'My interpretation of God? He would be like a beautifully turned-up barman in a bar.' Photo courtesy of Russian TV show 'Vecherniy Urgant'

'My interpretation of God? He would be like a beautifully turned-up barman in a bar.' Photo courtesy of Russian TV show 'Vecherniy Urgant'

'My interpretation of God? He would be like a beautifully turned-up barman in a bar.' Photo courtesy of Russian TV show 'Vecherniy Urgant'

Ralph Fiennes needs no introduction. The director and actor has been promoting his new film The Invisible Woman at the New British Film Festival, which is on in three Russian cities until 9 November 2014. The British Council's Anna Safronova related questions from our Facebook fans in

"Complex as it might be, Russian is an incredibly beautiful and lyrical language". Photo of matryoshka dolls by Joe Lodge under Creative Commons licence.

"Complex as it might be, Russian is an incredibly beautiful and lyrical language". Photo of matryoshka dolls by Joe Lodge under Creative Commons licence.

"Complex as it might be, Russian is an incredibly beautiful and lyrical language". Photo of matryoshka dolls by Joe Lodge under Creative Commons licence.

What gives Russian its romantic complexity? Over the past two months, we've explored the ten languages essential for the UK's future. We turn to Russian in the eighth post of our series, by Keira Ives-Keeler of the British Council in Russia.

Daniel Craig Casino Royale: Casino Royale © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

Daniel Craig Casino Royale: Casino Royale © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

Daniel Craig Casino Royale: Casino Royale © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

The British Council's Keira Ives-Keeler explains Russia's complex love affair with Bond movies, while Russians can enjoy the exhibition Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style in Moscow until 7 September 2014.

New forms of ‘English’ are swiftly evolving. Photo by John Keogh under Creative Commons licence.

New forms of ‘English’ are swiftly evolving. Photo by John Keogh under Creative Commons licence.

New forms of ‘English’ are swiftly evolving. Photo by John Keogh under Creative Commons licence.

Linguistics expert David Crystal is in Russia to give a series of lectures. At the UK-Russia Linguistic Symposium at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, he described 'the future of Englishes' and the evolution of global varieties of English across the world. Keira Ives-Keeler of the British Council in Russia explains.

Russian audiences initially struggled to warm to Shakespeare’s rugged and emotion-filled plays, full of death, betrayal and skulduggery. Photo: Vladimir Vyatkin, the Chekhov ITF.

Russian audiences initially struggled to warm to Shakespeare’s rugged and emotion-filled plays, full of death, betrayal and skulduggery. Photo: Vladimir Vyatkin, the Chekhov ITF.

Russian audiences initially struggled to warm to Shakespeare’s rugged and emotion-filled plays, full of death, betrayal and skulduggery. Photo: Vladimir Vyatkin, the Chekhov ITF.

Shakespeare translations first reached Russia in the 18th century. Reactions were as mixed then as they are effusive today. The British Council's Keira Ives-Keeler walks us through the history of Shakespeare's Russian reception following the Shakespeare Globe's sold-out performance of Hamlet last month and ahead of the company's return to Moscow in the autumn.