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Rada is the term for "parliament" or "assembly" or some other "council" in several Slavic languages. Normally it is translated as "council". Sometimes it corresponds to "parliament", or in Soviet Union contexts, to "soviet". It also carries a meaning of advice, as in the English word "counsel".


Old High German rāt (from Proto-Germanic *rēdaz) passed (possibly through Polish) into the Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian languages. Although some researches like K. P. Stanley et al. argued that contrary to the above stated hypothesis that the Germanic languages borrowed the words for council and related terms from Slavic languages.[1]

Alternately the source was the Gothic language radan - 𐍂𐌰𐌳𐌰𐌽 - to council, to deliberate, that passed to West Slavic in the Iron Age during the Wielbark and Chernyakhov cultures presence along Vistula river and in Western Ukraine, as the term "rada" may be present in such first millennium CE names as Slavic Radogoszcz, Radgoszcz, Radhošť, Radegost, Radagast, Ardagast - Radogost, and Gothic Radagaisus. The dispersal to East Slavic Languages, could have happened later, possibly through Polish.

Råd in Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, Rat in German, neuvosto or raati in Finnish and nõukogu or raad in Estonia/Dutch mean "council" or "assembly", but also "advice", as it does in East Slavic (except Russian) and West Slavic, but not South Slavic, languages.

In Swedish the verb råda (to counsel) is based on the substantive råd. This is similar to Danish råd (noun) and råde (verb).


In Belarus

In the Czech Republic

In Poland

In Russia

  • Kuban Rada, supreme council of the Kuban Cossack host (1917-1920)[2]

In Slovakia

In Ukraine

Historically, the Verkhovna Rada was also the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Українська Радянська Соціалістична Республіка [УРСР], Ukrayins'ka Radyans'ka Sotsialistychna Respublika [URSR]), which was itself part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Союз Радянських Соціалістичних Республік, [СРСР]), the word rada replacing the Russian word soviet in both cases. See official names of the Soviet Union.


  1. ^ K. P. Stanley (1985) Slavonic Loanwords in English, Celtic and Pre-Classical Greek.
  2. ^ L.G. Novikova. "Kuban Rada". Great Russian Encyclopedia (in Russian). Большая российская энциклопедия. Retrieved 2024-07-10.