You probably think the Russian language is spoken only in Russia. Yes, the majority of Russian language speakers live in the Russian Federation. At the same time, Russian is a prominent language in Europe, where it is spoken or at least understood in former USSR republics such as Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan—a total of 16 countries. Learn Russian online.
A Brief History of the Russian Language
Russian belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and is one of the main languages within the East Slavic subfamily. It is a descendant of the language used in Kievan Rus’, a federation of East Slavic tribes.
Standard Russian, developed from the Moscow dialect, arose in the beginning of the eighteenth century. The closest relatives of Russian are Ukrainian and Belarusian, other languages in the East Slavic subfamily.
How Many People Speak Russian?
Russian is the eighth most spoken language worldwide, with roughly 166 million native speakers. The total number of Russian language speakers is estimated to be more than 255 million.
The language is also very popular on the Internet: It is the second most widespread language online, after English, of course.
How Hard Is It to Learn Russian?
The Russian language is not in the list of the top seven most studied languages, probably because it has a reputation of being difficult to learn. According to the Defense Language Institute of California, English native speakers need to spend approximately 1,100 hours to achieve fluency in Russian.
Many people who learn Russian face difficulties with grammar and pronunciation. The various noun endings, the six cases, the correct position of stress, and the Cyrillic alphabet may seem impossible to cope with. At the same time, there are only three tenses in Russian and a predictable word order, which make the process a little bit easier. It is easier to learn Russian than Chinese, for example.
Why Learn Russian?
Knowing Russian will make it easy to understand any other Slavic language, such as Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, and Croatian. Moreover, the Russian language is spoken by immigrants in Israel, the United States, Canada, Germany, and many other countries, which means you can practice it nearly everywhere. Get started in Russian and work with a tutor.