Let me just Yandex that: Russian search engine

Let me just Yandex that: Russian search engine
20 February 2019

Like most of you, I had never heard of Yandex (Яндекс) before coming to Russia. I knew that Yahoo used to be the big thing before Google. But Yandex? No, never heard of it. So obviously it shocked me a little bit when I found out that about 50% of people in Russia don’t use Google when they need to look something up online. I, however, wasn’t surprised anymore when I actually got to use the so-called Russian Google as in many times it is far more useful to Yandex than to google. It is especially useful for smartphone users as there are many different Yandex apps, which can really come in handy in your day to day life in Russia. I myself love to use Yandex.Taxi, which just like Uber is a great and cheap taxi app to use in Russia and it is also very safe. Another great app is Yandex.Transport. This app shows your bus routes and the exact location of buses. It is great to get around the city using any type of public transport. And this is just to name a few, all in all, there are more than 20 very useful Yandex apps that will make your life in Russia much more convenient.

Yandex was founded in 1997 by Arkadi Wolosh. Wolosh studied applied mathematics at the state Moscow Institute of oil and gas. Already in 1990, he was working on search algorithms. Yandex was the first-ever search engine to use the Cyrillic alphabet. The name Yandex comes from “Language Index”, “Язык Индекс” in Russian and the Russian letter Я also means I so its a combination of the words I, language and index. Yandex has its headquarter’s in Moscow as well as offices in many Russian cities and countries like Ukraine, Belarus, Switzerland, the USA, and Turkey. In 2004, Yandex published Yandex.Maps, a service very similar to Google maps. However, it was published about 6 months earlier than its American counterpart. On the 24th of May 2011, Yandex entered the New York stock market and its shareholders sold about 52,2 million shares at a price of 25$ per share. Since then Yandex has kept growing and is today the 20-iest most accessed website in the world and more popular than sites like Netflix or eBay.

One feature of Yandex comes in really handy for people that are learning Russian: that’s Yandex.Translate. The interface works just like Google Translate. You put the text you would like to get translated in the left column and the translation shows up on the right. So far Yandex.Translate supports 95 languages. I personally only use it for Russian as I know from experience, that Google Translate often messes up translations from and to Russian. The Yandex counterpart, however, was designed out of the Russian language and also with the goal to develop a sophisticated free Russian translator. It shows you a large list of synonyms, almost like a thesaurus. When you click on a word you get examples and definitions, which are also translated. So it is perfect to do Russian homework with various vocabulary to impress your teacher and classmates in your next lesson.

All in all, I can really recommend Yandex as an alternative to other search engines. If you are planning to visit Russia for whatever reason you should have a look at what Yandex functions and apps might be useful to you; and if you are visiting to learn the language, Yandex.Translate will definitely be a great help to you. Yandex and its apps are free and you can use them as long as you like.

To find out even more about Yandex and its different apps just click here.

Posted by Martin Melber

Hi! I am Martin. I study tourism in the 4th semester and I love football and music.

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