Russian language

Russian language

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Russian is a Slavic language
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 used primarily in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

  and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 and Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics of the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 and is one of three living members of the East Slavic languages
East Slavic languages
The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the group with the largest numbers of speakers, far out-numbering the Western and Southern Slavic groups. Current East Slavic languages are Belarusian, Russian,...

. Written examples of Old East Slavonic are attested from the 10th century onwards.

It is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

. It is also the largest native language in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, with 160 million native speakers in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

. Russian is the 8th most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers and the 4th by total number of speakers. The language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.

Russian distinguishes between consonant
Consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

 phoneme
Phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

s with palatal
Palatalization
In linguistics, palatalization , also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate....

 secondary articulation
Secondary articulation
Secondary articulation refers to co-articulated consonants where the two articulations are not of the same manner. The approximant-like secondary articulation is weaker than the primary, and colors it rather than obscuring it...

 and those without, the so-called soft and hard sounds. This distinction is found between pairs of almost all consonants and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language. Another important aspect is the reduction
Vowel reduction
In phonetics, vowel reduction is any of various changes in the acoustic quality of vowels, which are related to changes in stress, sonority, duration, loudness, articulation, or position in the word , and which are perceived as "weakening"...

 of unstressed
Stress (linguistics)
In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.The stress placed...

 vowel
Vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

s, which is somewhat similar to that of English. Stress, which is unpredictable, is not normally indicated orthograph
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

ically though an optional acute accent
Acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...

  may, and sometimes should, be used to mark stress
Stress (linguistics)
In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.The stress placed...

 (such as to distinguish between homograph
Homograph
A homograph is a word or a group of words that share the same written form but have different meanings. When spoken, the meanings may be distinguished by different pronunciations, in which case the words are also heteronyms. Words with the same writing and pronunciation A homograph (from the ,...

ic words, for example замо́к (meaning lock) and за́мок (meaning castle), or to indicate the proper pronunciation of uncommon words or names).

Classification


Russian is a Slavic language
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 in the Indo-European family
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

. From the point of view of the spoken language
Spoken language
Spoken language is a form of human communication in which words derived from a large vocabulary together with a diverse variety of names are uttered through or with the mouth. All words are made up from a limited set of vowels and consonants. The spoken words they make are stringed into...

, its closest relatives are Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 and Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

, the other two national languages in the East Slavic
East Slavic languages
The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the group with the largest numbers of speakers, far out-numbering the Western and Southern Slavic groups. Current East Slavic languages are Belarusian, Russian,...

 group. In many places in eastern and southern Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and throughout Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, these languages are spoken interchangeably, and in certain areas traditional bilingualism resulted in language mixture, e.g. Surzhyk
Surzhyk
Surzhyk refers to a range of russified sociolects of Ukrainian used in certain regions of Ukraine and adjacent lands. It does not possess any unifying set of characteristics; the term is used for "norm-breaking, non-obedience to or nonawareness of the rules of the Ukrainian and Russian standard...

 in eastern Ukraine and Trasianka
Trasianka
Trasianka or trasyanka is a Belarusian–Russian mixed language. It can also be described as a kind of interlanguage. It is often labeled "pidgin" or even "creole", which is not correct by any widespread definition of pidgin or creole language. The motivation for labelling Trasianka as...

 in Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

. An East Slavic Old Novgorod dialect
Old Novgorod dialect
Old Novgorod dialect is a term introduced by Andrey Zaliznyak to describe the astonishingly diverse linguistic features of the Old East Slavic birch bark writings from the 11th to 15th centuries excavated in Novgorod and its surroundings...

, although vanished during the 15th or 16th century, is sometimes considered to have played a significant role in the formation of the modern Russian language. Also Russian has much in common with Bulgarian in vocabulary and phonetics as a result of interaction between the languages in the 19th–20th centuries, as well as the Church Slavonic influence on the both, although the Bulgarian grammar much defers from the Russian one.

The vocabulary
Vocabulary
A person's vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually develops with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge...

 (mainly abstract and literary words), principles of word formations, and, to some extent, inflections and literary style of Russian have been also influenced by Church Slavonic, a developed and partly russified form of the South Slavic
South Slavic languages
The South Slavic languages comprise one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches by a belt of German, Hungarian and Romanian speakers...

 Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 language used by the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

. However, the East Slavic forms have tended to be used exclusively in the various dialects that are experiencing a rapid decline. In some cases, both the East Slavic
East Slavic languages
The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the group with the largest numbers of speakers, far out-numbering the Western and Southern Slavic groups. Current East Slavic languages are Belarusian, Russian,...

 and the Church Slavonic forms are in use, with many different meanings. For details, see Russian phonology
Russian phonology
This article discusses the phonological system of standard Russian based on the Moscow dialect . For discussion of other dialects, see Russian dialects...

 and History of the Russian language
History of the Russian language
The history proper of the Russian language dates from just before the year 1000 AD.Note: in the following sections, all examples of vocabulary appear in their modern spelling.-Kievan period and feudal breakup:...

.

Over the course of centuries, the vocabulary and literary style of Russian have also been influenced by Western and Central European languages such as Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, and to a lesser extent the languages to the north and the east: Finno-Ugric, Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

.

According to the Defense Language Institute
Defense Language Institute
The Defense Language Institute is a United States Department of Defense educational and research institution, which provides linguistic and cultural instruction to the Department of Defense, other Federal Agencies and numerous and varied other customers...

 in Monterey, California
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

, Russian is classified as a level III language in terms of learning difficulty for native English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 speakers, requiring approximately 780 hours of immersion instruction to achieve intermediate fluency. It is also regarded by the United States Intelligence Community
United States Intelligence Community
The United States Intelligence Community is a cooperative federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the...

 as a "hard target" language, due to both its difficulty to master for English speakers and its critical role in American world policy.

Standard Russian


The standard well-known form of Russian is generally called the Modern Russian Literary Language (Современный русский литературный язык). It arose in the beginning of the 18th century with the modernization reforms of the Russian state by Peter the Great. It developed from the Moscow (Middle or Central Russian
Central Russian dialects
Central or Middle Russian dialects is one of the main groups of the Russian dialects. Being of Northern Russian origin, however assumed many Southern Russian features.The official dialect originates from a dialect from this group....

) dialect substratum under some influence of the Russian chancellery language of the previous centuries. It was Lomonosov
Mikhail Lomonosov
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries was the atmosphere of Venus. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art,...

 who first compiled a normalizing grammar book in 1755. In 1783 the first explanatory dictionary of Russian by Russian Academy of Science appeared. During the end of the 18th and 19th centuries Russian went through the stage (known as "Golden Age") of stabilization and standardization of its grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, and of the flourishing its world-famous literature, and became the nationwide literary language. Also until the 20th century its spoken form was the language only of the upper noble classes and urban population, Russian peasants from the countryside continued speaking in their own dialects. By the middle of the 20th century Standard Russian finally forced out its dialects with the compulsory education system, established by the Soviet government, and mass-media (radio and TV). Though some dialectical features (such as fricative /ɣ/
Southern Russian dialects
Southern Russian is one of the main groups of Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation is entirely 11 modern regions : Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk Tambov, Tula, Voronezh: and some southern parts of 3 regions:...

