East Slavic language / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Russian (русский язык, russkij jazyk, IPA: [ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk]) is an East Slavic language mainly spoken in Russia. It is the native language of the Russians and belongs to the Indo-European language family. It is one of four living East Slavic languages,[lower-alpha 8] and is also a part of the larger Balto-Slavic languages. It was the de facto and de jure official language of the former Soviet Union. Russian has remained an official language in independent Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is still commonly used as a lingua franca in Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and to a lesser extent in the Baltic states and Israel.
|русский язык[lower-alpha 1]|
|Pronunciation||[ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk] (listen)|
|Native to||Russia, other areas of the former Soviet Union|
|150 million (2012)|
L2 speakers: 110 million (2012)
|Cyrillic (Russian alphabet)|
Official language in
As inter-ethnic language but with no official status, or as official in regional level
|Regulated by||Russian Language Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences|
Russian is a majority language
Russian is a minority language
Russian has over 258 million total speakers worldwide. It is the most spoken Slavic language, and the most spoken native language in Europe, as well as the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia. It is the world's seventh-most spoken language by number of native speakers, and the world's eighth-most spoken language by total number of speakers. Russian is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station, as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Russian is written using the Russian alphabet of the Cyrillic script; it distinguishes between consonant phonemes with palatal secondary articulation and those without—the so-called "soft" and "hard" sounds. Almost every consonant has a hard or soft counterpart, and the distinction is a prominent feature of the language. Another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels. Stress, which is often unpredictable, is not normally indicated orthographically, though an optional acute accent may be used to mark stress – such as to distinguish between homographic words (e.g. замо́к (zamók, 'lock') and за́мок (zámok, 'castle')), or to indicate the proper pronunciation of uncommon words or names.