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:
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:
- У одного ученого родились близнецы. Одного он окрестил в храме, а другого оставил в качестве контрольного образца. – The scientist has two twins. The first of them was baptised, and the second was kept as reference specimen.
- Самым большим доказательством существования разумной жизни во вселенной является тот факт, что с нами до сих пор никто не попытался связаться. – The most important evidence of existence of intelligent life in the universe is the fact that nobody has tried to contact with us.
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
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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.
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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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