at only 16%. Of course, these stats are making Brussels apoplectic.

    I'm always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values. Like what values? Colonialism perhaps? As recently as the 1960s
    France and Belgium were still major colonialist powers, and France and Holland
    are still holding on to a bunch of islands around the world. They have no moral
    ground to stand on.
    , @szopen
    Define "left-wing".

    Moreover, the universities naturally in all western world are taken over by leftists. The thing is that in Poland less so, and that Polish left-wingism is less leftish than western left-wingism.
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  77. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA6AObvAbI0

    That Red Dawn clip is American actor William Smith playing Col. Strelnikov, the Russian officer who shoots Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. Here’s a little bio:

    All-around tough guy (he was featured on the covers of countless bodybuilding magazines and was the final “Marlboro Man” to appear on TV) and character-actor staple (playing the heavy in dozens of B-movies and TV shows), Smith was born with a real gift for languages. Following a B.A. from Syracuse, he earned a master’s in Russian studies from UCLA, where he later taught (while pursuing his Ph.D.) before trading a career in academia for one in Hollywood. Smith also took courses at both the Sorbonne and the University of Munich — and is fluent in Russian, French, German and Serbo-Croatian.

    http://entertainment.time.com/2012/04/13/top-10-wicked-smart-actors/slide/william-smith/

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  78. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen
    Cercle Francais receive materials like films and books free; unlike the British Council which charges for everything. The Italians oftenmoffer cooking lessons alongside the language, at least in Russia. Russian food is different enough for this to be a feature of Pushkin Centres.

    Cercle Francais receive materials like films and books free; unlike the British Council which charges for everything. The Italians oftenmoffer cooking lessons alongside the language, at least in Russia. Russian food is different enough for this to be a feature of Pushkin Centres.

    These countries like France and Italy are just impressive geniuses at marketing their languages (and culture as a whole), and they also aim diplomacy at the middle class and the elite. They are intelligent enough to avoid any kind of political undertone to their cultural diplomacy.

    They are almost too good at the marketing – such that there exists the occasional ‘Paris syndrome’ when reality does not match packaging to certain markets.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6197921.stm

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    • LOL: Philip Owen
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  79. iffen says:
    @Mikhail
    The Unz venue has a few too many folks with Jooz on the brain.

    McFaul is a careerist opportunist going with the wind.

    Jews on the brain disease. JOTBD

    Don’t be filching my stuff.

    It’s contagious, you know.

    JOTBD

    Well, filching too, I guess.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    Its a collective self induced alzheimers, to believe that jews play no role in politics, but also in mass media or finance. To ignore that things like AIPAC exist, or the billions that go to Israel, or the increasingly draconian laws jailing those that speak out on all things jew, or the applause given to Netanyahu that rivals the fear of Stalin of who stops clapping first, or... (I can continue writing a very long list of real world things).

    No sir, these things don't exist, its equivalent to believing in reptilian conspiracies or the flat earth, any rational man can see that jews are as influential as Haitians are, everyone is equal right. So lets not discuss these people they are not important, right?

    , @Mikhail
    "Jews on the brain" goes back awhile:

    https://www.google.com/search?ei=CZ9mWv_FHZLfzwLc-Yi4BA&q=%22jews+on+the+brain%22&oq=%22jews+on+the+brain%22&gs_l=psy-ab.12...9197.12277.0.13718.2.2.0.0.0.0.52.102.2.2.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.Ra9pv4zh454
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  80. neutral says:
    @iffen
    Jews on the brain disease. JOTBD

    Don't be filching my stuff.

    It's contagious, you know.

    JOTBD

    Well, filching too, I guess.

    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    Its a collective self induced alzheimers, to believe that jews play no role in politics, but also in mass media or finance. To ignore that things like AIPAC exist, or the billions that go to Israel, or the increasingly draconian laws jailing those that speak out on all things jew, or the applause given to Netanyahu that rivals the fear of Stalin of who stops clapping first, or… (I can continue writing a very long list of real world things).

    No sir, these things don’t exist, its equivalent to believing in reptilian conspiracies or the flat earth, any rational man can see that jews are as influential as Haitians are, everyone is equal right. So lets not discuss these people they are not important, right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    No one, and what I mean by that is this: no one believes that.

    See: strawman
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  81. iffen says:
    @neutral
    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    Its a collective self induced alzheimers, to believe that jews play no role in politics, but also in mass media or finance. To ignore that things like AIPAC exist, or the billions that go to Israel, or the increasingly draconian laws jailing those that speak out on all things jew, or the applause given to Netanyahu that rivals the fear of Stalin of who stops clapping first, or... (I can continue writing a very long list of real world things).

    No sir, these things don't exist, its equivalent to believing in reptilian conspiracies or the flat earth, any rational man can see that jews are as influential as Haitians are, everyone is equal right. So lets not discuss these people they are not important, right?

    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    No one, and what I mean by that is this: no one believes that.

    See: strawman

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    No one, and what I mean by that is this: no one believes that.
     
    Yet here you are trying to argue that those that mention jews have a brain disease...
    I mean tying Russia and jews together is crazy, the two have no relationship and never had a relationship in history...

    As for no one believing that, why don't try arguing that at Breitbart for example and see how long you last there. Unless of course you honestly believe that the only valid conversation one can have regarding jews is to be a total ar$e licker for jews like your average American politician does it all the time.

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  82. neutral says:
    @iffen
    Jew are not important in politics. JANIIP

    No one, and what I mean by that is this: no one believes that.

    See: strawman

    No one, and what I mean by that is this: no one believes that.

    Yet here you are trying to argue that those that mention jews have a brain disease…
    I mean tying Russia and jews together is crazy, the two have no relationship and never had a relationship in history…

    As for no one believing that, why don’t try arguing that at Breitbart for example and see how long you last there. Unless of course you honestly believe that the only valid conversation one can have regarding jews is to be a total ar$e licker for jews like your average American politician does it all the time.

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  83. @Peter Akuleyev
    unlike we Swedes, who might be even worse than the French

    In my experience Swedes are much worse. I have always gotten a positive reception from French people when I speak French. French people get insulted if you consider stringing a few phrases together "speaking French" because they (naturally) find that attitude condescending. But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.

    By constrast, I remember in college a Swedish student pontificating at length after a few beers that no foreigner could ever master the tonal patterns of Swedish so it was pointless to try.

    But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.

    I lived in France for 15 years, and that certainly wasn’t my experience. By contrast, the Spanish and Portuguese really do welcome foreigners who make an effort to speak their language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Polyglots in Paris:

    In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
     
    --Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
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  84. Mikhail says: • Website
    @iffen
    Jews on the brain disease. JOTBD

    Don't be filching my stuff.

    It's contagious, you know.

    JOTBD

    Well, filching too, I guess.
    Read More
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  85. Sparkon says:
    @for-the-record
    But if you really try to learn French and get to an intermediate level you will find most French people very helpful and enthusiastic.


    I lived in France for 15 years, and that certainly wasn't my experience. By contrast, the Spanish and Portuguese really do welcome foreigners who make an effort to speak their language.

    Polyglots in Paris:

    In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.

    –Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

    Read More
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  86. Anon 2 says:
    @neutral

    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more in common (in a good way) than we thought
     
    I know nothing about Polish universities, but there was a recent article here about how Poland is rapidly moving left wing. Add the fact that universities tend to be left wing already and no doubt Polish ones are being fed a lot of EU incentives to be "democratic". Assuming this is the case, are you sure you want all the Slavs to be getting their ideas from leftist Polish universities?

    “Poland is rapidly moving left wing”

    Not at all. According to the latest survey, the support for Law and Justice
    (PiS), Poland’s governing populist/nationalist party, has risen to 47%. That’s
    about as high as you can get in a multiparty system. By contrast, the support
    for Civic Platform, the center-right party that governed Poland for 8 years,
    is at only 16%. Of course, these stats are making Brussels apoplectic.

    I’m always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values. Like what values? Colonialism perhaps? As recently as the 1960s
    France and Belgium were still major colonialist powers, and France and Holland
    are still holding on to a bunch of islands around the world. They have no moral
    ground to stand on.

    Read More
    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I’m always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values.
     
