Speaking Russian in Asia
January 31, 2012 7:37 AM Subscribe
Why are there so many Taiwanese, Japanese, and S. Koreans learning Russian as a foreign language? My American-bred stereotype is that Asians tend to study topics which are industrial and "useful": engineering, English. So is there something I'm missing here if it's for personal pleasure? Or if it is just for business, what are the specific industries, commodities, and companies that make Russian applicable in that region of Asia?
posted by peachtree to Writing & Language (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I signed up to take some courses to learn Russian at a major university (Lomonosov) in Moscow, and was surprised to learn from the instructor that the top three most populous students are from Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
As an American who has lived and worked in Asia, my general understanding was that English was highly valuable as a foreign language for both personal life and in a business setting. In the United States, the general stereotype is one should learn Spanish for the same reason. Or even in a more naive narrow-minded "American person" generalization, as a whole English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese are now highly prized as a 2nd language.
- What does Russian have to do with Taiwan, Japan, and S. Korean?
- How useful/applicable is being able to speak Russian outside of Russia? Where?
- If it's simply for business reasons, what are the specific industries, commodities, and companies that make Russian applicable in that region of Asia?