) are still observed in colloquial speech.

Geographic distribution


During the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 period, the policy toward the languages of the various other ethnic groups fluctuated in practice. Though each of the constituent republics had its own official language, the unifying role and superior status was reserved for Russian, although it was declared the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 only in 1990. Following the break-up of the USSR
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 in 1991, several of the newly independent states have encouraged their native languages, which has partly reversed the privileged status of Russian, though its role as the language of post-Soviet national discourse throughout the region has continued.

In Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 its official recognition and legality in the classroom have been a topic of considerable debate in a country where more than one-third of the population is Russian-speaking (see Russians in Latvia). Similarly, in Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Russophones constitute 25.6% of the country's current population and 58.6% of the native Estonian population is also able to speak Russian. In all, 67.8% of Estonia's population can speak Russian. Command of Russian language, however, is rapidly decreasing among younger Estonians (primarily being replaced by the command of English). For example, if 53% of ethnic Estonians between 15–19 claim to speak some Russian, then among the 10–14 year old group, command of Russian has fallen to 19% (which is about one-third the percentage of those who claim to have command of English in the same age group).

In Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, Russian remains a co-official language with Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

 and Kyrgyz
Kyrgyz language
Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

, respectively. Large Russian-speaking communities still exist in northern Kazakhstan, and ethnic Russians comprise 25.6% of Kazakhstan's population.

Those who speak Russian as a mother or secondary language in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 represent approximately 60% of the population of Lithuania. Also, more than half of the population of the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 speak Russian either as foreign language or as mother tongue. As the Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

 was part of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 from 1809 to 1918, a number of Russian speakers have remained in Finland. There are 33,400 Russian-speaking Finns, amounting to 0.6% of the population. Five thousand (0.1%) of them are late 19th century and 20th century immigrants or their descendants, and the remaining majority are recent immigrants, who have moved there in the 1990s and later.

In the 20th century, Russian was widely taught in the schools of the members of the old Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 and in other countries
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

 that used to be allies of the USSR. In particular, these countries include Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, former East Germany  and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. However, younger generations are usually not fluent in it, because Russian is no longer mandatory in the school system. According to the Eurobarometer 2005 survey, though, fluency in Russian remains fairly high (20–40%) in some countries, in particular those where the people speak a Slavic language and thereby have an edge in learning Russian (namely, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Bulgaria). It is currently the most widely taught foreign language in Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, and has been compulsory in Year 7 onward as a second foreign language since 2006.

Russian is also spoken in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 by at least 750,000 ethnic Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union
Aliyah from the Commonwealth of Independent States in the 1990s
Russian Jewish immigration to Israel began en masse in the 1990s when the liberal government of Mikhail Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel.-History:...

 (1999 census). The Israeli press
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 and website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

s regularly publish material in Russian. Russian is also spoken as a second language by a small number of people in Afghanistan (Awde and Sarwan, 2003). According to a BBC report from October 2009, Afghan refugee children are learning Russian in school. If they return to Afghanistan, this may create a small population of second-language Russian speakers there, as well.

Sizable Russian-speaking communities also exist in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, especially in large urban centers of the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, such as New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Philadelphia, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane
Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County of which it is also the county seat, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region...

, Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Denver and Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

. In a number of locations they issue their own newspapers, and live in ethnic enclave
Ethnic enclave
An ethnic enclave is an ethnic community which retains some cultural distinction from a larger, surrounding area, it may be a neighborhood, an area or an administrative division based on ethnic groups. Sometimes an entire city may have such a feel. Usually the enclave revolves around businesses...

s (especially the generation of immigrants who started arriving in the early sixties). Only about a quarter of them are ethnic Russians, however. Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, the overwhelming majority of Russophone
Russophone
A Russophone is literally a speaker of the Russian language either natively or by preference. At the same time the term is used in a more specialized meaning to describe the category of people whose cultural background is associated with Russian language regardless of ethnic and territorial...

s in North America were Russian-speaking Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. Afterwards, the influx from the countries of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 changed the statistics somewhat, with ethnic Russians and Ukrainians immigrating along with some more Russian Jews. According to the United States Census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

, in 2007 Russian was the primary language spoken in the homes of over 850,000 individuals living in the United States.

Significant Russian-speaking groups also exist in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. These have been fed by several waves of immigrants since the beginning of the 20th century, each with its own flavor of language. The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 have significant Russian-speaking communities, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 has the highest Russian-speaking population outside the former Soviet Union with approximately 3 million people. Australian cities Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 and Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 also have Russian speaking populations, with the most Russians living in southeast Melbourne, particularly the suburbs of Carnegie and Caulfield. Two thirds of them are actually Russian-speaking descendants of Germans, Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijani people
The Azerbaijanis are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the neighbourhood states, Georgia, Russia and formerly Armenia. Commonly referred to as Azeris or Azerbaijani Turks , they also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to...

, Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 or Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, who either repatriated after the USSR collapsed, or are just looking for temporary employment.

Russians in China form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by mainland China.
Recent estimates of the total number of speakers of Russian
Source Native speakers Native rank Total speakers Total rank
G. Weber, "Top Languages",
Language Monthly,
3: 12–18, 1997, ISSN 1369-9733
160,000,000 8 285,000,000 5
World Almanac (1999) 145,000,000 8          (2005) 275,000,000 5
SIL (2000 WCD) 145,000,000 8 255,000,000 5–6 (tied with Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

)
CIA World Factbook (2005) 160,000,000 8

Official status


Russian is the official language of Russia, although it shares the official status at regional level with other languages in the numerous ethnic autonomies within Russia, such as Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan
The Republic of Bashkortostan , also known as Bashkiria is a federal subject of Russia . It is located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains. Its capital is the city of Ufa...

, Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

, and Yakutia. It is also an official language of Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, and the de facto official language of the unrecognized country of Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

 and partially recognized countries of South Ossetia
South Ossetia
South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic....

 and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

. Russian is one of the six official languages
Official languages of the United Nations
The official languages of the United Nations are the six languages that are used in UN meetings, and in which all official UN documents are written...

 of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Education in Russian is still a popular choice for both Russian as a second language (RSL) and native speakers in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 as well as many of the former Soviet republics. Russian is still seen as an important language for children to learn in most of the former Soviet republics.

94 % of the school students of Russia, 75% in Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, 41% in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, 20% in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, 23% in Kyrgyzstan, 21% in Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, 7% in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, 5% in Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and 2% in Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 receive their education only or mostly in Russian. The percentage of ethnic Russians is 80% in Russia, 10% in Belarus, 36% in Kazakhstan, 17% in Ukraine, 9% in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, 6% in Moldova, 2% in Azerbaijan, 1.5% in Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and less than 1% in both Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Tajikistan.