    For Western European elites the EU is an anti-national project, it's intended to break down national sentiment and replace it with loyalty to some abstract European "values" (which nowadays include openness to non-European mass immigration as a central element). Poles don't quite seem to to understand this and think they can deflect all accusations by pointing out past misdeeds of Germans or, as you did, French and Belgians and accusing Westerners of hypocrisy. This doesn't work at all, Western Europeans adduce exactly those past crimes as reasons why they're holding their postnational (or indeed anti-national) views.
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  87. songbird says:
    @Dmitry
    An interesting story. I see two things when I look at this story.

    One - we have the incompetence of an American academic, which might reflect the wider lowering of standards in American academia. The fact that a professional whose career relates to a foreign country, cannot be bother to learn the language of the foreign countries. Perhaps he can speak better Mandarin?

    Two - we might see it (not speaking so much of his particular case, but in general) as a symptom of a larger failure of cultural exportation. There is a lack of Russian language teaching overseas. This is not good news for the country (even in Poland, many young people study English and Spanish, instead of Russian, today).

    Although Russia is a country with a huge population (and even more with the Russian speaking world which adds tens of million), so there is no problem to sustain the language, and cultural flourishing in the language, even if not a single foreigner ever learns it. The lack of foreigners learning it, means far less foreigners becoming positively disposed to the high points of the culture, or seeing both sides of a story. This should be very easy to do through language - as the language has produced many of the great works of literature in history.

    You can compare the success of the French government in promoting study of French abroad through Alliance Française project. Meanwhile the government is wasting fortunes on these 'tone-deaf' self-destructive projects like RT, which just criticize the viewers' countries (negative projects like this are doomed to failure). Even they invested the same money in setting up 'Pushkin centers' in every US city, to teach in mass language and literature - the results would be far more positive.

    I was recently struck by the utter silliness of how the German government maintains Goethe Institutes worldwide while welcoming in endless hordes of non-Europeans at home. There is absolutely no way anyone could rationalize it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Goethe Institutes are a crucial part of Germany's worldwide infrastructure.

    How else should Germany's BND do its grunt work for the CIA and other shady patrons across the Atlantic? Where else should the fashionable nieces of senior politicians and bureaucrats park their overweight derrieres until they find a real job or a husband?

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  88. @22pp22
    I was raised in a monoglot household.German is very much my second language. I hadn't used it in years and then I went to Germany again in 2016. People I spoke to complimented me on my excellent German.

    If you speak a foreign language to a high level, you don't just forget it in a couple of years.

    Actually, if you get compliments you aren’t all that good. Once you get better, the natives stop complimenting you.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    That comment was unnecessary and says a lot more about you as a person than it does about the quality of my German.

    I have lived all over the place. What you say is true in Japan and Korea among people you don't know well. Germans and Dutch are usually pretty honest. In fact, the Dutch make a virtue of being unnecessarily brutal, although they are better at dishing it out than they are at taking it. I have also had my German tested by the Goethe Insitute I got a sehr gut in the GDS though natural sciences.

    In fact, the Goethe Institute and organisations like it are useful in that sense. Universities are paid by students and they really don't want to fail people if they can avoid it, as it drives away customers.

    The Goethe Institute does not take the same attitude.

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  89. snorlax says:
    @bb.

    translate every major Russian TV show, sit-com, and so forth, and upload it to YouTube
     
    Interestingly, I think they are trying this approach in China, for instance with the launch of Katusha TV.(https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cctv-channel-one-launch-network-russian-content-china-1018955). I also hear that a lot of Russian singers are somewhat big in China. I'll just post one, for some lulz, and also the fun fact that he is a Latvian-Ukrainian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwzUs1IMdyQ

    Also a fun fact, that by the youtube metric, Russia has two videos in the top 100 most viewed on YouTube, namely 2 episodes of the kid tv show Маша и Медведь, on the 7th place with 2,78 bl. and on the 89th with 1,02 bl. The other 3 non pop-song entries are also episodes from kid shows, one from India, one from UK and one yt toy-show.

    Only barbarians prefer that over subtitles
     
    In Russia, but the east bloc in general, they one-upped this by not even dubbing, but just plain voice over. At first only one voice actor(Poland a notable offender with 0 emotion in the delivery), later 2-3 with even a semblance of direction.

    Stephen Miller’s second career?

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  90. szopen says:
    @Zzz
    If this is actual rationale - It's what we're call
    to freeze one's ears to spite grandma

    ( sameperson)

    You expect rational behavior from kids all below 15 y/o?

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  91. szopen says:
    @neutral

    We Slavs are becoming increasingly interested in each other. We have more in common (in a good way) than we thought
     
    I know nothing about Polish universities, but there was a recent article here about how Poland is rapidly moving left wing. Add the fact that universities tend to be left wing already and no doubt Polish ones are being fed a lot of EU incentives to be "democratic". Assuming this is the case, are you sure you want all the Slavs to be getting their ideas from leftist Polish universities?

    Define “left-wing”.

    Moreover, the universities naturally in all western world are taken over by leftists. The thing is that in Poland less so, and that Polish left-wingism is less leftish than western left-wingism.

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  92. szopen says:

    To be fair, there is a difference in ability to read and understand language well and ability to speak.

    I can read _some_ Russian, i.e. usually I can get the gist of Russian text (not much; I am by no way fluent and there are some articles where I get just few words here and there). It’s even better with spoken Russian when speaking face-to-face, that is: in a direct communication. OTOH, the spoken Russian in not direct communication (i.e. in movies or even worse, in songs) is much harder to get right.

    BUT I can’t speak good Russian without introducing some Polish words, mangling the grammar and so on.

    The same with English.

    I do not think my experiences are somehow isolated. I would rather say they are quite common.

    So, one can read Russian on a level sufficient to understand them and then comment (in one’s native language) in a sensible manner, while not being able to say single grammatically correct sentence.

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  93. Him not being able to fully grasp the Russian language and culture is a good thing, not a bad one. He was working on behalf of the US government and his job was to identify potential weaknesses by which the Russians could be undermined and subverted. He’s not their friend but their enemy, working against them insidiously. Being opaque can be a form of protection.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Him not being able to fully grasp the Russian language and culture is a good thing, not a bad one.
     
    It is, certainly, one way to look at it. But by far more dangerous is a lack of awareness as the events of the last 15 years so well demonstrated. Residing is perpetual Chalabi moment is not good either, in fact--it is worth.
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  94. @anonymous1
    Him not being able to fully grasp the Russian language and culture is a good thing, not a bad one. He was working on behalf of the US government and his job was to identify potential weaknesses by which the Russians could be undermined and subverted. He's not their friend but their enemy, working against them insidiously. Being opaque can be a form of protection.

    Him not being able to fully grasp the Russian language and culture is a good thing, not a bad one.

    It is, certainly, one way to look at it. But by far more dangerous is a lack of awareness as the events of the last 15 years so well demonstrated. Residing is perpetual Chalabi moment is not good either, in fact–it is worth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    it is worth.
     
    Correction: Damn--"it is worSe". hate auto correct.
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  95. @Anon 2
    "Poland is rapidly moving left wing"

    Not at all. According to the latest survey, the support for Law and Justice
    (PiS), Poland's governing populist/nationalist party, has risen to 47%. That's
    about as high as you can get in a multiparty system. By contrast, the support
    for Civic Platform, the center-right party that governed Poland for 8 years,
    is at only 16%. Of course, these stats are making Brussels apoplectic.

    I'm always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values. Like what values? Colonialism perhaps? As recently as the 1960s
    France and Belgium were still major colonialist powers, and France and Holland
    are still holding on to a bunch of islands around the world. They have no moral
    ground to stand on.

    I’m always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values.

    For Western European elites the EU is an anti-national project, it’s intended to break down national sentiment and replace it with loyalty to some abstract European “values” (which nowadays include openness to non-European mass immigration as a central element). Poles don’t quite seem to to understand this and think they can deflect all accusations by pointing out past misdeeds of Germans or, as you did, French and Belgians and accusing Westerners of hypocrisy. This doesn’t work at all, Western Europeans adduce exactly those past crimes as reasons why they’re holding their postnational (or indeed anti-national) views.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    It's not a question of understanding or not understanding.
    Western Europeans (incl. Germany) have a lot to atone for
    (i.e., colonialism, transatlatic slave trade, religious wars,
    expulsion of the Jews from Western Europe, the Crusades, etc)
    so their desire to leave their violent identities behind is perfectly
    understandable. However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect). Poland didn't even exist as an
    independent country for almost 200 years (from the last Partition of
    1795 to the overthrow of Soviet domination in 1989, except for the brief
    interwar period). By the way, the First Partition of 1772 was initiated by
    two Germans, Frederick of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia.

