In this passage the presence of больше and чем clearly indicates a comparison, however it's not clear to me what is being contrasted. This is an article about the possibility of Russian becoming an language of international communication. Точка зрения | Русский как язык международного общения

To me, this says: ...Russian is a language, which makes it possible to grasp, learn and convey much more than it's modern-day users. (???)

С одной стороны, русский безусловно является мировым языком во всех значениях слова «мировой»: он и один из пяти официальных языков ООН, и он язык, с помощью которого можно гораздо больше понять, узнать и рассказать, чем это делают современные его носители.

Obviously I'm missing the point, because my version wouldn't be a good argument for the promotion of Russian as a language of international communication - in fact, it makes no sense at all. What am I missing?

  • 3
    By the way, this website is a great example of that statement. Russian speakers (and mostly native) talk with each other about Russian language in English. Jun 2, 2014 at 14:59
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    @DmitryAlexandrov: that's an excellent point, Dmitry. Even on a site devoted to Russian, the prevailing language of communication is English. So ultimately, it would probably be up to Russians themselves to globalize their language.
    – CocoPop
    Jun 2, 2014 at 23:16
  • Also would be nice to share link to english conversation and discussion there, because I do not see it. I do not like idea about superiority of some languages, but one of obvious reasons to use english - to promote their ideas about the language in english speaking community, which is even not near to be 100% native.
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 5, 2014 at 11:16
  • @MolbOrg: I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand what you wrote, but if you're asking for a link to the article, it's in my original question.
    – CocoPop
    Jun 5, 2014 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


The actual translation would be

Russian is a language, which makes it possible to grasp, learn and convey much more than it's modern-day users do.

Note the bold do - it's the translation of Russian делают. Essentially the phrase is saying that people use it less than they can.

The actual comparison here is between можно делать (понять, узнать, рассказать) and делают.

  • So in other words, his argument is that Russian has much more potential for international validity and widespread use than its modern speakers give it?
    – CocoPop
    Jun 2, 2014 at 14:28
  • @CocoPop I think the key here is во всех значениях--most likely he meant the colloquial meaning of мировой = great, i. e. it's so great that even native speakers don't use its full potential.
    – jwalker
    Jun 2, 2014 at 14:33
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    @CocoPop Generally, you're correct, that's more or less what the phrase means, although I'd say it's close to than its modern speakers utilise.
    – Aleks G
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:58
  • @Aleks: Ok, I think I understand his reasoning: he makes two points in its support: (1) it's one of the five official languages of the UN; and (2) it's capable of a lot more (global) comprehension, acquisition and communicative force than it's modern-day (native) speakership gives it.
    – CocoPop
    Jun 2, 2014 at 23:12

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