"Russia. Where is your soul" - shouldn't it be "Russia. Where your soul is"?



From a news report: Russia's Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) held a contest for the development of Russia's tourism logo, and this design took second place:

Poster with wording "Where is your soul"

Is the wording here felicitous? It seems to me that it might imply that Russia lacks a soul, if read as a rhetorical question. Say, "What on Earth has happened to your soul, Russia? Where is it?"

Shouldn't it be instead

Russia. Where your soul is.

.. or is it really okay? I'm at a loss because I presume there are plenty of people at Rosturizm who are fluent in English. There has to be a professional linguist on the contest's committee, since the logo's intended target audience is (English-speaking) foreigners.


Posted 2015-10-01T06:28:25.933

Reputation: 36 949

1I read it like you... but let the native speakers chime in. – Stephie – 2015-10-01T06:33:03.303

1I agree with you about the word order ("Where your soul is" is better); however, in my humble opinion, I believe that the logo won the prize because of the design.(The idea of Saint Basil's Cathedral + P + R + <3 = the logo is really neat. I love it!) – Damkerng T. – 2015-10-01T07:24:10.203

@DamkerngT. - I see. Probably it was impossible to change the wording post-submission. I don't understand what do the letters P+R mean. "Public Relations"? (0: – CowperKettle – 2015-10-01T07:27:02.643



My guess is it probably was supposed to be "Here is your soul" (with inversion) rather than "(W)here is your soul", though the former variant sounds a bit awkward too (and has a different meaning).

According to the author's vk page (Andrew Efanov), the very first variant of the logo read "Your soul is here" which is perfectly correct:

enter image description here

and so is the final variant, present at the official page of the contest:

enter image description here

As to "P + R" letters, well it has to do with the resemblance between the Latin letter "R" (that starts the word "Russia") and Cyrillic letters "Р" and "Я" (that start and end the word "РоссиЯ"). You can see them all in the logo.


Posted 2015-10-01T06:28:25.933

Reputation: 303

1I suppose it should be obvious from the context, but "Россия" translates to "Russia". I'm curious, which is the correct character to use in that word, и or и́? Searching the web I see both used. – John B – 2015-10-01T17:23:09.307

2@John Well, spelling "Росси́я" just shows you the place of the stress (on the second syllable, that is "РоссИя", not "РОссия"), while the normal spelling is one and only: "Россия". – Buckminster – 2015-10-01T17:42:42.740


The original page is in Russian so I cannot make out what is the purpose of this advertisement. But looking at the placement of words in the logo, there are two possibilities.

If you want to make it a question, (in case Russia lacks the soul), what all it requires is the question mark - '?'

Where is your (Russia's) soul?

If you want to emphasize that Russia is the place where your soul is, it may go as you suggested...

Where your (reader's) soul is

Maulik V

Posted 2015-10-01T06:28:25.933

Reputation: 66 188

1I read it just the other way round - I don't "need" the '?' to understand this as a question. I'm pretty sure what the advertiser really meant was *Russia - the place where your soul is". And even with the eclipse of "the place" word order should remain unchanged. – Stephie – 2015-10-01T06:48:47.760