    Poland was one of the primary actors in the great European drama involving
    the battle between Germania and Slavia over the last 1200 years. The Germanics
    (i.e., Saxons, etc) engaged in military and non-military expansionism from
    the Elbe-Saale line (Limes Saxoniae) eastward. The Germanics didn't
    understand that they could not win against the Slavs. The lacked the numbers.
    Today there are 240 million Slavs and only 120 million Germanics /Actually
    the Scandinavians are now neutral - the Swedes after wreaking havoc in the Slavic
    lands for 250 years (e.g., read about the Deluge) and never paying reparations for
    the immense destruction they visited upon Poland and the neighboring lands, finally
    saw the light, so they are out of the game/. 1000 years ago the population ratio was
    probably still close to 2:1 to the disadvantage of the Germanics. Hitler's
    adventurism can be understood as the Germanics' last (desperate) hurrah in this
    1200-year battle that they could not win. Nevertheless, the Western Slavs
    (Polabians, Bohemians, and Polanders), being at the cutting edge of the
    resistance to the Germanics' incursions, have paid a severe price - millions
    of the dead and wounded, property stolen and destroyed, etc. No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.
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  96. @Andrei Martyanov

    Him not being able to fully grasp the Russian language and culture is a good thing, not a bad one.
     
    It is, certainly, one way to look at it. But by far more dangerous is a lack of awareness as the events of the last 15 years so well demonstrated. Residing is perpetual Chalabi moment is not good either, in fact--it is worth.

    it is worth.

    Correction: Damn–”it is worSe”. hate auto correct.

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  97. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The number one Russian export to the US, besides vodka, seems to be the MiG fighter. I think there are over a hundred of them, plus the L-39 trainer, on the US civil register for doctors and whatnot to zoom around in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't know anyone who has a Russian aircraft. They could probably sell the An-2 and some of the Yaks if they could get them type certificated but they do not want to do the work.

    Russian guns of various types are popular but most of the SKS and AK variants sold here are not from Russia. Years ago Woolworths even sold the Baikal shotgun, but it was quite crude. They all needed trigger work and usually some honing to be shootable.

    The guitar players and hi fi types use a lot of Russian vacuum tubes and sometimes surplus mil spec Russian capacitors and resistors and whatnot, but my understanding is all this was looted in the Yeltsin era and does not benefit the Russians today. The Russian Doff acoustic guitars are advertised a little over here but the one I saw needed a fair bit of setup work to play well.

    In the film days there were people selling Russian cameras and lenses. I'm told a few of the lenses are still popular in the digital era but again all the new ones available now were spirited out of inventory in the Yeltsin or early Putin era.
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  98. Mitleser says:

    McFaul strikes back!

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    • LOL: reiner Tor
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  99. 22pp22 says:
    @Peter Lund
    Actually, if you get compliments you aren't all that good. Once you get better, the natives stop complimenting you.

    That comment was unnecessary and says a lot more about you as a person than it does about the quality of my German.

    I have lived all over the place. What you say is true in Japan and Korea among people you don’t know well. Germans and Dutch are usually pretty honest. In fact, the Dutch make a virtue of being unnecessarily brutal, although they are better at dishing it out than they are at taking it. I have also had my German tested by the Goethe Insitute I got a sehr gut in the GDS though natural sciences.

    In fact, the Goethe Institute and organisations like it are useful in that sense. Universities are paid by students and they really don’t want to fail people if they can avoid it, as it drives away customers.

    The Goethe Institute does not take the same attitude.

    Read More
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  100. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral
    He doesn't seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    Anti-Russian posturing is where the money and excitement is. Defense contractors, “intelligence” agencies (but I repeat myself), energy, etc.

    Then there is the biggest lobby of all – China with its “One Belt, One Road” plan to become the undisputed master of Eurasia and its African appendix. The Chinese haven’t forgotten about Haishenwai and the Treaty of Aigun.

    (Oceania will be swallowed, morsel by morsel, as the opportunity arises, parenthetically.)

    Think about it: where is the fun in just managing relations with Russia peacefully, in the interest of regular people in the U.S. and its alleged “allies” in Europe? Peaceful commerce and human exchanges don’t make for much of a dinner conversation in D.C. or Manhattan.

    So much better to opt for the world of action and excitement, casually overthrowing a government here (Ukraine) and there (Libya) with a little sexual sadism thrown in, personally hitting the “FIRE” button for a drone strike to annihilate a wedding party in Yemen, etc.

    Ladies – you too can be legally JAMIE BONDE from the comfort of your office at the NSC or Brookings.

    Read More
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  101. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral

    this isn’t a Jewish/non-Jewish issue
     
    The jews that came from Russia are openly anti Russia, this is a deep hatred, you can find many articles at sites such as Unz about this.

    The thing whole thing with the world hegemony explanation does not seem to apply when talking about China, so I think there is more to it. The types like McFaul will not go on about China anywhere close to how they do it with Russia (even before Trump), so I still have a question if his hatred is real or is it because it is expected of him to say what he says.

    The types like McFaul will not go on about China [as much as] Russia

    A – possibly apocryphal – story:

    During World War II, Thailand found itself at at the fault line between Japanese and Allied spheres of control. Against this background, the king convened a meeting of his senior military and civilian advisers to decide which side Thailand should ally itself with.

    The king asked his advisers which side they thought would lose the war, and explained: “Whichever side is going to lose, that side is our enemy.”

    Read More
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  102. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    "Besides, there are persistent rumors that he doesn’t even know English all that well."
     
    The lack of Russian language skills would not disqualify him from the open position of Moscow Bureau Chief for the WSJ (seriously!), but this might. Neither is likely to be an impediment at CNN.

    The lack of Russian language skills would not disqualify him from the open position of Moscow Bureau Chief for the WSJ

    NO RUSSIAN is a qualifying requirements.

    Russian speakers need not apply. Actually understanding the language and the country might interfere with the Narrative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/949316796103917572
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  103. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird
    I was recently struck by the utter silliness of how the German government maintains Goethe Institutes worldwide while welcoming in endless hordes of non-Europeans at home. There is absolutely no way anyone could rationalize it.

    Goethe Institutes are a crucial part of Germany’s worldwide infrastructure.

    How else should Germany’s BND do its grunt work for the CIA and other shady patrons across the Atlantic? Where else should the fashionable nieces of senior politicians and bureaucrats park their overweight derrieres until they find a real job or a husband?

    Read More
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  104. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    The number one Russian export to the US, besides vodka, seems to be the MiG fighter. I think there are over a hundred of them, plus the L-39 trainer, on the US civil register for doctors and whatnot to zoom around in.

    I don’t know anyone who has a Russian aircraft. They could probably sell the An-2 and some of the Yaks if they could get them type certificated but they do not want to do the work.

    Russian guns of various types are popular but most of the SKS and AK variants sold here are not from Russia. Years ago Woolworths even sold the Baikal shotgun, but it was quite crude. They all needed trigger work and usually some honing to be shootable.

    The guitar players and hi fi types use a lot of Russian vacuum tubes and sometimes surplus mil spec Russian capacitors and resistors and whatnot, but my understanding is all this was looted in the Yeltsin era and does not benefit the Russians today. The Russian Doff acoustic guitars are advertised a little over here but the one I saw needed a fair bit of setup work to play well.

    In the film days there were people selling Russian cameras and lenses. I’m told a few of the lenses are still popular in the digital era but again all the new ones available now were spirited out of inventory in the Yeltsin or early Putin era.

    Read More
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  105. Anon 2 says:
    @German_reader

    I’m always amused when the EU claims that Poland is violating European
    values.
     
    For Western European elites the EU is an anti-national project, it's intended to break down national sentiment and replace it with loyalty to some abstract European "values" (which nowadays include openness to non-European mass immigration as a central element). Poles don't quite seem to to understand this and think they can deflect all accusations by pointing out past misdeeds of Germans or, as you did, French and Belgians and accusing Westerners of hypocrisy. This doesn't work at all, Western Europeans adduce exactly those past crimes as reasons why they're holding their postnational (or indeed anti-national) views.

