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Russian language

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[24] official language of the former Soviet Union.[25] 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.[26][27][28][29]

Quick facts: Russian, Pronunciation, Native to, Regio...
русский язык[lower-alpha 1]
Pronunciation[ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk] (Loudspeaker.svglisten)
Native toRussia, other areas of the former Soviet Union
RegionRussian-speaking world
Native speakers
150 million (2012)[1]
L2 speakers: 110 million (2012)[1]
Early forms
Cyrillic (Russian alphabet)
Russian Braille
Official status
Official language in

As inter-ethnic language but with no official status, or as official in regional level

Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byRussian Language Institute[22] at the Russian Academy of Sciences
Language codes
ISO 639-1ru
ISO 639-2rus
ISO 639-3rus
Linguasphere53-AAA-ea < 53-AAA-e
(varieties: 53-AAA-eaa to 53-AAA-eat)
  Russian is a majority language

  Russian is a minority language

  Russian is a spoken language

Russian has over 258 million total speakers worldwide.[30] It is the most spoken Slavic language,[31] and the most spoken native language in Europe,[32] as well as the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia.[31] 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.[33] Russian is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station,[34] as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.[35]

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,[36] 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.