About the Russian language

The Russian Language

Russian language

Russian is a Slavonic language and is most closely related to Ukrainian and Belarusian with which it forms the East Slavic group of languages.
Russian is by far the most widely spoken Slavonic language.

  • More than 160 million people speak Russian as their first language.
  • Approximately 120 million people speak Russian as a second language, namely they speak Russian every day but speak another language as a native language.

Next to the Russian Federation itself, the most Russian speakers live in the countries of the former Soviet Union, above all the Ukraine (about 11 million speakers), in the Republic of Kazakhstan (six million), the Baltic States and in the Republic of Belarus.
Before the fall of the Iron Curtain, in 1989, Russian was taught as a foreign language in all the countries of the Warsaw Pact.
After the fall of the wall Russian was quickly replaced by English as the language taught in schools.
Other large Russian language communities outside the former Soviet Union are found in Western Europe, North America, Australia and Israel.

Russian is an important language

Also Russian has lost some of its importance that it enjoyed during the time of the Soviet Union.
The loss of former Military, Trade and Business alliances has reduced the importance of Russian as a language of international discourse.
In more recent times the importance of Russian as increased in a number of areas.
Due to the resurgence of the Russian economy the value of Russian has increased in Global Finance, Tourism and in the trade in Luxury goods.
Perhaps you know someone at your work or in your neighbourhood who speaks Russian who you can surprise with your Russian Language skills?

Influences on Russian from other languages

In recent times English has had the largest influence on Russian.
When you learn Russian you will often encounter English words that have entered the Russian language.
As well as technical terms, you will also encounter English words in other areas such as Business.
Encountering English words will help you by learning and understanding.

Russian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet

Russian is, as you probably know, written with the Cyrillic alphabet.
In order to facilitate learning a new script, our courses always have a transcript in Roman letters.

You would like to know more about Cyrillic?
We have prepared an interesting article about the Cyrillic alphabet.
Here is a work sheet for learning the Cyrillic alphabet:
This worksheet can be downloaded and printed out.

Cyrillic script

Would you like to learn more about Russian?

We are delighted about your interest in the Russian Language.
We are pleased to offer the following links: