ASPECTS OF COMMODIFICATION OF RUSSIAN IN FINLAND

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Abstract


This article examines the commodification of Russian in Finland, where recent decades have seen a sharp rise in the size of the Russian-speaking population and the number of tourists from Russia. We particularly consider the use of Russian in the fields of traditional and medical tourism, education, and culture - all of them areas where Russian tourists show a strong preference for services in their native language. The need to provide a variety of services in Russian means that proficiency in Russian is a sig-nificant asset on the job market, both for immigrants and for the relatively small number of Finns who can speak the language. We also note that there is considerable demand among Russian-speaking parents in Fin-land for educational services to supplement their children’s school education.

Hannes Viimaranta

hannes.viimaranta@gmail.com
University of Helsinki 33 Fabianinkatu, 00014 Helsinki, Finland, P.O. Box 3

Hannes Viimaranta, BA (Oxford), MA (Helsinki), is a former university teacher of Russian language and literature. He now teaches modern foreign languages at school level and continues to engage in research activities. Research interests: sociolinguistics, bilingualism, multilingualism, commodification of Russian language, education, language and culture.

Ekaterina Protassova

ekaterina.protassova@helsinki.fi
University of Helsinki 33 Fabianinkatu, 00014 Helsinki, Finland, P.O. Box 3

Ekaterina Protassova, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki. Research interests: multilingualism in Russia and abroad, Russian speaking diaspora in the world (especially in Finland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), the use of the modern Russian language, intercultural communication, bilingual education and language revitalization.

Arto Mustajoki

arto.mustajoki@helsinki.fi
University of Helsinki 33 Fabianinkatu, 00014 Helsinki, Finland, P.O. Box 3

Arto Mustajoki, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, Vice-President of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL). Research interests: Russian language, functional grammar, contrastive cross-linguistic studies, linguistic methodology, cross-cultural communication, miscommunication and linguistic tolerance.

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