Hi there! Welcome to my page about Russian Language.
Are you thinking about to travel to Russia? Fantastic! But I want to warn you that knowledge of English is sadly not as widespread as in European countries. If you up to challenge and can learn the Cyrillic alphabet, if you can learn Russian language at least a little bit - it will make your life a lot easier. Well at least try – just some Russian language basics. Of course there are a lot of Russian language translation services available. But they are not cheap. Basic command of the Russian language is really necessary for safe and comfortable travelling not only in Russia, but also many post-Soviet Republics, and Eastern Europe. Other option is to take with you in your trip to Moscow, Russia a Russian language dictionary or electronic Russian language translator. I’m going to help you with some Travel Vocabulary in Russian as well – stay tuned.
For now let’s talk about Russian Language in general.
Russian is currently the fifth most widely-spoken langue in the world, behind Chinese, English, Hindustani and Spanish. It is reportedly spoken by 278 million and is the largest native language in Europe. It is also one of six official languages in UN. One-quarter of the scientific literature published in the world is published in Russian. Russian language is the 10th most widely spoken language in the USA.
St. Cyril did not create the Cyrillic alphabet. He and his brother Methodius created the Glagolitic alphabet, which was based on Greek letters with new letters added for non-Greek sounds, and had 41 letters. Cyrillic descended from the Glagolitic alphabet in the 12th century and has 33 letters.
The Defense Language institute classifies Russian language as a Level III language along with the rest of the Slavic languages, as well as Greek, Hebrew and Persian. It means that it has a very high degree of difficulty. It requires 780 or more hours of immersive instruction to attain intermediate fluency.
Interesting fact about Russian Language is that a great number of Russian words have snuck into English! Most are known by all to be of Russian origin, for example cosmonaut (êîñìîíàâò), dacha (äà÷à), Cossack (êàçàê), samizdat (ñàìèçäàò), glasnost (ãëàñíîñòü) and perestroika (ïåðåñòðîéêà). But others have hidden their trails, and are not as obviously Russian: bistro, bridge (as in the game, from biritch, based on the Russian game of whist), mammoth (ìàìîíò), steppe (ñòåïü) and coulibiac (êóëåáÿêà). A number of Russian words became known to English speakers through polyglot Anthony Burgess dystopic novel “A Clockwork Orange” and Stanley Kubrick’s gory film based on it. The teens in the movie use slang called “Nadtsat” (Russian for “teen”), which includes words derived from Russian like banda (áàíäà), bezumniy (áåçóìíûé), brat (áðàò), ded (äåä), glupiy (ãëóïûé) and over a hundred others. Interesting, isn’t it?