Russian-language schooling is also available in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. However, due to recent high school reforms in Latvia (whereby the government pays a substantial sum to a school to teach in the national language), the number of subjects taught in Russian has been reduced in the country. The language has a co-official status alongside Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 in the autonomies of Gagauzia
Gagauzia
Gagauzia , formally known as the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Găgăuzia , is an autonomous region of...

 and Transnistria
Transnistria
Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine...

 in Moldova. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 in Ukraine, Russian is recognized as a regional language alongside Crimean Tatar
Crimean Tatar language
The Crimean Tatar language is the language of the Crimean Tatars. It is a Turkic language spoken in Crimea, Central Asia , and the Crimean Tatar diasporas in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria...

. According to a poll by FOM-Ukraine
FOM-Ukraine
The FOM-Ukraine is political sociology company in Ukraine. It is joint venture of FOM company favoring Viktor Yanukovych were the only allowed to be publicized on TV during Ukrainian presidential election in 2004. All others polling was censored....

, Russian is the most widely spoken language in Ukraine understood literally by everyone. However, despite its widespread usage, pro-Russian Crimean activists complain about the (mandatory) use of Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 in schools, movie theaters, courts, on drug prescriptions and its use in the media and for government paperwork.

Dialects


Despite leveling after 1900, especially in matters of vocabulary and phonetics, a number of dialects still exist in Russia. Some linguists divide the dialects of the Russian language into two primary regional groupings, "Northern" and "Southern", with Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 lying on the zone of transition between the two. Others divide the language into three groupings, Northern
Northern Russian dialects
The northern Russian dialects make up one of the main groups of the Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation The northern Russian dialects make up one of the main groups of the Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation The northern Russian...

, Central
Central Russian dialects
Central or Middle Russian dialects is one of the main groups of the Russian dialects. Being of Northern Russian origin, however assumed many Southern Russian features.The official dialect originates from a dialect from this group....

 (or Middle) and Southern
Southern Russian dialects
Southern Russian is one of the main groups of Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation is entirely 11 modern regions : Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk Tambov, Tula, Voronezh: and some southern parts of 3 regions:...

, with Moscow lying in the Central region. All dialects also divided in two main chronological categories: the dialects of primary formation (the territory of the Eastern Rus’
Rus' (region)
Rus' is an ethno-cultural region in Eastern Europe inhabited by Eastern Slavs. Historically, it comprises the northern part of Ukraine, the north-western part of Russia, Belarus and some eastern parts of Poland and Slovakia.The name comes from Old East Slavic , and remains the same in modern...

 or Muscovy, roughly consists of the modern Central
Central Federal District
The Central Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. The word "Central" is of political and historical meaning; geographically, the district is situated in the extreme west of Russia. The district spans an area of , with a population of 38,438,600 according to the 2010...

 and Northwestern
Northwestern Federal District
Northwestern Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. It consists of the northern part of European Russia. Its population was 13,583,800 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

 Federal districts); and secondary formation (other territory). Dialectology
Dialectology
Dialectology is the scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-field of sociolinguistics. It studies variations in language based primarily on geographic distribution and their associated features...

 within Russia recognizes dozens of smaller-scale variants. The dialects often show distinct and non-standard features of pronunciation and intonation, vocabulary and grammar. Some of these are relics of ancient usage now completely discarded by the standard language.

The Northern Russian dialects
Northern Russian dialects
The northern Russian dialects make up one of the main groups of the Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation The northern Russian dialects make up one of the main groups of the Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation The northern Russian...

 and those spoken along the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

 typically pronounce unstressed /o/ clearly (the phenomenon called okanye/оканье). Besides the absence of vowel reduction some dialects have high or diphthong
Diphthong
A diphthong , also known as a gliding vowel, refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: That is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel...

al /e~i̯ɛ/ in the place of and /o~u̯ɔ/ in stressed closed syllables (like in Ukrainian) instead of Standard Russian /e/ and /o/. In morphology it has an interesting feature as a post-posed definite article -to, -ta, -te similarly existing in Bulgarian and Macedonian.

In the Southern Russian dialects
Southern Russian dialects
Southern Russian is one of the main groups of Russian dialects.- Territory :* The territory of the primary formation is entirely 11 modern regions : Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk Tambov, Tula, Voronezh: and some southern parts of 3 regions:...

 unstressed /e/ and /a/ following palatalized
Palatalization
In linguistics, palatalization , also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate....

 consonants and preceding a stressed syllable are not reduced to [ɪ] (like in the Moscow dialect), being instead pronounced /a/ in such positions (e.g. несли is pronounced [nʲasˈlʲi], not [nʲɪsˈlʲi]) – this is called yakanye/яканье.
In consonant inventory there are a fricative /ɣ/
Velar fricative
Velar fricative can refer to*voiced velar fricative: in the International Phonetic Alphabet*voiceless velar fricative: in the International Phonetic Alphabet...

, a semivowel /w~u̯/
Semivowel
In phonetics and phonology, a semivowel is a sound, such as English or , that is phonetically similar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllable boundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable.-Classification:...

 and /x~xv~xw/ where the Standard and Northern dialects have /ɡ/, /v/, final /l/ and /f/ respectively.
In morphology it has a palatalized final /tʲ/ in 3rd person forms of verbs (this is unpalatalized in the Standard and Northern dialects). Some of these features such as akanye/yakanye, a debuccalized
Debuccalization
Debuccalization is a sound change in which a consonant loses its original place of articulation and becomes or . The pronunciation of a consonant as is sometimes called aspiration, but in phonetics aspiration is the burst of air accompanying a plosive...

 or lenited
Lenition
In linguistics, lenition is a kind of sound change that alters consonants, making them "weaker" in some way. The word lenition itself means "softening" or "weakening" . Lenition can happen both synchronically and diachronically...

 /ɡ/, a semivowel /w~u̯/
Semivowel
In phonetics and phonology, a semivowel is a sound, such as English or , that is phonetically similar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllable boundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable.-Classification:...

 and palatalized final /tʲ/ in 3rd person forms of verbs are also present in modern Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

 and some dialects of Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 (Eastern Polesia
Polesia
Polesia is one of the largest European swampy areas, located in the south-western part of the Eastern-European Lowland, mainly within Belarus and Ukraine but also partly within Poland and Russia...

n), indicating a linguistic continuum.

The city of Veliky Novgorod
Old Novgorod dialect
Old Novgorod dialect is a term introduced by Andrey Zaliznyak to describe the astonishingly diverse linguistic features of the Old East Slavic birch bark writings from the 11th to 15th centuries excavated in Novgorod and its surroundings...

 has historically displayed a feature called chokanye/tsokanye (чоканье/цоканье), where /tɕ/ and /ts/ were confused. So, цапля ("heron") has been recorded as 'чапля'. Also, the second palatalization
Slavic second palatalization
Slavic second palatalization is a Proto-Slavic sound change, that manifested as a regressive palatalization of inherited Balto-Slavic velars and velar fricative, chronologically occurring after the first and the third palatalization.-Motivation:...

 of velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

s did not occur there, so the so-called ě² (from the Proto-Slavic diphthong *ai) did not cause /k, ɡ, x/ to shift to /ts, dz, s/; therefore where Standard Russian has цепь ("chain"), the form кепь [kʲepʲ] is attested in earlier texts.

