The paper investigates the role and status of English and Russian as a means of intercultural communication. In the beginning of the 21st century, English plays the dominant role on a global scale: it has an important demographic weight, a strong economic, intellectual, technological, and military power, a previously established international spread, and a high level of modernization. More than 300 million people are native speakers of English, and nearly 400 million use it as the second language; the estimate of English learners and users is within the range of 800 million to 2 billion people. Russian, as one of the six official languages of the United Nations, remains a world language and over 300 million people speak Russian all over the world. However, the status of Russian has significantly changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the number of speakers was substantially reduced. In nearly all the former Soviet republics and East-European countries the role of Russian has shifted from the second language and a means of ‘fraternal communication’ into the role of the foreign language. Nevertheless, the trend is slowly changing and a relatively positive climate for Russian is developing recently.
|Keywords:||Intercultural Communication, World Languages|
Associate Professor, English Department, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA
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