A recent public poll by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presented data collected from a survey about the importance of learning foreign languages at school, their usefulness in real life and advantages they present.
The results suggest that a vast majority of the Russian population (92% of the polled) consider foreign languages important to learn at school. In Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the percentage of these people was 98. Only 4% of the respondents believe it is not important.
Exactly 74% of the polled are convinced that speaking different languages will help their children and grandchildren in the future. This view is largely shared by residents of the two biggest cities (84% of polled), by those aged between 25 and 34 (82%) and by respondents with higher education (81%).
English is considered to be the most important language to know by 92% of the respondents. Other important languages for the Russians include German (17%), Chinese (15%) and French (10%).
Many people saw the ability to communicate with foreigners to be the main advantage of speaking different languages (28% of the polled). One in every five respondents believes that such skills will help to land a better paying job and social status (22%). Easier travel thanks to the knowledge of foreign languages is valued by 16% of the polled.
Language can also serve for self-development, according to 11% of the respondents. Other benefits included the ability to watch movies and read books in the original language (4%) and the use of language in education (3%).
The poll was conducted in September 2014 and 1600 people from 42 different regions in Russia took part.