Among the first to study Russian dialects was Lomonosov
Mikhail Lomonosov
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries was the atmosphere of Venus. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art,...

 in the 18th century. In the 19th, Vladimir Dal
Vladimir Dal
Vladimir Ivanovich Dal was one of the greatest Russian language lexicographers. He was a founding member of the Russian Geographical Society. He knew at least six languages including Turkic and is considered to be one of the early Turkologists...

 compiled the first dictionary that included dialectal vocabulary. Detailed mapping of Russian dialects began at the turn of the 20th century. In modern times, the monumental Dialectological Atlas of the Russian Language (Диалектологический атлас русского языка [dʲɪɐˌlʲɛktəlɐˈɡʲitɕɪskʲɪj ˈatləs ˈruskəvə jɪzɨˈka]), was published in three folio volumes 1986–1989, after four decades of preparatory work.

Derived languages

  • Balachka
    Balachka
    Balachka is a term used to label the dialects spoken by Cossacks living in Russia. Originally the term was applied to the dialects of Ukrainian language spoken in the region around the Kuban river, however the usage of this term has recently broadened to include the Cossack dialects spoken on the...

     a dialect, spoken primarily by Cossacks, in the regions of Don, Kuban
    Kuban
    Kuban is a geographic region of Southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River, on the Black Sea between the Don Steppe, Volga Delta and the Caucasus...

     and Terek.
  • Fenya
    Fenya
    Fenya or fenka is a Russian cant language used among criminals. Originally it was a cryptolanguage of ofenyas or ofenes, old Russian peddlers, and had a number of names. There are no convincing explanations about the origins of the words "ofenya" and "fenya"...

    , a criminal argot
    Argot
    An Argot is a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. The term argot is also used to refer to the informal specialized vocabulary from a particular field of study, hobby, job,...

     of ancient origin, with Russian grammar, but with distinct vocabulary.
  • Padonkaffsky jargon
    Padonkaffsky jargon
    Padonkaffsky jargon or Olbanian language is a cant language developed by padonki of Runet. It started as an Internet slang language originally used in the Russian Internet community...

     is a slang
    Slang
    Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

     language developed by padonki
    Padonki
    Padonki is a counter-culture subculture within the Russian-speaking Internet community most famous for using their slang Olbanian language or padonkaffsky jargon...

     of Runet
    Runet
    Currently Internet access in Russia is available to businesses and home users in various forms, including dial-up, cable, DSL, FTTH, mobile, wireless and satellite...

    .
  • Quelia, a pseudo pidgin of German and Russian.
  • Runglish
    Runglish
    Runglish, Ringlish, Ruglish or Russlish , are terms for describing the Russian-English pidgin language. They were popularized in 2000 as a name for one of the languages aboard the International Space Station...

    , Russian-English pidgin. This word is also used by English speakers to describe the way in which Russians attempt to speak English using Russian morphology and/or syntax.
  • Russenorsk
    Russenorsk language
    Russenorsk was a dual-source pidgin language in the Arctic combining elements of Russian and Norwegian, created by Russian traders and Norwegian fishermen from northern Norway and the Russian Kola peninsula. It was used extensively in Northern Norway for about 150 years in the so-called Pomor...

     is an extinct pidgin
    Pidgin
    A pidgin , or pidgin language, is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. It is most commonly employed in situations such as trade, or where both groups speak languages different from the language of the...

     language with mostly Russian vocabulary and mostly Norwegian
    Norwegian language
    Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

     grammar, used for communication between Russians
    Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

     and Norwegian
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

     traders in the Pomor trade in Finnmark
    Finnmark
    or Finnmárku is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. By land it borders Troms county to the west, Finland to the south and Russia to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea to the northwest, and the Barents Sea to the north and northeast.The county was formerly known as Finmarkens...

     and the Kola Peninsula
    Kola Peninsula
    The Kola Peninsula is a peninsula in the far northwest of Russia. Constituting the bulk of the territory of Murmansk Oblast, it lies almost completely to the north of the Arctic Circle and is washed by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast...

    .
  • Surzhyk
    Surzhyk
    Surzhyk refers to a range of russified sociolects of Ukrainian used in certain regions of Ukraine and adjacent lands. It does not possess any unifying set of characteristics; the term is used for "norm-breaking, non-obedience to or nonawareness of the rules of the Ukrainian and Russian standard...

     is a heavily russified variety of Ukrainian. It is used by a large portion of the population of Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

    , especially in the eastern and central areas of the country.
  • Trasianka
    Trasianka
    Trasianka or trasyanka is a Belarusian–Russian mixed language. It can also be described as a kind of interlanguage. It is often labeled "pidgin" or even "creole", which is not correct by any widespread definition of pidgin or creole language. The motivation for labelling Trasianka as...

     is a language with Russian and Belarusian features used by a large portion of the rural population in Belarus
    Belarus
    Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

    .

Alphabet


Russian is written using a modified version of the Cyrillic (кириллица)
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

 alphabet. The Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters. The following table gives their upper case forms, along with IPA values for each letter's typical sound:
А
A (Cyrillic)
A is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents an open front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨a⟩ in "father".The Cyrillic letter A is romanized using the Latin letter A.-History:...


/a/
Б
Be (Cyrillic)
Be is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the voiced bilabial plosive , like the English pronunciation of ⟨b⟩ in "bee"...


/b/
В
Ve (Cyrillic)
Ve is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced labiodental fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨v⟩ in "very"....


/v/
Г
Ge (Cyrillic)
Ge is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is also known in some languages as He. In Unicode this letter is called "Ghe".It commonly represents the voiced velar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨g⟩ in "go"....


/ɡ/
Д
De (Cyrillic)
De is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.De commonly represents the voiced dental plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨d⟩ in admit.De is romanized using the Latin letter D.-History:...


/d/
Е
Ye (Cyrillic)
Ye is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In some languages this letter is called E.It commonly represents the vowel or , like the pronunciation of ⟨e⟩ in "yes".Ye is romanized using the Latin letter E....


/je/
Ё
Yo (Cyrillic)
Yo is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Unicode, the letter ⟨Ё⟩ is named CYRILLIC CAPITAL/SMALL LETTER IO.It commonly represents the sounds , like the pronunciation of ⟨Yo⟩ in "York"....


/jo/
Ж
Zhe (Cyrillic)
Zhe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced postalveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨s⟩ in "treasure".Zhe is romanized as ⟨zh⟩ or ⟨ž⟩.-History:...


/ʐ/
З
Ze (Cyrillic)
Ze is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiced alveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨z⟩ in "zoo".Ze is romanized using the Latin letter ⟨z⟩....


/z/
И
I (Cyrillic)
I is a letter used in almost all ancient and modern Cyrillic alphabets.It commonly represents the close front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨i⟩ in "machine", or the near-close near-front unrounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨i⟩ in "bin".-History:The Cyrillic letter I was...


