The World Cup is upon us and the eyes of the world will be glued to their TVs over the coming months to watch the games taking place in Russia. That said, here’s a little linguistic trivia on where the word Russia likely comes from:
While much of the ancestry of modern Russians can be traced back to migrant Slavic tribes, there is strong evidence that the name comes from Scandinavia. The Rus’ people were part of a larger Scandinavian tribe know as the Varangians. In the first millennium, the Rus’ lived in today’s Roslagen, Sweden. The name of the town derives from the old Norse rodslag meaning “rowing crew of warrior oarsmen”. The word Rus’ comes from an Old Norse word meaning “men who row.” Living up to their name, the Rus’ made their way across the Baltic and are known to have established the first state in the territory near what is now Novgorod and later, again, in Kiev….and the name stuck.
Now as Russia receives its cousins from Scandinavia to Asia and beyond, let’s watch some футбол ‘footbal’ (soccer) World Cup Schedule. May the best team win. Oле! (Olé!)
If you’re heading out there to catch a few matches, you might want to check out our cross cultural советы ’savieti’ (tips).
Want to learn a bit more about the language? Check out our Russian Intro Courses or dive right in with one of our some Russian Classes!