The official language of Russia, or the Russian Federation, Russian is also the most spoken language in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. There are approximately 144 million native Russian speakers globally, most of whom live in Russia or the former USSR territories.
Russian is the 5th most spoken language in the world and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The Russian alphabet is written in a Cyrillic script and consists of 33 letters. There are five vowels in the Russian alphabet written with different letters depending on the palatalisation of the preceding consonant. Furthermore, phonetically it is this distinction based on palatalisation of most consonants that distinguishes this language from other Romanised languages for instance. This amongst other linguist rules are now taught as the “Modern Russian Literary Standard” since the 18th Century.
An inherently international language, round 10% of Russian vocabulary originates in English, with other words gleaned from Italian, French or German terms. Although Russian only has three tenses, and its word order is highly standardised, the various noun declensions, six case endings, numerous verb aspects and stress placements can be difficult to master.