/i/
Й
Short I
Short I is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is made of the Cyrillic letter И with a breve.Short I represents the palatal approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨y⟩ in toy....


/j/
К
Ka (Cyrillic)
Ka is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless velar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨k⟩ in "king".-History:...


/k/
Л
El (Cyrillic)
El is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.El commonly represents the alveolar lateral approximant , like the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ in "lip".-Form:...


/l/
М
Em (Cyrillic)
Em is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.Em commonly represents the bilabial nasal consonant , like the pronunciation of ⟨m⟩ in "him".It is derived from the Greek letter Mu ....


/m/
Н
En (Cyrillic)
En is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the alveolar nasal consonant , like the pronunciation of ⟨n⟩ in "nice".-History:The Cyrillic letter En was derived from the Greek letter Nu ....


/n/
О
O (Cyrillic)
O is a letter of the Cyrillic script.O commonly represents the close-mid back rounded vowel , like the pronunciation of ⟨o⟩ in "go".-History:The Cyrillic letter O was derived from the Greek letter Omicron ....


/o/
П
Pe (Cyrillic)
Pe is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless bilabial plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨p⟩ in "pack".-History:...


/p/
Р
Er (Cyrillic)
Er is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the alveolar trill , like the "rolled" sound in the Scottish pronunciation of ⟨r⟩ in "curd".-History:...


/r/
С
Es (Cyrillic)
Es is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨s⟩ in "sand".-History:...


/s/
Т
Te (Cyrillic)
Te is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar plosive , like the pronunciation of ⟨t⟩ in "tick".-History:...


/t/
У
U (Cyrillic)
U is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the close back rounded vowel , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨oo⟩ in "boot"...


/u/
Ф
/f/
Х
Kha
Kha or Ha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless velar fricative , like the Scottish pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in "loch".Kha is romanized as ⟨kh⟩.-History:...


/x/
Ц
Tse (Cyrillic)
Tse is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless alveolar affricate , like the pronunciation of ⟨ts⟩ in "cats".In English, Tse is commonly romanized as ⟨ts⟩...


/ts/
Ч
Che (Cyrillic)
Che or Cha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet.It commonly represents the voiceless postalveolar affricate , like the pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in "change"....


/tɕ/
Ш
Sha
For other uses, see Sha .Sha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. It commonly represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative , like the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in "sheep", or the somewhat similar voiceless retroflex fricative . It is used in every variation of the Cyrillic alphabet, for Slavic and...


/ʂ/
Щ
Shcha (Cyrillic)
Shcha is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. In Russian, it represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative , similar to the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in sheep ; in Ukrainian and Rusyn it represents the consonant cluster ; and in Bulgarian, it represents the consonant cluster .In English, Shcha is...

 
/ɕɕ/
Ъ
Yer
The letter yer of the Cyrillic alphabet, also spelled jer or er, is known as the hard sign in the modern Russian and Rusyn alphabets and as er golyam in the Bulgarian alphabet...


/-/
Ы
Yery
Yery or Yeru is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet. It represents the phoneme after non-palatalised consonants in the Belarusian and Russian alphabets...


/ɨ/
Ь
Soft sign
The soft sign , also known as yer, is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Old Church Slavonic, it represented a short front vowel. As with its companion, the back yer, the vowel phoneme it designated was later partly dropped and partly merged with other vowels...


/ʲ/
Э
E (Cyrillic)
E , also known as Backwards E from , E oborotnoye, is a letter found amongst Slavonic languages only in Russian and Belarusian, representing the sounds and...


/e/
Ю
Yu (Cyrillic)
Yu is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet. After a palatalized consonant, it represents the close back rounded vowel , somewhat like the pronunciation of ⟨oo⟩ in "boot"; elsewhere it is a so-called iotated vowel representing the combination , like the pronunciation of ⟨you⟩ in "youth"...


/ju/
Я
Ya (Cyrillic)
Ya is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, the civil script variant of Old Cyrillic Little Yus . Among modern Slavonic languages it is used by Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian to represent both the combination in initial or post-vocalic position and after a palatalised consonant; in...


/ja/

Older letters of the Russian alphabet include ⟨⟩, which merged to ⟨⟩ (/je/ or /ʲe/); ⟨⟩ and ⟨⟩, which both merged to ⟨⟩ (/i/); ⟨⟩, which merged to ⟨⟩ (/f/); ⟨⟩, which merged to ⟨⟩ (/u/); ⟨⟩, which merged to ⟨⟩ (/ju/ or /ʲu/); and ⟨⟩, which later were graphically reshaped into <я> and merged phonetically to /ja/ or /ʲa/. While these older letters have been abandoned at one time or another, they may be used in this and related articles. The yer
Yer
The letter yer of the Cyrillic alphabet, also spelled jer or er, is known as the hard sign in the modern Russian and Rusyn alphabets and as er golyam in the Bulgarian alphabet...

s ⟨⟩ and ⟨⟩ originally indicated the pronunciation of ultra-short or reduced /ŭ/, /ĭ/.

Transliteration


Because of many technical restrictions in computing and also because of the unavailability of Cyrillic keyboards abroad, Russian is often transliterated using the Latin alphabet. For example, мороз ("frost") is transliterated moroz, and мышь ("mouse"), mysh or myš. Once commonly used by the majority those living outside Russia, transliteration is being used less frequently by Russian speaking typists in favor of the extension of Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 character encoding
Character encoding
A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the transmission of data through telecommunication networks or storage of text in...

, which fully incorporates the Russian alphabet. Free programs leveraging this Unicode extension are available which allow users to type Russian characters, even on western 'QWERTY' keyboards.

Computing


The Russian alphabet has many systems of character encoding
Character encoding
A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the transmission of data through telecommunication networks or storage of text in...

. KOI8-R
KOI8-R
KOI8-R is an 8-bit character encoding, designed to cover Russian, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It also happens to cover Bulgarian, but is not used since CP1251 is accepted. A derivative encoding is KOI8-U, which adds Ukrainian characters...

 was designed by the government and was intended to serve as the standard encoding. This encoding was and still is widely used in UNIX-like operating systems. Nevertheless, the spread of MS-DOS
MS-DOS
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

 and OS/2
OS/2
OS/2 is a computer operating system, initially created by Microsoft and IBM, then later developed by IBM exclusively. The name stands for "Operating System/2," because it was introduced as part of the same generation change release as IBM's "Personal System/2 " line of second-generation personal...

 (IBM866
Code page 866
Code page 866 is a code page used under MS-DOS to write Cyrillic script. It is based on the "alternative character set" of GOST 19768-87...

), traditional Macintosh (ISO/IEC 8859-5
ISO/IEC 8859-5
ISO/IEC 8859-5:1999, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 5: Latin/Cyrillic alphabet, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings, first edition published in 1988. It is informally referred to as Latin/Cyrillic...

