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Re: USAGE: French (was: Essential Swedish?)

From:Alexander Savenkov <savenkov@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 3, 2004, 14:25

2004-03-03T15:35:39+03:00 John Cowan <cowan@...> wrote:

> Philippe Caquant scripsit:
>> If you look at postcards from Russia from 1900, you'll notice that >> not only the legend is in French and Russian, but also the signs on >> the city shops for ex are often translated into French. And Russia >> was not the only example for this.
> But it is a special case: the Russian aristocracy (and to a lesser > degree the Russian bourgeoisie) disdained the Russian language as fit > only for peasants. Consider _War and Peace_, which notoriously begins > in French!
Not only this. Learning a number of languages was a major part of education. French, English, and Latin are just a few examples of what people ought to know. There were different opinions about Russian of course. Some aristocrats preferred to develop it (e.g., poets).
>> That was in the good old times. Now we regressed to >> the status of Estonia, no offence to Estonians.
> Well, hardly. French is still the official or national language of > at least thirty countries and parts of others.
And a beautiful language by itself. Alexander. -- Alexander Savenkov