Tag “language”

Not all Russians are Russian

In Russian language there’re two different words: rossiyskiy and russkiy.

The first one—rossiyskiy—refers to the country, government and means something that was produced in Russia. For example, Russian president, Russian citizen, Russian smartphone Yota, Russian cars.

The second—russkiy—is used for nationality or cultural aspects. For instance, to be Russian, listen to Russian songs, Russian folklore.

As you may notice, in English there’s only one word “Russian” for both meanings. That’s why most English-speaking people don’t distinguish the difference between being Russian and being from Russia.

Besides Russians there’re over 100 nationalities in Russia: Tatars, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Armenians, Azerbaijani, Georgians etc. All of them are Russian citizens. See the difference now?

So don’t be surprised to have the following chat:

  • — Where are you from?
  • — Russia.
  • — Are you Russian?
  • — No, I’m Uzbek.