||Today the situation is almost reversed. The Soviet Union is now long
gone and the Russians have become our (sometimes reluctant) friends.
Stories about Russia are no longer as prominent in the American media
and the US government is increasingly unwilling to fund Russian-related
activities or to hire Russian-speaking employees. As a result of federal
cutbacks university and college positions have also been limited. But at
the same time, within Russia itself there are myriad opportunities for
Americans who know Russian. American law firms, businesses and consulting
firms expand almost daily and they all need employees with a knowledge
of the Russian language.
||The Russians' own appetite for learning English appears to be insatiable,
leading to many teaching jobs inside the country. Given ever-increasing
globalization as well as the potential for a western-style Russian economy
in the future, the need for Americans with a thorough knowledge of Russian
language and culture will certainly increase.
Of course, it is possible to do business or work in Russia without knowing
the language, but Americans discover very quickly that in order to work
effectively with Russians it is necessary to understand their thinking
from the inside. And for this, the language and culture of the country
are absolutely essential.