) and Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 (CP1251) created chaos and ended by establishing different encodings as de-facto standards, with Windows-1251 becoming a de facto standard
De facto standard
A de facto standard is a custom, convention, product, or system that has achieved a dominant position by public acceptance or market forces...

 in Russian Internet and e-mail communication during the period of roughly 1995-2005.

But nowadays all the obsolete 8-bit encodings are rarely used in the communication protocols and text exchange data formats, being mostly replaced with UTF-8
UTF-8
UTF-8 is a multibyte character encoding for Unicode. Like UTF-16 and UTF-32, UTF-8 can represent every character in the Unicode character set. Unlike them, it is backward-compatible with ASCII and avoids the complications of endianness and byte order marks...

. A number of encoding conversion applications were developed. "iconv
Iconv
iconv is a computer program and a standardized API used to convert between different character encodings.-iconv API:The iconv API is the standard programming interface for converting character strings from one character encoding to another in Unix-like operating systems.Initially appearing on the...

" is an example that is supported by most versions of Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

, Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

 and some other operating system
Operating system
An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

s; but you rarely still need those converters, unless accessing texts created more than a few years ago.

Aside the modern Russian alphabet glyphs, Unicode (and thus UTF-8) also supports the letters of the Early Cyrillic alphabet
Early Cyrillic alphabet
The Early Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th or 10th century to write the Old Church Slavonic liturgical language...

, which have many similarities with the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

, as well as glyphs of all other slavic and non-slavic but Cyrillic based alphabets.

Orthography


Russian spelling is reasonably phonemic in practice. It is in fact a balance among phonemics, morphology, etymology, and grammar; and, like that of most living languages, has its share of inconsistencies and controversial points. A number of rigid spelling rule
Spelling rule
In Russian, the term spelling rule is used to describe a number of rules relating to the spelling of words in the language that would appear in most cases to deviate from a strictly phonetic transcription....

s introduced between the 1880s and 1910s have been responsible for the former whilst trying to eliminate the latter.

The current spelling follows the major reform of 1918, and the final codification of 1956. An update proposed in the late 1990s has met a hostile reception, and has not been formally adopted. The punctuation, originally based on Byzantine Greek, was in the 17th and 18th centuries reformulated on the French and German models.

According to the Institute of Russian Language of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an optional acute accent
Acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...

  may, and sometimes should, be used to mark stress
Stress (linguistics)
In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.The stress placed...

. For example, it is used to distinguish between otherwise identical words, especially when context does not make it obvious: замо́к/за́мок (lock/castle), сто́ящий/стоя́щий (worthwhile/standing), чудно́/чу́дно (this is odd/this is marvelous), молоде́ц/мо́лодец (attaboy/fine young man), узна́ю/узнаю́ (I shall learn it/I am recognizing it), отреза́ть/отре́зать (to cut/to have cut); to indicate the proper pronunciation of uncommon words, especially personal and family names (афе́ра, гу́ру, Гарси́я, Оле́ша, Фе́рми), and to express the stressed word in the sentence (Ты́ съел печенье?/Ты съе́л печенье?/Ты съел пече́нье? – Was it you who ate the cookie?/Did you eat the cookie?/Was it the cookie that you ate?). Stress marks are mandatory in lexical dictionaries and books for children or Russian learners.

As a historical aside, Vladimir Dal
Vladimir Dal
Vladimir Ivanovich Dal was one of the greatest Russian language lexicographers. He was a founding member of the Russian Geographical Society. He knew at least six languages including Turkic and is considered to be one of the early Turkologists...

 was, in the second half of the 19th century, still insisting that the proper spelling of the adjective русский, which was at that time applied uniformly to all the Orthodox Eastern Slavic subjects of the Empire, as well as to its one official language, should be <руский> with one <с>, in accordance with ancient tradition and what he termed the "spirit of the language". He was contradicted by the philologist Yakov Grot, who distinctly heard the <с> lengthened or doubled.

Sounds


The phonological system of Russian is inherited from Common Slavonic, but underwent considerable modification in the early historical period, before being largely settled around the year 1400.

The language possesses five vowels (or six, under the St.Petersburg Phonological school), which are written with different letters depending on whether or not the preceding consonant is palatalized
Palatalization
In linguistics, palatalization , also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate....

. The consonants typically come in plain vs. palatalized pairs, which are traditionally called hard and soft. (The hard consonants are often velarized
Velarization
Velarization is a secondary articulation of consonants by which the back of the tongue is raised toward the velum during the articulation of the consonant.In the International Phonetic Alphabet, velarization is transcribed by one of three diacritics:...

, especially before back vowels, as in Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

, although in some dialects the velarization is limited to hard /l/). The standard language, based on the Moscow dialect, possesses heavy stress and moderate variation in pitch. Stressed vowels are somewhat lengthened, while unstressed vowels tend to be reduced to near-close vowels or an unclear schwa
Schwa
In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean the following:*An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in some languages, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel...

. (See also: vowel reduction in Russian
Vowel reduction in Russian
Vowel reduction in Russian differs in the standard language and in dialects. Several ways of reduction are distinguished.There are five vowel phonemes in Standard Russian. Vowels tend to merge together when they are unstressed. The vowels and have the same unstressed allophones for a number of...

.)

The Russian syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

 structure can be quite complex with both initial and final consonant clusters of up to 4 consecutive sounds. Using a formula with V standing for the nucleus (vowel) and C for each consonant the structure can be described as follows:

(C)(C)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(C)(C)

Clusters of four consonants are not very common, however, especially within a morpheme. Examples: взгляд (/vzɡlʲat/, "glance"), строительств (/strɐˈitʲɪlʲstf/, "of constructions").

Consonants

  Labials
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Dental &
Alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

Post-
alveolar
Postalveolar consonant
Postalveolar consonants are consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the alveolar ridge, further back in the mouth than the alveolar consonants, which are at the ridge itself, but not as far back as the hard palate...

Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

hard /m/ /n/      
soft /mʲ/ /nʲ/      
Plosive
Stop consonant
In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...

hard /p/   /b/ /t/   /d/     /k/   /ɡ/
soft /pʲ/   /bʲ/ /tʲ/   /dʲ/     /kʲ/*   [ɡʲ]
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

hard   /ts/ [dz]           
soft       /tɕ/ [dʒ]       
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

hard /f/   /v/ /s/   /z/ /ʂ/   /ʐ/   /x/   [ɣ]
soft /fʲ/   /vʲ/ /sʲ/   /zʲ/ /ɕː/*   /ʑː/*   [xʲ]   [ɣʲ]
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

hard   /r/      
soft   /rʲ/      
Approximant
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

hard   /l/      
soft   /lʲ/   /j/  


Russian is notable for its distinction based on palatalization
Palatalization
In linguistics, palatalization , also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate....

 of most of the consonants. While /k/, /ɡ/, /x/ do have palatalized allophone
Allophone
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...

s [kʲ, ɡʲ, xʲ], only /kʲ/ might be considered a phoneme, though it is marginal and generally not considered distinctive (the only native minimal pair
Minimal pair
In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have distinct meanings...

 which argues for /kʲ/ to be a separate phoneme is "это ткёт" (/ˈɛtə tkʲot/, "it weaves")/"этот кот" (/ˈɛtət kot/, "this cat")). Palatalization means that the center of the tongue is raised during and after the articulation of the consonant. In the case of /tʲ/ and /dʲ/, the tongue is raised enough to produce slight frication (affricate sounds). These sounds: /t, d, ts, s, z, n and rʲ/ are dental, that is pronounced with the tip of the tongue against the teeth rather than against the alveolar ridge
Alveolar ridge
An alveolar ridge is one of the two jaw ridges either on the roof of the mouth between the upper teeth and the hard palate or on the bottom of the mouth behind the lower teeth. The alveolar ridges contain the sockets of the teeth....

.

Grammar


Russian has preserved an Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 synthetic
Synthetic language
In linguistic typology, a synthetic language is a language with a high morpheme-per-word ratio, as opposed to a low morpheme-per-word ratio in what is described as an isolating language...

-inflection
Inflection
In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, grammatical mood, grammatical voice, aspect, person, number, gender and case...

al structure, although considerable levelling has taken place.
Russian grammar encompasses
  • a highly synthetic
    Synthetic language
    In linguistic typology, a synthetic language is a language with a high morpheme-per-word ratio, as opposed to a low morpheme-per-word ratio in what is described as an isolating language...

     morphology
  • a syntax that, for the literary language, is the conscious fusion of three elements:
    • a polished vernacular
      Vernacular
      A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

       foundation;
    • a Church Slavonic inheritance;
    • a Western Europe
      Western Europe
      Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

      an style.


The spoken language has been influenced by the literary one, but continues to preserve characteristic forms. The dialects show various non-standard grammatical features, some of which are archaisms or descendants of old forms since discarded by the literary language.

Vocabulary


See History of the Russian language
History of the Russian language
The history proper of the Russian language dates from just before the year 1000 AD.Note: in the following sections, all examples of vocabulary appear in their modern spelling.-Kievan period and feudal breakup:...

 for an account of the successive foreign influences on the Russian language.

The total number of words in Russian is difficult to ascertain because of the ability to agglutinate and create manifold compounds, diminutives, etc. (see Word Formation under Russian grammar
Russian grammar
Russian grammar encompasses:* a highly synthetic morphology* a syntax that, for the literary language, is the conscious fusion of three elements:** a Church Slavonic inheritance;...

). The number of listed words or entries in some of the major dictionaries published during the last two centuries, and the total vocabulary of Alexander Pushkin (who is credited with greatly augmenting and codifying literary Russian), are as follows:
Work Year Words Notes
Academic dictionary, I Ed. 1789–1794 43,257 Russian and Church Slavonic with some Old Russian vocabulary.
Academic dictionary, II Ed 1806–1822 51,388 Russian and Church Slavonic with some Old Russian vocabulary.
Dictionary of Pushkin's language 1810–1837 >21,000 The dictionary of virtually all words from his works was published in 1956–1961. Some consider his works contain 101,105.
Academic dictionary, III Ed. 1847 114,749 Russian and Church Slavonic with Old Russian vocabulary.
Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language
Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language
- Sources :*Terras, Victor, Handbook of Russian Literature , ISBN 0300048688- External links :...

1880–1882 195,844 44,000 entries lexically grouped; attempt to catalogue the full vernacular language.
Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language 1934–1940 85,289 Current language with some archaisms.
Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language 1950–1965
1991 (2nd ed.)
120,480 "Full" 17-volumed dictionary of the "modern" language. The second 20-volumed edition was begun in 1991, but not all volumes were finished until now.
Lopatin's dictionary 1999–2011 ≈180,000 Orthographic, current language, several editions
Great Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language 1998–2009 ≈130,000 Current language, the dictionary has many subsequent editions from the first one of 1998.


Note: The above numbers do not properly show the real quantity of words in Russian, as Russian dictionaries do not have a goal to collect all words of the language, but to establish normalized vocabulary of standard neutral style. They do not content special technical and scientific terms, many lexical derivatives, colloquial and dialectical words, and slang.

Proverbs and sayings



The Russian language is replete with many hundreds of proverbs (пословица [pɐˈslovʲɪtsə]) and sayings (поговоркa [pəɡɐˈvorkə]). These were already tabulated by the 17th century and collected and studied in the 19th and 20th, with folk tales being especially fertile sources.

History and examples


The history of Russian language may be divided into the following periods.
  • Kievan period and feudal breakup
  • The Moscow period (15th–17th centuries)
  • Empire (18th–19th centuries)
  • Soviet period and beyond (20th century)


Judging by the historical records, by approximately 1000 AD the predominant ethnic group over much of modern European Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 was the Eastern branch of the Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

, speaking a closely related group of dialects. The political unification of this region into Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 in about 880, from which modern Russia, Ukraine and Belarus trace their origins, established Old East Slavic as a literary and commercial language. It was soon followed by the adoption of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in 988 and the introduction of the South Slavic Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 as the liturgical and official language. Borrowings and calque
Calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

s from Byzantine Greek began to enter the Old East Slavic and spoken dialects at this time, which in their turn modified the Old Church Slavonic as well.


Dialectal differentiation accelerated after the breakup of Kievan Rus' in approximately 1100. On the territories of modern Belarus and Ukraine emerged Ruthenian
Ruthenian language
Ruthenian, or Old Ruthenian , is a term used for the varieties of Eastern Slavonic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth....

 and in modern Russia medieval Russian
History of the Russian language
The history proper of the Russian language dates from just before the year 1000 AD.Note: in the following sections, all examples of vocabulary appear in their modern spelling.-Kievan period and feudal breakup:...

. They definitely became distinct since the 13th century, i.e. following the division of that land between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, Poland and Hungary in the west and independent Novgorod and Pskov feudal republics plus numerous small duchies (which came to be vassals of the Tatars) in the east.

The official language in Moscow and Novgorod, and later, in the growing Muscovy, was Church Slavonic which evolved from Old Church Slavonic and remained the literary language
Diglossia
In linguistics, diglossia refers to a situation in which two dialects or languages are used by a single language community. In addition to the community's everyday or vernacular language variety , a second, highly codified variety is used in certain situations such as literature, formal...

 for centuries, until the Petrine age, when its usage shrank drastically to biblical and liturgical texts. Russian developed under a strong influence of Church Slavonic until the close of the 17th century; afterwards the influence reversed, leading to corruption of liturgical texts.

The political reforms of Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 (Пётр Вели́кий, Pyótr Velíkiy) were accompanied by a reform of the alphabet, and achieved their goal of secularization and Westernization. Blocks of specialized vocabulary were adopted from the languages of Western Europe. By 1800, a significant portion of the gentry spoke French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, less often German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, on an everyday basis. Many Russian novels of the 19th century, e.g. Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

's (Лев Толсто́й) War and Peace
War and Peace
War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature...