    It’s not a question of understanding or not understanding.
    Western Europeans (incl. Germany) have a lot to atone for
    (i.e., colonialism, transatlatic slave trade, religious wars,
    expulsion of the Jews from Western Europe, the Crusades, etc)
    so their desire to leave their violent identities behind is perfectly
    understandable. However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect). Poland didn’t even exist as an
    independent country for almost 200 years (from the last Partition of
    1795 to the overthrow of Soviet domination in 1989, except for the brief
    interwar period). By the way, the First Partition of 1772 was initiated by
    two Germans, Frederick of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia.

    Poland was one of the primary actors in the great European drama involving
    the battle between Germania and Slavia over the last 1200 years. The Germanics
    (i.e., Saxons, etc) engaged in military and non-military expansionism from
    the Elbe-Saale line (Limes Saxoniae) eastward. The Germanics didn’t
    understand that they could not win against the Slavs. The lacked the numbers.
    Today there are 240 million Slavs and only 120 million Germanics /Actually
    the Scandinavians are now neutral – the Swedes after wreaking havoc in the Slavic
    lands for 250 years (e.g., read about the Deluge) and never paying reparations for
    the immense destruction they visited upon Poland and the neighboring lands, finally
    saw the light, so they are out of the game/. 1000 years ago the population ratio was
    probably still close to 2:1 to the disadvantage of the Germanics. Hitler’s
    adventurism can be understood as the Germanics’ last (desperate) hurrah in this
    1200-year battle that they could not win. Nevertheless, the Western Slavs
    (Polabians, Bohemians, and Polanders), being at the cutting edge of the
    resistance to the Germanics’ incursions, have paid a severe price – millions
    of the dead and wounded, property stolen and destroyed, etc. No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past
     
    You don't get it. Sweden, Denmark, Norway also have little to feel guilty about (yeah, Denmark had some slave islands in the Caribbean...big deal), yet they're afflicted by the same rot as the rest of Western Europe. If one wants to, one can easily construct a narrative of Polish misdeeds that Poles have to atone for. Inter-war Poland oppressed non-Polish minorities, enacted some anti-Jewish laws, then there was the Kielce progrom in 1946 etc. There's enough material to construct a "progressive" narrative that Poles should leave their nasty nationalism behind and adopt modern "European values".

    No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.
     
    Ahistorical nonsense (and it is striking to me how your view of an eternally unchanging conflict between Slavs and Germanics is basically just a mirror image of the Nazi view of history). The last 1200 years consist of a bit more than just the 1914-1945 era.
    , @Mitleser

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect).
     
    That does not matter.
    If you are part of the club, you have to share their guilt with them because EUrope is West-centered and universal.
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  106. Mitleser says:
    @Anonymous

    The lack of Russian language skills would not disqualify him from the open position of Moscow Bureau Chief for the WSJ
     
    NO RUSSIAN is a qualifying requirements.

    Russian speakers need not apply. Actually understanding the language and the country might interfere with the Narrative.

    Read More
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  107. @Anon 2
    It's not a question of understanding or not understanding.
    Western Europeans (incl. Germany) have a lot to atone for
    (i.e., colonialism, transatlatic slave trade, religious wars,
    expulsion of the Jews from Western Europe, the Crusades, etc)
    so their desire to leave their violent identities behind is perfectly
    understandable. However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect). Poland didn't even exist as an
    independent country for almost 200 years (from the last Partition of
    1795 to the overthrow of Soviet domination in 1989, except for the brief
    interwar period). By the way, the First Partition of 1772 was initiated by
    two Germans, Frederick of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia.

    Poland was one of the primary actors in the great European drama involving
    the battle between Germania and Slavia over the last 1200 years. The Germanics
    (i.e., Saxons, etc) engaged in military and non-military expansionism from
    the Elbe-Saale line (Limes Saxoniae) eastward. The Germanics didn't
    understand that they could not win against the Slavs. The lacked the numbers.
    Today there are 240 million Slavs and only 120 million Germanics /Actually
    the Scandinavians are now neutral - the Swedes after wreaking havoc in the Slavic
    lands for 250 years (e.g., read about the Deluge) and never paying reparations for
    the immense destruction they visited upon Poland and the neighboring lands, finally
    saw the light, so they are out of the game/. 1000 years ago the population ratio was
    probably still close to 2:1 to the disadvantage of the Germanics. Hitler's
    adventurism can be understood as the Germanics' last (desperate) hurrah in this
    1200-year battle that they could not win. Nevertheless, the Western Slavs
    (Polabians, Bohemians, and Polanders), being at the cutting edge of the
    resistance to the Germanics' incursions, have paid a severe price - millions
    of the dead and wounded, property stolen and destroyed, etc. No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past

    You don’t get it. Sweden, Denmark, Norway also have little to feel guilty about (yeah, Denmark had some slave islands in the Caribbean…big deal), yet they’re afflicted by the same rot as the rest of Western Europe. If one wants to, one can easily construct a narrative of Polish misdeeds that Poles have to atone for. Inter-war Poland oppressed non-Polish minorities, enacted some anti-Jewish laws, then there was the Kielce progrom in 1946 etc. There’s enough material to construct a “progressive” narrative that Poles should leave their nasty nationalism behind and adopt modern “European values”.

    No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.

    Ahistorical nonsense (and it is striking to me how your view of an eternally unchanging conflict between Slavs and Germanics is basically just a mirror image of the Nazi view of history). The last 1200 years consist of a bit more than just the 1914-1945 era.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    "You don't get it. Sweden, ...is also afflicted by the same rot"

    I'm quite aware of what's happening in Scandinavia. But I also
    don't recall Polish troops attacking Sweden, laying waste to the
    Swedish countryside, stealing anything that wasn't attached (to this
    day Sweden refuses to return the personal possessions of Nicolaus
    Copernicus which they stole from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow
    in the 1650s). The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s. The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland. Today Sweden is one of the
    world's biggest merchants of death (arms exporters) if not the biggest,
    on per capita basis, and yet it lectures the world on how progressive it is.

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I'd feel a degree of guilt too.
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  108. Mitleser says:
    @Anon 2
    It's not a question of understanding or not understanding.
    Western Europeans (incl. Germany) have a lot to atone for
    (i.e., colonialism, transatlatic slave trade, religious wars,
    expulsion of the Jews from Western Europe, the Crusades, etc)
    so their desire to leave their violent identities behind is perfectly
    understandable. However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect). Poland didn't even exist as an
    independent country for almost 200 years (from the last Partition of
    1795 to the overthrow of Soviet domination in 1989, except for the brief
    interwar period). By the way, the First Partition of 1772 was initiated by
    two Germans, Frederick of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia.

    Poland was one of the primary actors in the great European drama involving
    the battle between Germania and Slavia over the last 1200 years. The Germanics
    (i.e., Saxons, etc) engaged in military and non-military expansionism from
    the Elbe-Saale line (Limes Saxoniae) eastward. The Germanics didn't
    understand that they could not win against the Slavs. The lacked the numbers.
    Today there are 240 million Slavs and only 120 million Germanics /Actually
    the Scandinavians are now neutral - the Swedes after wreaking havoc in the Slavic
    lands for 250 years (e.g., read about the Deluge) and never paying reparations for
    the immense destruction they visited upon Poland and the neighboring lands, finally
    saw the light, so they are out of the game/. 1000 years ago the population ratio was
    probably still close to 2:1 to the disadvantage of the Germanics. Hitler's
    adventurism can be understood as the Germanics' last (desperate) hurrah in this
    1200-year battle that they could not win. Nevertheless, the Western Slavs
    (Polabians, Bohemians, and Polanders), being at the cutting edge of the
    resistance to the Germanics' incursions, have paid a severe price - millions
    of the dead and wounded, property stolen and destroyed, etc. No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect).

    That does not matter.
    If you are part of the club, you have to share their guilt with them because EUrope is West-centered and universal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    You don't have to. The talking points mentioned by Anon 2 are actually a pretty good tool in the battle against the imposition of immigrant quotas. The idea here would not be to chastise the Germanic / Western countries to make them feel "bad" about their past; the idea would be to make them shut up about Eastern Europe having to accept migrants, multi-culturalism, etc. For 25 years the Western Europe (elites, media, even regular citizens) have spoken to E. Europe in a paternalistic tone - "you lag behind socially, you are "uncivilized" in a way we are, you haven't "grown up" to become truly civilized, mature". Even Germans who are normally well disposed towards E. Europeans will say (believe) stuff like this and the local wannabes will parrot those statements. So if a Swede thinks he can tell a Pole to accept migrants or do this or that social policy "improvement" for non-natives, the answer here should be - "Who the heck are you to tell me what to do?" Someone who still used to sterilize Samis in 1960s? Someone who had a eugenics institute in the 1930s? Someone who makes sure they separate their migrants into ghettos? I would even go so far as to say that this whole "multi-culti" lecturing that we've endured from Western Europeans over the years is a soft form of domination. E.Europeans should finally say "no" to that. It should never be the standard for civility.

