Cities in RUSSIA
Russian language mapPhoto: Felipe Menegaz, Peter Fitzgerald CC 4.0 International no changes made
The Russian language is one of the East Slavic languages, along with Ukrainian and Belarusian. In addition to most residents of Russia, many residents of former Soviet republics still speak Russian as a second language. Several million immigrants around the world, for example in Israël, also speak Russian. Russian is one of the top ten languages with the most speakers, totaling some 275 million.
It was not until the 13th century that Russian developed as a separate language. Contemporary Russian took its present form in the early 19th century, and is a combination of purely Russian and Church Slavic elements. Many foreign words made their appearance, including from Greek, Latin, Polish, German, French and also Dutch. The Russian dialects are not very different from each other. A northern dialect group, a middle group and a southern group are distinguished.
In addition to Russian, the official language of the Russian Federation, and its dialects, approximately 150 other languages are spoken, both from the Indo-European language family. (Slavic languages) as from the Altaic and Finno-Ugrian language groups.
The Cyrillic alphabet has 33 letters. Any Russian Vowel can be pronounced in two ways (hard and soft), and there are several consonants that have no equivalent in English. Some letters can be pronounced in different ways depending on their position within a word.
Russian, like German, has cases, but in Russian there are six instead of four. The form changes resulting from all those cases are more drastic than in German.
I also find it difficult that the stress of a word can jump when that word is conjugated or inflected. All this does not make Russian an easy language to learn.
Some words and phrases:
Graaf, A. van der / Reis-handboek Sovjet-Unie
Rusland, Centraal-Azië en de Kaukasus
The Reader’s Digest,
Russia & Belarus
Te gast in Rusland
Informatie Verre Reizen
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles
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