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Russian language facts

  • Over 160 million people speak Russian as first language.

  • Russian is a Slavic language with Ukrainian and Belarusian as closest relations.

  • Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on the Greek alphabet with some Hebrew letters to represent sounds alien to the Greek writing system.

Some characteristics of Russian language

  • Russian pronunciation
    Russian is mostly phonetic. Most complications arise from its complex stress system.

  • Stress is mobile and flexible and does not follow strict rules. The correct placement of stress is one of the major problems when learning Russian language.

  • There are 6 different cases in Russian language, inflection and declination are important features of Russian language.

  • Word order is flexible, as Russian is highly inflected.

  • In addition to tense and mood Russian verbs possess a feature called aspect. They can be perfective or imperfective indicating if the action is completed.

  • Formal/informal address
    Second person plural vy is used to show deference. Familiar second singular ty is only used when invited to do so or when speaking to a small child.
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