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MOSCOW, April 12, /ITAR-TASS/. An exercise called Total Dictation and designed to check one’s Russian language skills took place for the eleventh time on Saturday, April 12, and involved more than 50,000 people around the world, with Finland, Dagestan, Crimea, Vladimir, and Penza joining in for the first time.
The dictation was composed this time by writer Alexei Ivanov known for his book “The Geographer Has Drunk Away the Globe” which provided the basis for a film of the same name, starring Konstantin Khabensky, who gave a dictation at the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. The text was a set of the author’s reminiscences of his childhood.
Over a thousand people took dictation in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, twice the number last year.
In Novosibirsk, the event was marked by the participation of 102-year-old sports veteran, tennis referee Alexander Kaptorenko. “I could not miss such an event. It’s so exciting just like in sports. That’s great, and I can see so many young people here today, which means that the Russian language is alive and loved,” he said.
About 200 people in Crimea took part in the event for the first time. Anton Trofimov, the organiser of the event, said he had first thought about doing it even before reunification with Russia but many of those who could have helped were afraid of doing it. Now that Crimea is back in Russia doing it was much easier, he said.
Turku in Finland also participated in the event for the first time. Fifteen people took the challenge. The international tradition to give dictation was started ten years ago at Novosibirsk State University. About 10 percent of Russians in Finland live in Turku and everyone could come to the cafe Just Time and check their literacy.
Also participating for the first time was the Russian city of Vladimir where dictation was taken not only by local residents but also by a German citizen, Karsten Liebmann, who has been working at one of the industrial enterprises in the city for several years.
“To me this is a very unusual and unexpected event. But I am glad that I could take part in the Total Dictation along with local residents. I never heard of anything like this before in Germany,” he said.
Dagestan, a republic in Russia’s North Caucasus, joined in the action for the first time this year. Ninety-seven people wrote the dictation, with the most senior of them being 85 years old.
In Penza, taking the challenge for the first time as well, the participants wrote Ivanov’s “The Train of My Childhood” dictated to them at the Penza Pedagogical Institute.
The Total Dictation is an annual educational event called upon to draw attention to the problems of literacy and to develop writing skills. The participants take a dictation voluntarily and for free across Russia and abroad at the same time. They all write the same text or different parts of it. Results are announced anonymously.