Last Saturday the “Total Dictation” event took place throughout Russia. People wrote the dictation in 350 cities in Russia and abroad. Many citizens of Petrozavodsk came to test their ability to write and spell correctly. Among them were students, teachers, parents with children, married couples, and people who graduated from school decades ago. For the first time some of our foreign students tried their hand at the dictation in Russian and tested their knowledge!
The “Total dictation” is an annual event aimed at drawing attention to literacy issues and development of written speech culture. Essentially, it is a gratuitous dictation for everyone, which is held simultaneously in dozens of cities in Russia and all over the world. The goal of the event is to make people think about their language skills and foster interest in their development. The first “Total Dictation” was held in Novosibirsk 12 years ago. In different years the texts were written by Russian contemporary writers and columnists, such as Dmitry Bykov, Zakhar Prilepin, Dina Rubina and others.
This time the text was written by Saint-Petersburg writer Evgeniy Vodolazkin. He is known to the general public as the author of the historical novel ”Lavr”. The text describes the everyday life in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. In Petrozavodsk, the “Total Dictation” was held in six places and Petrozavodsk State University was one of them.
Sakura, a student from Japan, was among the international participants of the dictation. She has come to Petrozavodsk to study the Russian language and practice it. She hasn’t stayed in Russia for long and still doesn’t speak Russian well but was brave enough to try her Russian language skills. So she did not write the dictation word for word. “My favorite word is khorosho. It is the first Russian word I have memorized and learned to spell”.
The participants will get the results of the dictation today. Testing the ability to write correctly is a bold step for people of all generations, regardless of their level of proficiency in the Russian language. It is next to impossible to write perfectly correctly, but the pursuit of this ambition is worthy of respect. So everyone who came to participate in the event has already taken a big step towards achieving their goal of knowing the Russian language. After all, the motto of the “Total Dictation” is “It is fashionable to write correctly!”