    What would be more productive for us all as Europeans would be to sit down and figure out what other (less controversial) talking points we could introduce against the current attacks on Visegrad. That Visegrad didn't participate in colonialism, ok. That they accepted many Ukrainian refugees that were rejected by Europe at large after 2014. Good. But we need more, even more convincing, arguments. Or we need to go rogue and simply say "no".
    , @Anon
    Btw, "being part of the club" was never about accepting immigrants at this scale. When Poland, etc., joined in 2004, the treaties that they signed up for did not stipulate that you have to be ready and accept that the composition of your population will be altered significantly (via influx of third country foreigners), or that you'll have to go against your own constitution, citizenship / refugee laws. Poland took until 1am in the morning to finish the accession talks in Copenhagen, mostly talking about agriculture, had there been an issue about migrants, it would have taken even longer. And this isn't even about the relationship with Brussels anymore - this is pure and simple, the West trying to push its problems on the East. The West made the decision to accept the Syrians, then they should deal with it themselves. Where was the Euro solidarity when that decision was made?

    The refugee crisis was an unexpected contingency, not something that the E.European countries agreed to solve. It took a tremendous media and grassroots effort and Western money to convince the citizens of, for instance, the Baltic states, to join the EU (the support there for accession wasn't all that high). Had those citizens who were pro-EU and voted "for" joining known at the time, there would be quotas, they would have voted "no". This definitely should be an argument when talking to Brussels. We can no longer be diplomatic, we have to be blunt.

    And the EU is not a dictatorship. There must be debate.

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  109. @Dmitry
    If there were actually many Jews in America who were interested in Russia, he would be out of a job - since there are hundreds of thousands of native speakers of the language that you could hire. The issue is that most of the Russian-speakers in America are totally disinterested in anything to do with their home country, which they (in my experience of talking to them) seem to try not to think about wherever possible, and don't even bother to teach the language to their children. The fact that he could be hired, probably shows the lack of people in America that have an interest in the country (beyond usage of it for internal politics and scare-mongering).

    Americans are interested in France, Italy, even Japan. Judging by YouTube the only Americans who upload stuff about Russia are somehow employed to do so for propaganda; whereas there's a thousands of genuine videos about other countries being uploaded all the time (Japan does not need to employ 'Japan Insider' to upload videos about Japan - all the youtubers are doing it anyway).

    Dmitri you’re sound like Dmitro and you’re full of it.
    Got to go to work now.

    Read More
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  110. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Mitleser

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect).
     
    That does not matter.
    If you are part of the club, you have to share their guilt with them because EUrope is West-centered and universal.

    You don’t have to. The talking points mentioned by Anon 2 are actually a pretty good tool in the battle against the imposition of immigrant quotas. The idea here would not be to chastise the Germanic / Western countries to make them feel “bad” about their past; the idea would be to make them shut up about Eastern Europe having to accept migrants, multi-culturalism, etc. For 25 years the Western Europe (elites, media, even regular citizens) have spoken to E. Europe in a paternalistic tone – “you lag behind socially, you are “uncivilized” in a way we are, you haven’t “grown up” to become truly civilized, mature”. Even Germans who are normally well disposed towards E. Europeans will say (believe) stuff like this and the local wannabes will parrot those statements. So if a Swede thinks he can tell a Pole to accept migrants or do this or that social policy “improvement” for non-natives, the answer here should be – “Who the heck are you to tell me what to do?” Someone who still used to sterilize Samis in 1960s? Someone who had a eugenics institute in the 1930s? Someone who makes sure they separate their migrants into ghettos? I would even go so far as to say that this whole “multi-culti” lecturing that we’ve endured from Western Europeans over the years is a soft form of domination. E.Europeans should finally say “no” to that. It should never be the standard for civility.

    What would be more productive for us all as Europeans would be to sit down and figure out what other (less controversial) talking points we could introduce against the current attacks on Visegrad. That Visegrad didn’t participate in colonialism, ok. That they accepted many Ukrainian refugees that were rejected by Europe at large after 2014. Good. But we need more, even more convincing, arguments. Or we need to go rogue and simply say “no”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    But we need more, even more convincing, arguments.
     
    The most convincing argument is quite simply that mass immigration of the kind seen in Western Europe in recent decades has pernicious consequences for the host society, is bound to create a criminal underclass of migrant origins and Islamic parallel societies hostile to the natives, and might conceivably in the end lead to civil war (or, if that doesn't happen, to marginalization and replacement of the original population).
    All this "Oh, we didn't do colonialism!", "Oh, look at your horrible history" seems to accept the pro-immigration framing of the issue, that people in Western Europe deserve being inundated by mass immigration and losing their nations as payback for their past crimes. It's delusional for Eastern Europeans to think they could escape this framing with arguments about their supposed historical innocence (I already mentioned above how a narrative of past sins could be constructed for Poland; it would be even easier for Hungary and Slovakia with their pro-German, anti-Jewish governments during WW2 and their present-day gypsy issue...the latter also applies to Czechia).
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  111. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Mitleser

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past (beyond the fact
    that obviously no country is perfect).
     
    That does not matter.
    If you are part of the club, you have to share their guilt with them because EUrope is West-centered and universal.

    Btw, “being part of the club” was never about accepting immigrants at this scale. When Poland, etc., joined in 2004, the treaties that they signed up for did not stipulate that you have to be ready and accept that the composition of your population will be altered significantly (via influx of third country foreigners), or that you’ll have to go against your own constitution, citizenship / refugee laws. Poland took until 1am in the morning to finish the accession talks in Copenhagen, mostly talking about agriculture, had there been an issue about migrants, it would have taken even longer. And this isn’t even about the relationship with Brussels anymore – this is pure and simple, the West trying to push its problems on the East. The West made the decision to accept the Syrians, then they should deal with it themselves. Where was the Euro solidarity when that decision was made?

    The refugee crisis was an unexpected contingency, not something that the E.European countries agreed to solve. It took a tremendous media and grassroots effort and Western money to convince the citizens of, for instance, the Baltic states, to join the EU (the support there for accession wasn’t all that high). Had those citizens who were pro-EU and voted “for” joining known at the time, there would be quotas, they would have voted “no”. This definitely should be an argument when talking to Brussels. We can no longer be diplomatic, we have to be blunt.

    And the EU is not a dictatorship. There must be debate.

    Read More
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  112. @reiner Tor

    Swedes do not bother to have children
     
    They have more than most other Europeans (or whites anywhere). They just have enormous immigration from the most dysfunctional parts of the world.

    Of course you’re right that the immigration of nonEuropeans to Sweden is the biggest danger. But the fact remains that Swedes don’t have children.

    It’s no consolation to say that Swedes May die out a bit more slowly than even less fertile, even more demoralized, strange, cowardly, self-hating white peoples such as the Germans and French.

    The Swedes are dying out, period.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    The Swedes at this point probably have higher birth rates than white Americans. Which, rightly so, isn't saying much...
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  113. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Of course you’re right that the immigration of nonEuropeans to Sweden is the biggest danger. But the fact remains that Swedes don’t have children.

    It’s no consolation to say that Swedes May die out a bit more slowly than even less fertile, even more demoralized, strange, cowardly, self-hating white peoples such as the Germans and French.

    The Swedes are dying out, period.

