SPSU’s Center for Sociological and Internet Research presents the results of a survey of residents of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region.
According to the survey results, city residents as well as residents of Leningrad region are concerned about the condition of the Russian speech, Russian language in Russia. Three-quarters (75,8%) of respondents surveyed in St.Petersburg expressed concern about the Russian language. Among survey respondents in Leningrad region, slightly fewer respondents (69,3%) reported their concern. Compared to respondents in other categories, more women and elder people, especially those aged 60 and above, were worried about the condition of the Russian speech.

Residents of St.Petersburg think that the main task of the Act on the state language of the Russian Federation is to improve Russian language skills in the population. Residents of the Leningrad region see the main task of the Act in protection of the Russian language from contamination with foreign words. More than one-third (37.3%) of surveyed in St.Petersburg believe more attention should be given to the Russian language skills. Region residents put more emphasis on language protection from the foreign influence. More than one out of three region respondent (34.9%) see this protection as the main task of the Act.
City respondents and surveyed region residents have different opinion on what needs to be done in order the Act to be more effective. Almost one-third of city residents (30.6%) think providing scientific and information resources in order to implement the Act (dictionaries, textbooks, reference books, internet-resources) is one thing that is needed. The other things include: the development of a mechanism of substituting foreign words with the Russian analogues (24.4%) and the improvement of the regulatory system of using Russian as the state language of Russia (19.3%).
More than one out of four residents of Leningrad region (27.8%) named the development of a mechanism of substituting foreign words with the Russian analogues as a thing needed to implement the Act. Almost the same number (25.2%) of respondents named the provision of scientific and information resources for the Act. Another 21.3% believe the improvement of the regulatory system of using Russian as the official language of the country will help the Act to be more effective.
Respondents believe the issue of modernization of the Russian language should be approached cautiously. The majority of the city respondents (56.8%) are against making hasty moves to reform the Russian grammar in order to introduce modern conversational language and are against rejecting controversial rules of spelling. In Leningrad region, 46.3% of respondents have the same opinion.
Almost half (46.7%) of residents of St.Petersburg and 38.8% of their counterparts in the region believe the first thing the state should do is to raise the standards of speech culture for TV and radio reporters. About half of city and region respondents (45.7% и 47.2%, respectively) think the first thing the state should do is to enhance its educational and information work, including support of public educational organizations.
The CATI telephone survey of 2400 adults aged 18 and above residing in the city of St.Petersburg (n=1200) and Leningrad region (n=1200) took place on 01-20 August 2014. The Resource Center for Sociological and Internet Research of the St.Petersburg State University conducted the survey using a representative quota sample (controlling for gender, age, education and region).


Question: “Are you concerned or not concerned about current condition of the Russian speech, Russian language in Russia?

  St.Petersburg Leningrad region
Very concerned 41,3 39,5
Rather concerned than not concerned 34,5 29,8
Rather not concerned than concerned 14,6 19,1
Absolutely not concerned 7,6 9,3
Refused to answer 2,0 2,2

 

St.Petersburg Gender Age
Male Female 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 +
Very concerned 31,6 48,8 18,9 35,6 42,2 55,1 56,9
Rather concerned than not concerned 32,4 36,1 43,6 36,7 34,9 30,3 26,6
Rather not concerned than concerned 20,4 10,1 22,2 19,0 13,7 9,6 8,2
Absolutely not concerned 12,5 3,9 12,0 7,5 6,6 3,0 7,4
Refused to answer 3,2 1,1 3,4 1,2 2,6 2,0 0,8

 

Leningrad region Gender Age
Male Female 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 +
Very concerned 30,1 47,3 25,3 32,9 33,4 49,6 58,0
Rather concerned than not concerned 31,3 28,5 30,7 30,5 44,1 21,3 21,0
Rather not concerned than concerned 22,3 16,5 31,8 19,4 15,3 15,4 11,1
Absolutely not concerned 13,7 5,7 11,0 13,6 5,6 7,6 9,0
Refused to answer 2,6 1,9 1,2 3,6 1,6 6,1 0,8

 

Question: “In 2005 the Act on the state language of the Russian Federation was adopted in Russia. In your opinion, what main task should this Act accomplish?

  St.Petersburg Leningrad region
Help improve Russian language skills in the population 37,3 32,9
Protect the Russian language from contamination with foreign words 25,3 34,8
Provide a common communication space over the entire country’s territory 15,2 9,9
Determine joint obligations of the state and society in support of the Russian language 7,7 8,8
Regulate legal aspects of Russian language functioning in certain fields 3,5 4,3
Other 6,8 6,2
Refused to answer 4,2 3,0

 

 

Question: “What needs to be done today in order the Act on the state language of the Russian Federation to be more effective?

  St.Petersburg Leningrad region
Provide different scientific and information resources in order to implement the Act (dictionaries, textbooks, reference books, internet-resources) 30,6 25,2
Develop a mechanism of substituting foreign words with the Russian analogues 24,4 27,8
Improve the regulatory system of using Russian as the state language of Russia 19,3 21,3
Nothing needs to be done, the Act is effective 7,0 7,9
Other 8,5 7,8
Refused to answer 10,2 9,9

 

 

Question: “What is the first thing the state should do in order to support the Russian language?

  St.Petersburg Leningrad region
Raise the standards of speech culture for TV and radio reporters 46,7 38,8
Enhance its educational and information work, including support of public educational organizations 45,7 47,2
Increase the number of popular science TV and radio programs on the Russian language 39,3 34,3
Help create more educational resources (dictionaries, textbooks, reference books, TV programs, internet-resources on the Russian language) 32,8 27,0
Tighter monitoring mechanisms of compliance to norms of using Russian as the official language of the country (especially in the media) 32,7 25,1
Supply public and school libraries with new Russian dictionaries and up-to-date textbooks 28,4 29,6
Increase budgeting for and the number of research projects on the study of the Russian language 17,4 17,5
Increase budgeting for scientific journals and popular science magazines on the Russian language 16,1 11,1
Other 7,1 5,6
Refused to answer 2,3 2,4

 

 

Question: “Do you think it is good to change Russian grammar in order to introduce modern conversational language, slang words and to reject controversial rules of spelling?"

  St.Petersburg Leningrad region
Definitely good 15,8 20,1
Rather good than not good 20,1 24,0
Rather not good than good 20,6 18,2
Definitely not good 36,2 28,1
Refused to answer 7,3 9,5

 

St.Petersburg Gender Age
Male Female 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 +
Definitely good 16,7 15,1 16,2 22,3 12,3 14,1 14,8
Rather good than not good 18,1 21,7 28,5 16,5 22,4 18,2 13,9
Rather not good than good 21,9 19,6 19,6 23,7 22,1 21,2 17,8
Definitely not good 36,6 35,9 35,1 33,8 36,3 34,9 39,9
Refused to answer 6,8 7,6 0,6 3,6 6,9 11,6 13,5

 

Leningrad region Gender Age
Male Female 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 +
Definitely good 20,1 20,2 22,9 19,9 18,8 14,4 21,8
Rather good than not good 22,5 25,3 31,8 27,2 20,0 21,9 18,5
Rather not good than good 19,2 17,4 20,8 10,7 25,6 21,9 11,9
Definitely not good 30,6 26,0 19,1 33,7 31,8 28,3 30,8
Refused to answer 7,6 11,0 5,5 8,6 3,7 13,5 16,9