IV Festival of Russian Language «Russian in Songs» Contest

On the following pictures and short movies you can see non-Russian students taking part in the contest of the Russian Language Festival, which was held in April 2008 in Russia at the Voronezh State University. During the contest, participants used the «Russian in Songs» software, which was specially developed for the festival. Below, you can read about stages of the contest.

During the first stage

of the contest, the students had to choose the only song from the list of songs. This list of songs was generated with the software using the random algorithm. The students, participated in this contest, could listen to the fragment of any song, but the text of the song was  not available.

Using the special subroutine (termed the Tutor), contestants had to restore the chosen song’s text. The task was implementing while listening to the song, i. e. the students had at hand only the voice of the singer.

The contestants had to study the song and they had to sing to the accompaniment of the song. The software recorded the vocal and the data was passed to the jury.


During the second stage

the students had to sing the same songs on the scene of the university in the presence of several hundred listeners and the jury. The jury decided who were the winners of the second stage.


The final (third) stage

of the contest took place in the Opera & Ballet Theater. Using the same software, the two participants had to study and sing previously unknown Russian songs. The available time was only 60 minutes! This result was witnessed by tens of hundreds of people being present at the theater.

Authors’ commentary to this final stage of the contest.

The authors of the software were completely aware of the problematical situation in which the two contestants had to compete. In fact, they had only 40-45 minutes for studying the chosen songs. Some time they spent for choosing a song from the five songs, proposed in the software. They wasted some time while they were interviewed by TV reporters (you can see this moment at photos). In the room, where they were, several TV cameras were set up to transmit the image on the huge screen.

During preparations for this final contest we removed from the list those songs, which were studied by contestants at previous stages.

Sooth to say, there was a moment when all of us were uneasy. We had a presentiment about imminent collapse of this final stage. The task of contestants was too difficult under these conditions. Someone began to express doubts — better to prepare all in advance, all the same nobody would know, however the audience would be pleased...

But these two great girls were real winners of previous stages! They coped with their tasks. We were very glad that no falsification took place, and the contest finished with such a valuable result!

The two chosen songs were very popular in Russia during 70S-80S of the 20TH century. You can see the texts of the songs extracted from the «Via Songs to Russian» software:

A Black Tomcat (~1.5 Mb)
A Lonely Accordion (~1.5 Mb)