, contain entire paragraphs and even pages in French with no translation given, with an assumption that educated readers would not need one.

The modern literary language is usually considered to date from the time of Aleksandr Pushkin
Aleksandr Pushkin
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature....

 (Алекса́ндр Пу́шкин) in the first third of the 19th century. Pushkin revolutionized Russian literature by rejecting archaic grammar and vocabulary (so called "высо́кий стиль" — "high style") in favor of grammar and vocabulary found in the spoken language of the time. Even modern readers of younger age may only experience slight difficulties understanding some words in Pushkin's texts, since relatively few words used by Pushkin have become archaic or changed meaning. In fact, many expressions used by Russian writers of the early 19th century, in particular Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov , a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", became the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837. Lermontov is considered the supreme poet of Russian literature alongside Pushkin and the greatest...

 (Михаи́л Ле́рмонтов), Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

 (Никола́й Го́голь), Alexandr Griboyedov
Alexandr Griboyedov
Aleksander Sergeyevich Griboyedov was a Russian diplomat, playwright, poet, and composer. He is recognized as homo unius libri, a writer of one book, whose fame rests on the brilliant verse comedy Woe from Wit , still one of the most often staged plays in Russia...

 (Алекса́ндр Грибое́дов), became proverbs or sayings which can be frequently found even in the modern Russian colloquial speech.
Зи́мний ве́чер ˈzʲimnʲɪj ˈvʲetɕɪr

Бу́ря мгло́ю не́бо кро́ет, [ˈburʲə ˈmɡloju ˈnʲɛbə ˈkroɪt]

Ви́хри сне́жные крутя́; [ˈvʲixrʲɪ ˈsʲnʲɛʐnɨɪ kruˈtʲa]

То, как зверь, она́ заво́ет, [to kak zvʲerʲ ɐˈna zɐˈvoɪt]

То запла́чет, как дитя́, [to zɐˈplatɕɪt, kak dʲɪˈtʲa]

То по кро́вле обветша́лой [to pɐˈkrovlʲɪ ɐbvʲɪˈtʂaləj]

Вдруг соло́мой зашуми́т, [vdruk sɐˈloməj zəʂuˈmʲit]

То, как пу́тник запозда́лый, [to kak ˈputnʲɪk zəpɐˈzdalɨj]

К нам в око́шко застучи́т. [knam vɐˈkoʂkə zəstuˈtɕit]

The political upheavals of the early 20th century and the wholesale changes of political ideology gave written Russian its modern appearance after the spelling reform of 1918. Political circumstances and Soviet accomplishments in military, scientific and technological matters (especially cosmonautics), gave Russian a worldwide prestige, especially during the mid-20th century.

Language description

  • History of the Russian language
    History of the Russian language
    The history proper of the Russian language dates from just before the year 1000 AD.Note: in the following sections, all examples of vocabulary appear in their modern spelling.-Kievan period and feudal breakup:...

  • List of Russian language topics
  • Russian alphabet
    Russian alphabet
    The Russian alphabet is a form of the Cyrillic script, developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

  • Russian grammar
    Russian grammar
    Russian grammar encompasses:* a highly synthetic morphology* a syntax that, for the literary language, is the conscious fusion of three elements:** a Church Slavonic inheritance;...

  • Russian orthography
    Russian orthography
    Russian orthography is formally considered to encompass spelling and punctuation . Russian spelling, which is quite phonemic in practice, is a mix of the morphological and phonetic principles, with a few etymological or historic forms, and occasional grammatical differentiation...

  • Russian phonology
    Russian phonology
    This article discusses the phonological system of standard Russian based on the Moscow dialect . For discussion of other dialects, see Russian dialects...


Related languages

  • Church Slavonic language
  • East Slavic languages
    East Slavic languages
    The East Slavic languages constitute one of three regional subgroups of Slavic languages, currently spoken in Eastern Europe. It is the group with the largest numbers of speakers, far out-numbering the Western and Southern Slavic groups. Current East Slavic languages are Belarusian, Russian,...

  • Great Russian language
    Great Russian language
    Great Russian language is a name given in the 19th century to the Russian language as opposed to the Ukrainian and Belarusian languages...

  • Old Church Slavonic language
  • Old East Slavic language
    Old East Slavic language
    Old East Slavic or Old Ruthenian was a language used in 10th-15th centuries by East Slavs in the Kievan Rus' and states which evolved after the collapse of the Kievan Rus...

  • Slavic languages
    Slavic languages
    The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...


Other

  • Computer russification
    Computer russification
    In computing, Russification is the localization of computers and software, i.e., making the user interface of a computer and software to communicate in the Russian language and alphabet....

  • List of English words of Russian origin
  • Non-native pronunciations of English
  • Reforms of Russian orthography
    Reforms of Russian orthography
    The reform of Russian orthography refers to changes made to the Russian alphabet over the course of the history of the Russian language.- Early Changes :...

  • Romanization of Russian
    Romanization of Russian
    Romanization of the Russian alphabet is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet...

  • Runglish
    Runglish
    Runglish, Ringlish, Ruglish or Russlish , are terms for describing the Russian-English pidgin language. They were popularized in 2000 as a name for one of the languages aboard the International Space Station...

  • Russian humour
    Russian humour
    Russian humour gains much of its wit from the inflection of the Russian language, allowing for plays on words and unexpected associations. As with any other culture's humour, its vast scope ranges from lewd jokes and wordplay to political satire.- Jokes :...

  • Russian literature
    Russian literature
    Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

  • Russian proverbs
    Russian proverbs
    Russian language proverbs are words of wisdom created in Slavic languages by Slavic peoples. The proverbs originated from oral history and ancient written texts dating as far back as the 12th century...

  • Volapuk encoding
    Volapuk encoding
    Volapuk encoding or latinitsa is a slang term for rendering the letters of the Cyrillic script with Latin ones...


In Russian

  • Востриков О.В., Финно-угорский субстрат в русском языке: Учебное пособие по спецкурсу.- Свердловск, 1990. – 99c. – В надзаг.: Уральский гос. ун-т им. А. М. Горького.
  • Жуковская Л.П., отв. ред. Древнерусский литературный язык и его отношение к старославянскому. М., «Наука», 1987.
  • Иванов В.В. Историческая грамматика русского языка. М., «Просвещение», 1990.
  • Михельсон Т.Н. Рассказы русских летописей XV–XVII веков. М., 1978.?
  • Новиков Л.А. Современный русский язык: для высшей школы.- Москва: Лань, 2003.
  • Филин Ф. П., О словарном составе языка Великорусского народа; Вопросы языкознания. – М., 1982, № 5. – С. 18–28
  • Цыганенко Г.П. Этимологический словарь русского языка, Киев, 1970.
  • Шанский Н.М., Иванов В.В., Шанская Т.В. Краткий этимологический словарь русского языка. М. 1961.
  • Шицгал А., Русский гражданский шрифт, М., «Исскуство», 1958, 2-e изд. 1983.

External links