RGS Exhibition Opens At The Russian House Of Science And Culture In Paris

The exhibition of the Russian Geographical Society. Photo courtesy of the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris
The exhibition of the Russian Geographical Society. Photo courtesy of the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris

On June 5, the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris opened the exhibition of the Russian Geographical Society "From Youth Slang to Living Great Russian Language: Dal Explains." The exhibition was included in the program of events dedicated to the International Russian Language Day.

The materials of the exhibition explain the words used by the younger generation using "Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian language" by Vladimir Dal. The exhibition is adapted for a French-speaking audience, the entire text is presented in two languages.

More than 160 years ago, the first edition of "Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language" was published, compiled by one of the founding members of the Russian Geographical Society, lexicographer and ethnographer, collector of folklore, Naval officer, military doctor Vladimir Ivanovich Dal.

On the pages of the four-volume dictionary, the author outlined the results of painstaking work on collecting folk words, expressions and proverbs, which lasted 53 years. Dal said of himself that he was "a student who had been collecting bit by bit all his life what he had heard from his teacher, the living Russian language." He listened to the speech of ordinary people; received letters from all over the Russian Empire with words common in different provinces; studied collections of fairy tales and dictionaries, including the Church Slavonic language; translated words that came from foreign languages. In addition to his dictionary, Dal also began mapping the geographical distribution of different dialects. In 1863, Vladimir Dal was awarded the highest award of the Russian Geographical Society – the Konstantin Medal – for his work.

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At the opening of the RGS exhibition. Photo courtesy of the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris
At the opening of the RGS exhibition. Photo courtesy of the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris

The opening ceremony was attended by Rinat Alyautdinov, Permanent Delegate of Russian Federation to UNESCO for Education, Science, and Culture; Anna Kotlova ,Adviser-Envoy of the Russian Embassy in France, Director of the Russian Spiritual and Cultural Orthodox Center in Paris; ambassadors of the delegation countries to UNESCO; Kirill Grushevsky, Charge d'affaires of Belarus in France; Uyanga Sukhbaatar, Advisor to the Mongolian Embassy in France.

The exhibition of the Russian Geographical Society will be open in Paris until June 30, 2024.