Russian language

Russian
русский язык[a]
Pronunciation[ˈruskʲɪi̯ jɪˈzɨk]
Native toRussia, other areas of the Russian-speaking world
Native speakers
L1: 150 million (2020 census)[1]
L2: 110 million (2020 census)[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 on regional level


Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byRussian Language Institute[21] at the Russian Academy of Sciences
Language codes
ISO 639-1ru
ISO 639-2rus
ISO 639-3rus
Glottologruss1263
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[e] is an East Slavic language, spoken primarily 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,[f] and is also a part of the larger Balto-Slavic languages. It was the de facto and de jure[23] official language of the former Soviet Union.[24] Russian has remained an official language in independent Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and is still commonly used as a lingua franca in Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and to a lesser extent in the Baltic states and Israel.[25][26][27][28]

Amir, a speaker of Russian and Hebrew

Russian has over 258 million total speakers worldwide.[29] It is the most spoken native language in Europe,[30] the most spoken Slavic language,[31] 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 ninth-most spoken language by total number of speakers.[32] Russian is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station,[33] one of the six official languages of the United Nations,[34] as well as the fourth most widely used language on the Internet.[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.


Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ a b Russian at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "Article 68. Constitution of the Russian Federation". Constitution.ru. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Article 17. Constitution of the Republic of Belarus". President.gov.by. 11 May 1998. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  4. ^ Nazarbaev, N. (4 December 2005). "Article 7. Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Constcouncil.kz. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Официальный сайт Правительства КР". Gov.kg. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  6. ^ "КОНСТИТУЦИЯ РЕСПУБЛИКИ ТАДЖИКИСТАН". prokuratura.tj. Parliament of Tajikistan. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  7. ^ Юрий Подпоренко (2001). "Бесправен, но востребован. Русский язык в Узбекистане". Дружба Народов. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  8. ^ Шухрат Хуррамов (11 September 2015). "Почему русский язык нужен узбекам?". 365info.kz. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  9. ^ Евгений Абдуллаев (2009). "Русский язык: жизнь после смерти. Язык, политика и общество в современном Узбекистане". Неприкосновенный запас. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Article 16. Legal code of Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri)". Gagauzia.md. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Конституция Республики Абхазия". 18 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  12. ^ "КОНСТИТУЦИЯ РЕСПУБЛИКИ ЮЖНАЯ ОСЕТИЯ" [Constitution of the Republic of South Ossetia]. 11 August 2009. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Law of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic on the Functioning of Languages on the Territory of the Moldavian SSR". U.S. English Foundation Research. 2016. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Romania : Languages of Romania". Ethnologue.com. 19 February 1999. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  15. ^ a b "List of declarations made with respect to treaty No. 148 (Status as of: 21/9/2011)". Council of Europe. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  16. ^ "National Minorities Policy of the Government of the Czech Republic". Vlada.cz. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Președintele CCM: Constituția nu conferă limbii ruse un statut deosebit de cel al altor limbi minoritare". Deschide.md. Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  18. ^ Article 10 Archived 21 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine of the Constitution says: "The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language. The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed."
  19. ^ Ethnic Groups and Religious department, Fujian Provincial Government (13 September 2022). "少数民族的语言文字有哪些?". fujian.gov.cn (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 28 October 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022. 我国已正式使用和经国家批准推行的少数民族文字有19种,它们是...俄罗斯文...
  20. ^ Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China (27 August 2021). "中国语言文字概况(2021年版)". moe.gov.cn (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 4 January 2024. Retrieved 18 December 2023. ...属于印欧语系的是属斯拉夫语族的俄语...
  21. ^ "Russian Language Institute". Ruslang.ru. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  22. ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). "Language and National Survival". Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. 44 (1). Franz Steiner Verlag: 83–85. JSTOR 41049661.
  23. ^ Since 1990
  24. ^ Constitution and Fundamental Law of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1977: Section II, Chapter 6, Article 36
  25. ^ "Russian Language Enjoying a Boost in Post-Soviet States". Gallup. 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  26. ^ Арефьев, Александр (2006). Падение статуса русского языка на постсоветском пространстве. Демоскоп Weekly (in Russian) (251). Archived from the original on 8 March 2013.
  27. ^ Spolsky & Shohamy 1999, p. 236.
  28. ^ Isurin 2011, p. 13.
  29. ^ "Russian". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  30. ^ "The 10 Most Spoken Languages in Europe". Tandem. 12 September 2019. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Russian". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2021. Russian is the most widespread of the Slavic languages and the largest native language in Europe. Of great political importance, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations – making it a natural area of study for those interested in geopolitics.
  32. ^ "The World's Most Widely Spoken Languages". Saint Ignatius High School. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  33. ^ Wakata, Koichi. "My Long Mission in Space". JAXA. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2021. The official languages on the ISS are English and Russian, and when I was speaking with the Flight Control Room at JAXA's Tsukuba Space Center during ISS systems and payload operations, I was required to speak in either English or Russian.
  34. ^ "Official Languages". United Nations. Archived from the original on 13 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021. There are six official languages of the UN. These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The correct interpretation and translation of these six languages, in both spoken and written form, is very important to the work of the Organization, because this enables clear and concise communication on issues of global importance.
  35. ^ "Most used languages online by share of websites 2024". Statista.com. Archived from the original on 27 April 2024. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  36. ^ Timberlake 2004, p. 17.

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