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In a social context, рекомендовать means to introduce people to somebody. At first I thought is was a complete false-friend, however now I see that they might not be that far apart. For instance, if you were introducing a commercial product, you probably would say:

I recommend/advise you read X book.

So, when you say рекомендовать, is this a biased introduction of somebody? Like

I recommend you this person, I know who this person is and it will be beneficial to you.

and not just introducing the person?

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  • I think that "рекомендовать" is like "strongly suggest", and it can be not biased at all (depending on the context).
    – seninp
    Jun 16, 2014 at 20:15

2 Answers 2

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Below is a definition of the word Рекомендовать from Словарь иностранных слов. As you can see, unbiased recommendation (3.) is now marked as outdated. Modern meaning is "I recommend you X, because he/she/it is useful/beneficial to you:

РЕКОМЕНДОВА́ТЬ, ду́ю, ду́ет, несов. и сов. [польск. rekomendować < ср.-лат. recommendare < лат. mandāre поручать].
1. кого-что.Давать (дать) благоприятный отзыв о ком-чем-н., предлагать (предложить) использовать, принять куда-н. и т. п.Р. опытного работника. Р. кого-н. на должность заведующего. 2. что и с инфин.Советовать.Врачи не рекомендуют мне отдыхать на юге.
3. кого (что), устар.Знакомя с кем-н., называть (назвать), представлять (представить).Рекомендую вам мое семейство: жена, дочь.

Several ethymologic dictionaries claim that the word is borrowed around 1705 from Polish language (rekomendować). However Словарь Ушакова marks this word as borrowed from French language.

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  • "Отрекомндоваться" meaning "to introduce oneself" is a bit less outdated.
    – Dima
    Jun 13, 2014 at 19:43
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Рекомендовать always means to advise in modern Russian. So it cannot be used as unmarked "to introduce".

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