    The Swedes at this point probably have higher birth rates than white Americans. Which, rightly so, isn’t saying much…

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  114. @Anon
    You don't have to. The talking points mentioned by Anon 2 are actually a pretty good tool in the battle against the imposition of immigrant quotas. The idea here would not be to chastise the Germanic / Western countries to make them feel "bad" about their past; the idea would be to make them shut up about Eastern Europe having to accept migrants, multi-culturalism, etc. For 25 years the Western Europe (elites, media, even regular citizens) have spoken to E. Europe in a paternalistic tone - "you lag behind socially, you are "uncivilized" in a way we are, you haven't "grown up" to become truly civilized, mature". Even Germans who are normally well disposed towards E. Europeans will say (believe) stuff like this and the local wannabes will parrot those statements. So if a Swede thinks he can tell a Pole to accept migrants or do this or that social policy "improvement" for non-natives, the answer here should be - "Who the heck are you to tell me what to do?" Someone who still used to sterilize Samis in 1960s? Someone who had a eugenics institute in the 1930s? Someone who makes sure they separate their migrants into ghettos? I would even go so far as to say that this whole "multi-culti" lecturing that we've endured from Western Europeans over the years is a soft form of domination. E.Europeans should finally say "no" to that. It should never be the standard for civility.

    What would be more productive for us all as Europeans would be to sit down and figure out what other (less controversial) talking points we could introduce against the current attacks on Visegrad. That Visegrad didn't participate in colonialism, ok. That they accepted many Ukrainian refugees that were rejected by Europe at large after 2014. Good. But we need more, even more convincing, arguments. Or we need to go rogue and simply say "no".

    But we need more, even more convincing, arguments.

    The most convincing argument is quite simply that mass immigration of the kind seen in Western Europe in recent decades has pernicious consequences for the host society, is bound to create a criminal underclass of migrant origins and Islamic parallel societies hostile to the natives, and might conceivably in the end lead to civil war (or, if that doesn’t happen, to marginalization and replacement of the original population).
    All this “Oh, we didn’t do colonialism!”, “Oh, look at your horrible history” seems to accept the pro-immigration framing of the issue, that people in Western Europe deserve being inundated by mass immigration and losing their nations as payback for their past crimes. It’s delusional for Eastern Europeans to think they could escape this framing with arguments about their supposed historical innocence (I already mentioned above how a narrative of past sins could be constructed for Poland; it would be even easier for Hungary and Slovakia with their pro-German, anti-Jewish governments during WW2 and their present-day gypsy issue…the latter also applies to Czechia).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I've thought a lot about and that doesn't get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized - that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn't apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

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  115. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    But we need more, even more convincing, arguments.
     
    The most convincing argument is quite simply that mass immigration of the kind seen in Western Europe in recent decades has pernicious consequences for the host society, is bound to create a criminal underclass of migrant origins and Islamic parallel societies hostile to the natives, and might conceivably in the end lead to civil war (or, if that doesn't happen, to marginalization and replacement of the original population).
    All this "Oh, we didn't do colonialism!", "Oh, look at your horrible history" seems to accept the pro-immigration framing of the issue, that people in Western Europe deserve being inundated by mass immigration and losing their nations as payback for their past crimes. It's delusional for Eastern Europeans to think they could escape this framing with arguments about their supposed historical innocence (I already mentioned above how a narrative of past sins could be constructed for Poland; it would be even easier for Hungary and Slovakia with their pro-German, anti-Jewish governments during WW2 and their present-day gypsy issue...the latter also applies to Czechia).

    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I’ve thought a lot about and that doesn’t get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized – that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn’t apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Basically the point was that Western liberals should be de-pedestalized from their status as a moral arbiter (or civilizational "older brother").

    We must go back to the values of classical liberalism. I think Bannon called this "re-Westernization".

    , @German_reader

    To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.
     
    Yes, that's actually a good argument imo. If the aim really is to help genuine refugees, you could achieve much more with the resources spent on the asylum system in Europe if they were used to support refugees in their regions of origin instead.
    , @for-the-record
    They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes

    The ironic thing, or perhaps not, is that the West can't help "rebuild" Aleppo so that refugees can return, because this would undercut their position that the refugees were fleeing the "evil" Assad regime, rather than a Western-backed insurrection.

    , @Philip Owen
    This is why the UK response was to set up and pay for huge refugee camps on the Turkish border. 2 million people from memory, a couple of years ago. Schools, doctors and close to home.

    No Visegrad contributions.

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  116. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I've thought a lot about and that doesn't get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized - that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn't apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    Basically the point was that Western liberals should be de-pedestalized from their status as a moral arbiter (or civilizational “older brother”).

    We must go back to the values of classical liberalism. I think Bannon called this “re-Westernization”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Basically the point was that Western liberals should be de-pedestalized from their status as a moral arbiter (or civilizational “older brother”)
     
    I agree, but it's a mistake to think Western liberals are like this only regarding Eastern Europeans. There is an element of traditional Western arrogance towards Eastern Europe, that's true...but Western European liberals are just as full of hate and contempt towards their own countrymen, e.g. in Germany East Germany (and to a lesser extent Bavaria too) is constantly demonized and lectured by "progressive" media, in Britain London liberals talk of the north as if it was some foreign country, full of horrible racist natives that need to be civilized etc. There are strong splits within Western Europe itself, Western liberals merely extend those divisions to international relations in their perceptions of Eastern Europe.
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  117. @Anon
    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I've thought a lot about and that doesn't get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized - that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn't apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    Yes, that’s actually a good argument imo. If the aim really is to help genuine refugees, you could achieve much more with the resources spent on the asylum system in Europe if they were used to support refugees in their regions of origin instead.

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  118. @Anon
    Basically the point was that Western liberals should be de-pedestalized from their status as a moral arbiter (or civilizational "older brother").

    We must go back to the values of classical liberalism. I think Bannon called this "re-Westernization".

    Basically the point was that Western liberals should be de-pedestalized from their status as a moral arbiter (or civilizational “older brother”)

    I agree, but it’s a mistake to think Western liberals are like this only regarding Eastern Europeans. There is an element of traditional Western arrogance towards Eastern Europe, that’s true…but Western European liberals are just as full of hate and contempt towards their own countrymen, e.g. in Germany East Germany (and to a lesser extent Bavaria too) is constantly demonized and lectured by “progressive” media, in Britain London liberals talk of the north as if it was some foreign country, full of horrible racist natives that need to be civilized etc. There are strong splits within Western Europe itself, Western liberals merely extend those divisions to international relations in their perceptions of Eastern Europe.

    Read More
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  119. @Anon
    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I've thought a lot about and that doesn't get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized - that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn't apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes

    The ironic thing, or perhaps not, is that the West can’t help “rebuild” Aleppo so that refugees can return, because this would undercut their position that the refugees were fleeing the “evil” Assad regime, rather than a Western-backed insurrection.

    Read More
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  120. @Anon
    Thanks, that is a valid point.

    Another thing that I've thought a lot about and that doesn't get brought up much in the liberal media is that Syrians (and Yazidis, and potentially others) want to return home. They want to return to their homes in Aleppo that have been destroyed. It is all very sad and an injustice to not help them rebuild their homes, to keep people away from home (contrary to the common view, I believe that life sucks for most immigrants). This should be emphasized - that they have a right to return, to live in their country or their region.

    This probably wouldn't apply to economic migrants, but even with migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, it should be argued that more international effort should be exerted to help them in Africa. To house one family in Europe is much more expensive than over there.

    This is why the UK response was to set up and pay for huge refugee camps on the Turkish border. 2 million people from memory, a couple of years ago. Schools, doctors and close to home.

    No Visegrad contributions.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    That's good. There should be a long term initiative like that. The EE countries should also participate to some extent (although this time the EE countries did not support attacks on Libya and the war in Syria really isn't their responsibility), there should be some level of "manning up to it". It's just a bit annoying that Italy, for instance, brings in the migrants with helicopters now. On the other hand, the EE countries could also "specialize" in helping Ukraine - there are people from E.Ukraine seeking permanent residence there (maybe not many, but they didn't used to be there before and why should their problems be given less consideration?).
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  121. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Owen
    This is why the UK response was to set up and pay for huge refugee camps on the Turkish border. 2 million people from memory, a couple of years ago. Schools, doctors and close to home.

    No Visegrad contributions.

    That’s good. There should be a long term initiative like that. The EE countries should also participate to some extent (although this time the EE countries did not support attacks on Libya and the war in Syria really isn’t their responsibility), there should be some level of “manning up to it”. It’s just a bit annoying that Italy, for instance, brings in the migrants with helicopters now. On the other hand, the EE countries could also “specialize” in helping Ukraine – there are people from E.Ukraine seeking permanent residence there (maybe not many, but they didn’t used to be there before and why should their problems be given less consideration?).

