The Russian language in South Caucasus – lecture at Cologne University

It was interesting to give the guest lecture The Russian language in South Caucasus with special focus on Georgia on June 23, 2021 to MA students and staff at the Slavic Department of the University of Cologne. Thank you for the invitation to participate in this lecture series Russian outside Russia – Русский язык вне России. Thank you also to colleagues in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia for consultations on the topic.

Education is a key factor in changes of the language situation. The first and mandatory foreign language in Georgian schools (from the first grade) is nowadays English, Other languages such as Russian, French or German may be chosen as the second foreign language from the fifth grade .

Another topic discussed in the lecture was Russian and the linguistic landscape in Georgia. Which languages are found in the public space? The use of languages is detemined by the official language policy аs well as by commercial and other factors – as illustrated in the photo of the Ministry of Justice with Georgian+English and the mix of languages in the shop window on Aghmashenebeli str. (2014). A rare sign in Russian here: Требуется Продавщица (со знанием русского языка) Shop assistant wanted (with knowledge of Russian)