Russian: school


The Russian word for school is школа (skhola). Both words are similar, because they both come from the Latin word schola (lesson, school). The Latin word comes from the Greek word σχολή (skholé = leisure time spent in the pursuit of knowledge). The Greek word is linked  to a Proto Indo-European root seĝh- (to hold, possess; to overcome somebody; victory).

In the academic world, there are many words that are similar between Russian and English. This is because for hundreds of  years after the collapse of the Roman Empire, universities and monasteries continued to dictate classes in Latin. Regardless on which country they lived, both the English and the Russian students used words like:

professor профессор Both words come from the Latin word professor, composed of the prefix pro-(forward), the supine, fessum of the verb fateri (admit, confess), and the suffix -or, agent, the one who does the action. Another word that  is similarly composed is "confessor".

The prefix pro-comes from the Indo-European root *per-2 which gave us a bunch of Greek (para-, peri-, proto-) and Latin (per-, pro-, pre-) prefixes associated with being in first position or moving forward.

The verb  fateri verb is associated with the PIE root *bhā-2 (to speak).
student студент This word comes from Latin studens, studentis, present participle (-nt = the one who does the action), of the verb studiare (to study). This verb is related to *(s)steu-  (to push, hit).
college коллегия This one comes from collgium (association collegues). Both words college and collegue are formed with the suffix co- (together, completely, mutually) and the verb legere (to chose, to pick, to harvest, to read).

The prefix co- is asociated with the root *kom- (by, beside, at, with)  and the verb legere with *leĝ- (to gather).
academy академия This word comes from Latin Academia, from the Greek ᾿Ακαδημία, which was the name where the Greek philosopher Plato (427-347 b.C.) taught.
lyceum лицей From Latin Lyceum, from the Greek Λύκειον, which was the name of the place where  the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 b.C.) taught.
gymnasium гимназия Comes from the Latin gymnasium and it from the Greek γυμνάσιον. It is derived from γυμνος (gymnos = naked), because the old Greek tradition was to exercise naked.

This word not only refers to the place were one exercises, but it also to academic high-schools that prepare students for the university, as you can see in this old picture of my grandfather's high-school that reads:  "Харбинская Русская Частная Гимназия -  В. Л. Андерс" (Harbin's Private Russian Gymnasium  - V. L. Anders).
institute институт From Latin institutus, past participle of the verb instituere (to place into). This word is formed with the prefix in- (penetration, towards the inside) and the verb statuare (to stand up).

The prefix in- is said to come from the PIE root *en-1 (in), and the verb stature from *stā- (to stand).
university университет This one comes from universitas, composed of unus (one), versum, supine of the verb vertere (to turn, to apply one's self) and the suffix -tat that indicates a quality.

Unus is related to a root *e-3 (this, one) and vertere to *u̯er-3- (to turn)

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