gitl_eli7 (gitl_eli7) wrote in linguaphiles,

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Russian voice pitch


I started a new job a few weeks ago and now share a cubicle with a very friendly, very nice middle aged Russian woman.  The cubicle across the corridor from us has another Russian woman and between the two of them speaking to each other in Russian and speaking Russian on the phone, I hear a lot of Russian and have been thinking about it.  Something I have noticed is that regardless of whether they are speaking Russian or Hebrew (the language we speak in the office), their pitch of their voices seems unnaturally high and even strained.  Israel had a massive wave of immigration from Russian speaking countries following the collapse of the USSR, so while I come in contact with Russian-Israelis all the time, the ones my age, who grew up in Israel and speak with Israeli accents, don't do this.  This is the first time I'm having this much exposure to Russians who moved here as adults.  As I was thinking about this today at work, I remembered that the women in my flatmate's J-Dramas all do the same thing.  So maybe it's a cultural thing? Something about the cultural status of women in Russia?  And Japan apparently?  Do any other countries do this?  I thought part of the USSR ideology had to do with women having rights and being equals at a time when they weren't in other parts of the world, so I don't know how that would fit in with having them have shrill helpless-sounding voices.

Does this make any sense?

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