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Russian Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning Russian it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Russian language facts:

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5 Interesting Russian Language Facts

1. Russian is derived from the Old East Slavic

Russian shares strong similarities with Belorussian and Ukrainian. With the adoption of Christianity, a new alphabet was developed – the Cyrillic alphabet. Russian was standardised during the 18th century, and then simplified after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

2. Russian is the 6th most natively spoken language in the world

Russian is spoken by 260 million people worldwide, including 137 million in Russian. It is the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and a recognised regional language in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Russian is also a significant minority language in the Baltic countries and Central Asia, and is still used as a lingua franca in the former Soviet countries.

3. Russian jokes often reflect the realities of everyday life

The Russian are known to be sarcastic at times. Examples include:

4. A few English words are of Russian origin

Interesting examples include bolshevik, cosmonaut, mammoth, pogrom, samovar, sputnik, taiga, tsar, ushanka and vodka.

5. Along with English, Russian is the language of space

Astronauts have to learn Russian as part of their training and the computer system of the ISS uses both English and Russian. During the Space Race, Russian also influenced English. For example, the suffix -nik, used in “sputnik” (“fellow traveller”), was borrowed from Russian and is commonly used in words such as beatnik, peacenik and refusenik.

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Frequently asked questions

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

How do I know what level I am?

Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)

Do I need a course book?

You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.

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