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The Russian Language

The Russian language, one of the languages of Indo-European family, emerged due to the disintegration of the Indo-European ancestral language. The Indo-European language disappeared some one thousand years ago, but left behind it new linguistic branches, one of them being Common Slavic. Common Slavic was used by Slavic tribes until the 6th century when the East Slavic, Old Russian, West Slavic and South Slavic languages appeared. In approximately the 14th century from East Slavic, three other languages appeared namely Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. The Russian language therefore is considered part of the East Slavic group of Slavic branch of Indo-European language family.

The Russian language emerged in the 14th century and developed during latter centuries under the influence of social-economic, political and cultural changes which started to define a Russian nation.

Modern Russian is a concentrated form of all linguistic traits found in the Russian nation: the standard language, local (territorial) dialects, urban speech and more academic nuances. Nowadays it is an official language of Russian Federation by the decree of President RF no 1488 (12 December 2006).

Russian is one of the richest and most developed languages in the world. As well as being the language of Russian nation it had great influence in creating and developing an intellectual spirit and values which resulted in world famous thinkers, artists and academics. Notable points Russian offers as a language are an unusual richness of vocabulary, plasticity of grammar forms as well as a variety of stylistic elements. Russian has one of the most complicated grammars, which can be taught for years and then still be not understood. It combines difficult understanding of future, present and past tenses, where the endings of the words change every time, complex punctuation and masculine/feminine gender of words.

The Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters, which can be divided into three parts: vowel, consonants and mute letters (there are 10, 21 and 2 of them respectively). The interesting fact about mute letters is that there are no words in Russian language, which begin with these letters as they used just for sounds of the words. Also, Russian has some tricky words. Thus, one word can have different meanings in different contexts and if the person, who was not involved in conversation, accidently engaged with others, they can be lost in this conversation due to not knowing the topic.

Russia has a contest called ''Russian Bear'', which is similar to the IELTS and TOEFL and examines the understating of the Russian language. The level of technical know-how is extremely high testing even the most competent students of the Russian language.

States of CIS use Russian as one of the international languages. The CIS includes a number of states such as The Russian Federation, Azerbaijan Republic, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Republic Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Many of these people use Russian in social, political, scientific, technical and cultural spheres. Russian’s influence on native tongues has been positive especially in the aforementioned fields Vocabularies have been enhanced as well as offering access to valuable information, texts and manuals. According to the magazine ''Language Monthly'', approximately 300 million people speak Russian, which brings it to the 5th place in popularity, and of these160 million among these people believe that their mother tongue is Russian.

As far as dialects of Russian language are concerned, they emerged in European part of Russia in the 15th century. They consist of two major groups: North and South dialects. They are characterised by a precise isogloss. People with the North dialect have an accent on the letter ‘O’ and also can speak a little bit faster than people from South. As for the people with South dialect, they have an accent on the letter ‘A’. Thus, people from different parts of Russia, can sometimes barely understand some words during a conversation. Moreover, in modern Russian there emerged a ‘Moscow dialect’.

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