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  122. Anon 2 says:
    @German_reader

    However, the countries of Central Europe, and
    specifically Poland, never participated in colonialism, transatlantic
    slave trade, etc, hence have no guilt about the past
     
    You don't get it. Sweden, Denmark, Norway also have little to feel guilty about (yeah, Denmark had some slave islands in the Caribbean...big deal), yet they're afflicted by the same rot as the rest of Western Europe. If one wants to, one can easily construct a narrative of Polish misdeeds that Poles have to atone for. Inter-war Poland oppressed non-Polish minorities, enacted some anti-Jewish laws, then there was the Kielce progrom in 1946 etc. There's enough material to construct a "progressive" narrative that Poles should leave their nasty nationalism behind and adopt modern "European values".

    No people
    inflicted as much suffering on Europe in the last 1200 years as the
    Germanics. All about something as insignificant as a piece of land.
     
    Ahistorical nonsense (and it is striking to me how your view of an eternally unchanging conflict between Slavs and Germanics is basically just a mirror image of the Nazi view of history). The last 1200 years consist of a bit more than just the 1914-1945 era.

    “You don’t get it. Sweden, …is also afflicted by the same rot”

    I’m quite aware of what’s happening in Scandinavia. But I also
    don’t recall Polish troops attacking Sweden, laying waste to the
    Swedish countryside, stealing anything that wasn’t attached (to this
    day Sweden refuses to return the personal possessions of Nicolaus
    Copernicus which they stole from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow
    in the 1650s). The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s. The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland. Today Sweden is one of the
    world’s biggest merchants of death (arms exporters) if not the biggest,
    on per capita basis, and yet it lectures the world on how progressive it is.

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I’d feel a degree of guilt too.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s.
     
    That was 300 years ago, time to get over it I'd say.
    (They also devastated many German regions during the 30 years war btw, which doesn't quite fit with your idea of "Germanics" single-mindedly committing aggression against Slavs for 1200 years).

    The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland.
     
    They probably merely did what they had to under the circumstances, small nations have to be opportunistic sometimes. In 1945 they behaved much the same way towards the Soviet Union when they extradited German soldiers and even some Balts who had escaped from the Courland pocket to the Soviets.
    And what exactly should Sweden have done during the war to aid Poland?

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I’d feel a degree of guilt too.
     
    That must be one of the strangest things I've ever read on Unz review. And I don't even like Sweden much.
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  123. Anon 2 says:

    One counter-argument that might be used with Brussels
    is that if it threatens to expel the V4 countries or suspend
    their voting rights, they might be tempted to do what Greece
    is doing. Outraged by the German treatment, Greece has turned
    to China. Resurgent China would be all too happy to enter the
    EU via the V4 countries, and reduce what’s left of the European
    Union to a vassal state. NY Times had a story yesterday about
    China’s aggressive behavior in Germany in connection with the
    new embassy building in Berlin and China’s opposition to the flying
    of Tibetan flags. We can expect more of this type of aggressive
    behavior from China in the coming years

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  124. @neutral
    He doesn't seem to be a jew, so what is the motivation with all his Russia hatred? Is there a true deep seated hatred for Russians, or is he doing this because that is what pays his salary?

    “He doesn’t seem to be a Jew, so what is the motivation for all his Russia hatred?”

    He’s a shabbosgoy, which is the same thing in practice. He takes his marching orders from the neocon/pro-Israel blob and all its funding mechanisms.

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  125. @Anon 2
    "You don't get it. Sweden, ...is also afflicted by the same rot"

    I'm quite aware of what's happening in Scandinavia. But I also
    don't recall Polish troops attacking Sweden, laying waste to the
    Swedish countryside, stealing anything that wasn't attached (to this
    day Sweden refuses to return the personal possessions of Nicolaus
    Copernicus which they stole from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow
    in the 1650s). The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s. The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland. Today Sweden is one of the
    world's biggest merchants of death (arms exporters) if not the biggest,
    on per capita basis, and yet it lectures the world on how progressive it is.

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I'd feel a degree of guilt too.

    The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s.

    That was 300 years ago, time to get over it I’d say.
    (They also devastated many German regions during the 30 years war btw, which doesn’t quite fit with your idea of “Germanics” single-mindedly committing aggression against Slavs for 1200 years).

    The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland.

    They probably merely did what they had to under the circumstances, small nations have to be opportunistic sometimes. In 1945 they behaved much the same way towards the Soviet Union when they extradited German soldiers and even some Balts who had escaped from the Courland pocket to the Soviets.
    And what exactly should Sweden have done during the war to aid Poland?

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I’d feel a degree of guilt too.

    That must be one of the strangest things I’ve ever read on Unz review. And I don’t even like Sweden much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Ultimately I believe in forgiveness. You cannot undo the past so you might
    as well forgive the past misdeeds. This is the only way to stay in the present which
    I believe is the only time there is.

    I was merely pointing out the basic asymmetry which has dominated the
    history of East Central Europe, basically the shifting borderline between
    Poland and Germany. The asymmetry in the sense of the 240 million: 120
    million ( Slav : Germanic) population ratio. And yet German troops felt free
    to range thousands of miles from their homeland (e.g., Stalingrad). Polish
    armies have never done that or even tried to. It would be like the Polish troops
    first bombing Frankfurt to smithereens, and then moving on to lay siege to Madrid.
    During WW II Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid
    gloves. The German mentality behind it is what's interesting. They obviously
    regarded the French as fellow Europeans, and the Polanders as utterly alien who
    only deserved to be exterminated. Because of the German delusion of grandeur
    they forgot the minor detail of being outnumbered 2:1, and hence the German
    dream of an empire in the east was only a psychotic delusion. I think this 2:1 asymmetry
    is like an impossibility theorem. It explains why certain things cannot happen. Of
    course, I realize that all historical explanations are merely guiding generalizations
    that overlook a lot of details.

    Re:Sweden. I'm only pointing their hypocrisy. If Sweden didn't try to lecture us from
    a position of moral superiority, then, other than noticing Sweden's decline, I'd say
    Sweden is too insignificant to pay attention to, and leave it at that.

    You seem like a reasonable fellow but obviously much younger than me so for you
    World War II represents a distant past. Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday
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  126. Anon 2 says:
    @German_reader

    The Swedes continued to attack the southern Baltic
    coast and Russia until well into the 1700s.
     
    That was 300 years ago, time to get over it I'd say.
    (They also devastated many German regions during the 30 years war btw, which doesn't quite fit with your idea of "Germanics" single-mindedly committing aggression against Slavs for 1200 years).

    The Swedes spent World War II
    going to the beach and having fun while getting obscenely rich on
    lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany, and refusing to offer aid while
    millions of people were dying in Poland.
     
    They probably merely did what they had to under the circumstances, small nations have to be opportunistic sometimes. In 1945 they behaved much the same way towards the Soviet Union when they extradited German soldiers and even some Balts who had escaped from the Courland pocket to the Soviets.
    And what exactly should Sweden have done during the war to aid Poland?

    If I were a Swede with some conscience, I’d feel a degree of guilt too.
     
    That must be one of the strangest things I've ever read on Unz review. And I don't even like Sweden much.

    Ultimately I believe in forgiveness. You cannot undo the past so you might
    as well forgive the past misdeeds. This is the only way to stay in the present which
    I believe is the only time there is.

    I was merely pointing out the basic asymmetry which has dominated the
    history of East Central Europe, basically the shifting borderline between
    Poland and Germany. The asymmetry in the sense of the 240 million: 120
    million ( Slav : Germanic) population ratio. And yet German troops felt free
    to range thousands of miles from their homeland (e.g., Stalingrad). Polish
    armies have never done that or even tried to. It would be like the Polish troops
    first bombing Frankfurt to smithereens, and then moving on to lay siege to Madrid.
    During WW II Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid
    gloves. The German mentality behind it is what’s interesting. They obviously
    regarded the French as fellow Europeans, and the Polanders as utterly alien who
    only deserved to be exterminated. Because of the German delusion of grandeur
    they forgot the minor detail of being outnumbered 2:1, and hence the German
    dream of an empire in the east was only a psychotic delusion. I think this 2:1 asymmetry
    is like an impossibility theorem. It explains why certain things cannot happen. Of
    course, I realize that all historical explanations are merely guiding generalizations
    that overlook a lot of details.

