Apple Preserving Russian Alphabet
19 January, 2012
Apple Preserving Russian Alphabet

When I looked at the keyboard of my span-new Mac Book, I was sincerely surprised. In the second line of letters I saw the ¨ (Russian phoneme ‘yo’) letter! This is a Russian alphabet letter, which was unjustly offended by the majority of computer manufactures, working on our market. Generally speaking, they place the ¨ button in the left remote corner of the keyboard. Therefore, a user has to make quite an effort to reach it with the pinkie.
It

is pretty clear why foreign and even domestic computer manufactures do not care to spot a more conspicuous place for the ¨  on the keyboard. This legitimate member of the Russian alphabet is being gradually expelled from the written language by the Russians themselves. They widely replace the letter ¨ with E (‘ye’) – the letter of the same configuration but of very different pronunciation. And the  ¨  is very likely to be added to the list of the obsolete Russian language elements. We pronounce words containing the  ¨  dozens of times a day, but for some unlikely reason we refuse from using it in our written language. It has totally disappeared from the newly published books and the press and consequently, from everyday private and business correspondence.


Meanwhile, the  ¨  is an absolutely irreplaceable part of the modern Russian alphabet.
Many commonly used words comprise this letter (“¸ëêà” – fir tree, “ì¸ä” – honey, “¸æ” – hedgehog, “åù¸” – more). These are just a few examples chosen from the wide range of lexis, consisting the ¨. For instance, the popular Russian souvenir and the symbol of Russia ìàòð¸øêà (pronounced like matryoshka) contains this valuable letter. Sometimes, using the ¨ is the only way to tell one word from the other. For example, the word “âñ¸” (vsio) means ‘everything’ and the word ‘âñå’ (vse) means ‘everybody’. On top of that, there are a lot of family names, comprising the ¨. So, while the Russian language is loosing the ¨, some families are loosing their past. Remember one of the main characters of Lev Tolstoy's ‘Anna Karenina’ - Êîíñòàíòèí ˸âèí (pronounced like Konstantin Lyovin)? Most readers of the novel know him as Ëåâèí (Levin). Big error! – ˸âèí (Lyovin) had originated based on the author’s first name – Lev, or Lyova. This way Tolstoy shows that this character is very close to him, the novel in fact being a fairly autobiographic piece. Ëåâèí (Levin) is just another Russian surname, meaning nothing at all for interpreting the novel. Even one of the strongest Russian curses starts with the ¨ although I am more than certain that this linguistic fact will never help the letter to survive.
The Russian alphabet has now 33 letters, including the ¨. What will happen if we loose one of them? Probably nothing terribly damaging to the nation! To compare, we have plenty of natural resources. Would it be devastating for the Russian people if we spent those valuable resources extravagantly as if they were endless? Yes it would! Mostly for our grandchildren, not exactly for us! There are143 million people living in Russia today. What will happen if every year we loose thousands of them in terrorist attacks, anthropogenic disasters or because of emigration? Nothing dramatic if measured on such a big county as Russia. I am not doing this for just the comparison’s sake – I am deliberately throwing in several curious facts for further consideration. And one more concern! Sometimes, to do something important we need to make just a slight movement of a hand, in this particular case – put the poor letter ¨ back into its legitimate place in the word we want to use. That’s all! When I easily do it on my Mac keyboard, I start believing that Apple designers are (strangely enough though) the people who really care about the Russian language, hence about Russia in the long run. Bravo!

Print
Other Stories
The two sides of Georgia
On my first few days in Tbilisi, I stumbled across these two contrasting slogans. One is a testimony of open-mindedness and tolerance,
Mentally Ill or Not?
“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickinson.
Shall We Dance?
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
Are We the Same or Just Getting Better?
Georgian-born Mancho Busse has been working in hospitality business for many years by now. Her husband, Robin Busse, works for the State Department of The United States,
Eco-Friendly Habits: How to Clean Your Off-Roading Vehicle Responsibly
Irresponsible waste disposal practices continue to have drastic effects on the environment.
 5 Techniques for Finding Your Inner Creativity
Whether you’re a writer, artist, or even a marketing executive, you’ve probably had days where you felt completely uninspired.
A suitcase full of wine and a heart full of memories
I left Switzerland and arrived in Tbilisi on December 28.
Five Reasons to Visit Georgia in 2017
If you've been searching for a unique place to vacation in 2017, the beautiful country of Georgia holds some hidden treasures.
PROMISING FUTURE OF COLLABORATION
“All roads lead to Rome” – states one of the most famous medieval proverbs. It’s fascinating to think how much the narrow streets and glorious walls of this eternal city have seen.
It’s Not So Bad, Chaps- Just Look at the Yanks: Ogden on Comparable Politics
Electoral fever is dying down in Georgia as it ramps up in the United States.
 “Moral Inversion” - Pre-election period in Georgia
Georgian pre-election period can be classified as “Moral Inversion”, a notion first put forward by Michael Polanyi.
America’s Trump Card
Like it or not, the name of the 45th American President will most likely be Donald Trump.
Clock is not counting down, it is adding up!
On Saturday for the ceremony in Charleston, instead of wedding gifts, the Managing Editor of Georgian Journal, Will Cathcart
A Protectionist Perspective: Ensuring A Georgian Future
Unlike many of my compatriots, I view my country as a sentient creature, a single organism. The mountains
Back in BSSR
"I remember that when I was a schoolgirl, they told us we have to be ready to give our lives for the motherland.
Thank you, father, for saving me from USSR!
On the 11th of October, the population of Belarus has elected Alexander Lukashenko to serve his fifth term
The EU Getting Squeezed in Georgia
Recent polls have shown that the EU is less and less popular in Georgia. The reason is that they
What is Georgia’s Military For?
There are two possible uses for Georgia’s military. The first would be to fight a war with an external threat or by its existence, to deter
Protohack
Last weekend I went to a hackathon in San Francisco called Protohack. In the former Soviet Union, people tend to think of hacking
European Migrant Crisis: The good, the bad and the liar
“I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its instincts, when it prefers what is injurious
Refugees in Georgia
The people of Syria see the Assad regime weakening, and considering who may take over and what they might
David and Goliath: A Realpolitik Rendition
A Conservative Contrarian View on Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma
The Bleeding of Rustavi 2 - Our New August Surprise
When the powerful have to make something happen that they want few people to notice, they issue the statement late in the afternoon
The Good Neighbor
In 2012, Georgia was promised to witness what ex-Prime Minister Ivanishvili called “a new age.” It would be achieved by “restarting”
Independence, Institutions and Corruption
People talk about Georgia choosing between Russia and the West as if Georgia ended up at a soccer game and, well, since we’re here we may
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
24.09.2018
25.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6216
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340
3.9340
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340