orbislingua                       YOUR GUIDE TO LANGUAGE COURSES

     rc.gif (2080 bytes)

.Russian  language courses (MAIN PAGE)

Also Explore:  

Russian courses...


Related products
   Grammar Books
   Other Products

The Russian Language

Learn another language

russia.jpg (17087 bytes)

Russian language

History and Growth

The Slavic dialect called Old Russian was spoken in Eastern Europe, today’s Russian Federation, until the end of the XIII Century. In those days, Russian language started to separate from the other Eastern Slavic languages (Ukrainian and Belarus). At the same time, the prevailing written language was the Old Bulgarian or Old Slavic, introduced by the Old Slavic Church, which had Christianized Russia in the X Century. However, as time passed, written and spoken language separated, and even though the first one remained as the literary and administrative language until the XVIII Century, it was incomprehensible for most of the population. Around the XVIII Century, the Czar Peter I the Great boosted a westernization of the culture that promoted huge quantity of loanwords borrowed from Western languages. This phenomenon produced as a result a new writing, a mixture of the archaic Ecclesiastical Slave, the vernacular language, and the western loanwords, which reached its actual state in the XIX Century.

More to explore:
Russian Language



Russian language became the dominant language of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union, and one of the most effective weapons to make the territory "Russian" until middle of the 80’s. This happened when the process backfired and produced the cultural resurgence of the Soviet Ex-Republics and their native languages. However, many of them still kept Russian as the main language for administrative business. For example in Belarus there has been a move from the government to go back to teaching high school in Russian.

The Russian alphabet (Cyrillic alphabet) deserves an especial consideration. It was introduced by Greek Christian missioners coming from Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), around the year 860 AD, when they began to Christianize the Slaves. It received the name of the Slavic saint: Saint Cirilo. The alphabet is based on a writing system from the IX Century 's Greek alphabet; to which some extra symbols were added to represent Slavic sounds unknown to the Greek. Nowadays, besides Russian, this alphabet is also used by the Ukrainian, Serbian and Bulgarian languages; however, Polish, Czech, Slovene and Slovak languages utilize Latin writing.

On the other hand, as Russian authorities imposed the Cyrillic alphabet all over the Russian Empire, it influenced the strong bilingual culture (between Russian and native language) that characterizes the area. Only a few languages that showed many difficulties to be converted stayed unaltered.

General Characteristics

Russian is an Indo-European language that belongs to the eastern branch of Slavic languages that spread into Eastern Europe. Among its main characteristics one can highlight that it uses its own writing system (Cyrillic alphabet), which differs from the Latin alphabet used in Western Indo-European languages and has 33 letters. It is a flexile language that presents six declension cases for every plural and singular noun and adjective, therefore it doesn't need articles. There are three genders (masculine. feminine, and neutral), and verbs present a perfect and imperfect aspect plus the conjugation with three grammatical tenses and three moods. Russian also has many sibilant and palatalized consonants in its sound system, which is ruled by a few and simple pronunciation rules. You can also notice the classic order of the sentence, which places the subject at the beginning, the verb in the middle and the object at the end. However, this order is flexible depending of the context of the conversation. Word formation usually uses the derivation system of many big familiar words stemming from one root with the addition of a series of prefixes and suffixes.    

You may also
be interested

Audio-only program designed to learn conversational Portuguese.

Rosetta Stone
Learn Russian  without translations, memorization or grammar drills...


Arabic | Armenian | Chinese | Creole | Croatian | Czech | Danish | Dutch | English | Farsi | French | German | Greek |
 Hebrew | Hindi | Indonesian | Irish | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Latin | Lithuanian | Norwegian | Pashto | Polish |
Portuguese | Rumanian | Russian | Spanish | Swahili | Swedish | Thai | Turkish | Ukranian | Vietnamese | Welsh

ArgentinaAustralia | Austria | Belgium  | Brazil | Canada | Chile | China | Costa Rica | Dominican Republic 
Ecuador | Egypt | El Salvador | France | Germany | Greece | GuatemalaHolland | Ireland | Italy |
Latvia | Lithuania | Malta | Mexico | Morocco | New Zealand | Norway | Oman | Panama | Peru | Poland |     
Portugal | Russia | South Africa | Spain | SwedenSwitzerland | UAEUnited Kingdom | USA | Thailand


About ORBISLINGUA.com | Privacy policyCopyright notice  | Advertise

c.gif (1510 bytes)