    Re:Sweden. I’m only pointing their hypocrisy. If Sweden didn’t try to lecture us from
    a position of moral superiority, then, other than noticing Sweden’s decline, I’d say
    Sweden is too insignificant to pay attention to, and leave it at that.

    You seem like a reasonable fellow but obviously much younger than me so for you
    World War II represents a distant past. Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid gloves.

    France wasn't treated with the cruelty Poland was. France was still treated cruelly. The terms of the armistice allowed Germany to requisition and seize an enormous share of the available resources in France (e.g. 90% of all available motor fuel). See Robert O. Paxton on this point: caloric intake in the Vichy zone in France was no higher than it was in the Netherlands, which was occupied by Germany and in which chronic malnutrition leading to starvation was the order of the day. And, of course, places under German occupation were subjected to slave-labor impressment. See Andrew van der Bilj's memoir on how this worked in the Netherlands.

    The closest thing to kid gloves treatment by German occupiers was to be found in Denmark, not in France.
    , @German_reader

    Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday
     
    That's understandable, and I don't really disagree about WW2. I just don't think WW2 was typical of the entirety of the last 1200 years. That's a rather one-sided view of history imo, and I honestly don't think anything good will come of regarding all of that history as dominated by an eternal struggle between "Germanics" and Slavs (and conflicts between "Germanics" and other "Germanics", and Slavs and other Slavs, don't seem any less harsh to me for most of that history; I've already mentioned Swedish depredations in Germany, you could also add the Polish invasion of Russia in the 17th century, and of course Russia - not just her German-born tsarina - was a driving force behind the partition of Poland).
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  127. Art Deco says:
    @Anon 2
    Ultimately I believe in forgiveness. You cannot undo the past so you might
    as well forgive the past misdeeds. This is the only way to stay in the present which
    I believe is the only time there is.

    I was merely pointing out the basic asymmetry which has dominated the
    history of East Central Europe, basically the shifting borderline between
    Poland and Germany. The asymmetry in the sense of the 240 million: 120
    million ( Slav : Germanic) population ratio. And yet German troops felt free
    to range thousands of miles from their homeland (e.g., Stalingrad). Polish
    armies have never done that or even tried to. It would be like the Polish troops
    first bombing Frankfurt to smithereens, and then moving on to lay siege to Madrid.
    During WW II Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid
    gloves. The German mentality behind it is what's interesting. They obviously
    regarded the French as fellow Europeans, and the Polanders as utterly alien who
    only deserved to be exterminated. Because of the German delusion of grandeur
    they forgot the minor detail of being outnumbered 2:1, and hence the German
    dream of an empire in the east was only a psychotic delusion. I think this 2:1 asymmetry
    is like an impossibility theorem. It explains why certain things cannot happen. Of
    course, I realize that all historical explanations are merely guiding generalizations
    that overlook a lot of details.

    Re:Sweden. I'm only pointing their hypocrisy. If Sweden didn't try to lecture us from
    a position of moral superiority, then, other than noticing Sweden's decline, I'd say
    Sweden is too insignificant to pay attention to, and leave it at that.

    You seem like a reasonable fellow but obviously much younger than me so for you
    World War II represents a distant past. Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday

    Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid gloves.

    France wasn’t treated with the cruelty Poland was. France was still treated cruelly. The terms of the armistice allowed Germany to requisition and seize an enormous share of the available resources in France (e.g. 90% of all available motor fuel). See Robert O. Paxton on this point: caloric intake in the Vichy zone in France was no higher than it was in the Netherlands, which was occupied by Germany and in which chronic malnutrition leading to starvation was the order of the day. And, of course, places under German occupation were subjected to slave-labor impressment. See Andrew van der Bilj’s memoir on how this worked in the Netherlands.

    The closest thing to kid gloves treatment by German occupiers was to be found in Denmark, not in France.

    Read More
    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Anon
    Are there figures on excess French/Dutch deaths due to starvation?
    , @Anon 2
    And yet Germany could've easily reduced Copenhagen,
    Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris to rubble but didn't.
    The asymmetry in the German mentality is really striking:
    anything west of the Oder river was to be preserved while
    anything east of the Oder was subject to annihilation - with
    minor exceptions, e.g., Germams didn't have the heart to reduce
    Krakow to rubble
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  128. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco
    Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid gloves.

    France wasn't treated with the cruelty Poland was. France was still treated cruelly. The terms of the armistice allowed Germany to requisition and seize an enormous share of the available resources in France (e.g. 90% of all available motor fuel). See Robert O. Paxton on this point: caloric intake in the Vichy zone in France was no higher than it was in the Netherlands, which was occupied by Germany and in which chronic malnutrition leading to starvation was the order of the day. And, of course, places under German occupation were subjected to slave-labor impressment. See Andrew van der Bilj's memoir on how this worked in the Netherlands.

    The closest thing to kid gloves treatment by German occupiers was to be found in Denmark, not in France.

    Are there figures on excess French/Dutch deaths due to starvation?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Paxton cited figures on caloric intake so presumably has the data on excess deaths.
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  129. @Anon 2
    Ultimately I believe in forgiveness. You cannot undo the past so you might
    as well forgive the past misdeeds. This is the only way to stay in the present which
    I believe is the only time there is.

    I was merely pointing out the basic asymmetry which has dominated the
    history of East Central Europe, basically the shifting borderline between
    Poland and Germany. The asymmetry in the sense of the 240 million: 120
    million ( Slav : Germanic) population ratio. And yet German troops felt free
    to range thousands of miles from their homeland (e.g., Stalingrad). Polish
    armies have never done that or even tried to. It would be like the Polish troops
    first bombing Frankfurt to smithereens, and then moving on to lay siege to Madrid.
    During WW II Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid
    gloves. The German mentality behind it is what's interesting. They obviously
    regarded the French as fellow Europeans, and the Polanders as utterly alien who
    only deserved to be exterminated. Because of the German delusion of grandeur
    they forgot the minor detail of being outnumbered 2:1, and hence the German
    dream of an empire in the east was only a psychotic delusion. I think this 2:1 asymmetry
    is like an impossibility theorem. It explains why certain things cannot happen. Of
    course, I realize that all historical explanations are merely guiding generalizations
    that overlook a lot of details.

    Re:Sweden. I'm only pointing their hypocrisy. If Sweden didn't try to lecture us from
    a position of moral superiority, then, other than noticing Sweden's decline, I'd say
    Sweden is too insignificant to pay attention to, and leave it at that.

    You seem like a reasonable fellow but obviously much younger than me so for you
    World War II represents a distant past. Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday

    Unfortunately, I and my family have been
    directly and tragically affected by the war so for me WW II might as well have
    hapened yesterday

    That’s understandable, and I don’t really disagree about WW2. I just don’t think WW2 was typical of the entirety of the last 1200 years. That’s a rather one-sided view of history imo, and I honestly don’t think anything good will come of regarding all of that history as dominated by an eternal struggle between “Germanics” and Slavs (and conflicts between “Germanics” and other “Germanics”, and Slavs and other Slavs, don’t seem any less harsh to me for most of that history; I’ve already mentioned Swedish depredations in Germany, you could also add the Polish invasion of Russia in the 17th century, and of course Russia – not just her German-born tsarina – was a driving force behind the partition of Poland).

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  130. Art Deco says:
    @Anon
    Are there figures on excess French/Dutch deaths due to starvation?

    Paxton cited figures on caloric intake so presumably has the data on excess deaths.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. Anon 2 says:
    @Art Deco
    Germany reduced Poland to rubble, and yet treated France with kid gloves.

    France wasn't treated with the cruelty Poland was. France was still treated cruelly. The terms of the armistice allowed Germany to requisition and seize an enormous share of the available resources in France (e.g. 90% of all available motor fuel). See Robert O. Paxton on this point: caloric intake in the Vichy zone in France was no higher than it was in the Netherlands, which was occupied by Germany and in which chronic malnutrition leading to starvation was the order of the day. And, of course, places under German occupation were subjected to slave-labor impressment. See Andrew van der Bilj's memoir on how this worked in the Netherlands.

    The closest thing to kid gloves treatment by German occupiers was to be found in Denmark, not in France.

    And yet Germany could’ve easily reduced Copenhagen,
    Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris to rubble but didn’t.
    The asymmetry in the German mentality is really striking:
    anything west of the Oder river was to be preserved while
    anything east of the Oder was subject to annihilation – with
    minor exceptions, e.g., Germams didn’t have the heart to reduce
    Krakow to rubble

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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