Ekaterina Vorontsova received a brilliant education for her time – she knew German, French and Italian, history, geography, mathematics. But by marrying Prince Mikhail Dashkov, she found that it was difficult to find a common tongue with her mother-in-law – a well-educated Vorontsova-Dashkova spoke bad Russian. To please her mother-in-law, she started to learn Russian.
And it turned out very useful later in her life – on October 11, 1783, Catherine II signed a decree establishing the Russian Academy and appointed Ekaterina Dashkova, who was already working as a headmaster of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, as its head. The challenge of the new scientific institutions, the princess-president staged the purification and enrichment of Russian language. That is how it was written in the charter: “The general regulation of the use of the words thereof, the peculiar floweriness and poetry". Unlike the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, which was mainly held by foreigners, Russian language in the Russian Academy was ennobled exclusively by the Russians: Fonvizin, Knyazhnin, Shuvalov, Karamzin. The result of their noble activities was a six-volume Dictionary of the Russian Academy, the first Russian Dictionary in history.