The Russian Federation is a country belonging to Europe and Asia, whose capital is Moscow. It has a population of 147 million inhabitants (9th) and an area of 17,098,246 km 2 (the largest country in the world). Its development index is very high (49th) and its official currency is the ruble. But what language is spoken in Russia?
What language do they speak in Russia?
Russia has one official language, Russian.
However, each Russian republic has the right to decide its own official languages, along with Russian:
|Idiom||Number of speakers in Russia||Republic|
|Cabardian||516,000||Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkesia|
|Chechen||1,350,000||Chechnya and Dagestan|
|Karachay-Balkar||305,000||Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkesia|
|Nogayo||87,100||Karachayevo-Cherkesia and Dagestan|
|Ossetian||451,000||North Ossetia – Alania|
In addition, Karelian (25,600 speakers), Veps (1,640), and Finnish (38,900) are included as minority languages in the Republic of Karelia. It is, therefore, the only republic in Russia that has only Russian as its only official language.
Despite the fact that Russia is made up of 80% Russians, 97% receive education only (or almost all) in Russian. In total, there are 115 languages in Russia. Although many have a sufficient number of speakers, some of them are in danger of extinction: Ter Sami (2 speakers), Aleut (5), Votic (25), Enets (40), Orok (47), Tofalar (93) and udege(100).
The most widely spoken immigrant languages are: German (2,070,000 speakers), Ukrainian (1,130,000), Kazakh (401,000), Pontic Greek (358,000), North Uzbek (253,500), Belarusian (174,000), Georgian (171,000), Turkish (146,000), Tajik (142,000), Romanian (117,000), Italian (83,200), Kyrgyz (80,300), Mandarin Chinese (70,700), Arabic (46,800), Greek (42,500), Northern Kurdish (34,700), Japanese (33,900), Lithuanian (31,300), Latvian (30,100), Bulgarian (22,900), Hebrew (18,800) and Estonian (15,600). There are only 3,000 Spanish speakers.
Regarding education, 15% of Russians know a foreign language. Of this 15% mentioned, 80% are English, 16% German, 4% French, 2% Turkish and 9% others. In total, English is spoken by 11% of the Russian population (especially young people in large urban areas).
But English was not always the first choice. French was a language in common use among the upper classes in the 18th-19th centuries, thanks to the pro-European spirit of Peter the Great. Its use began to decline after the Napoleonic wars.
The russian language
Russian (русский язык ) is spoken by 96% of the population. It is the language with the most native speakers in Europe and is the most widely spoken Slavic language in the world. More than ¼ of scientific publications worldwide are written in Russian. It is also one of the six official languages of the UN.
Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which consists of 33 letters since the year 1918 (4 were removed). This alphabet was made in the 10th century, in Bulgaria, by the brothers Cyril (hence the name of the alphabet) and Methodius.
Despite the great extension of Russia, the language remains quite homogeneous throughout the territory. In addition, a linguistic leveling was carried out in 1900, to equalize the dialects. But despite this, there are still differences, especially in vocabulary and pronunciation. The standard language is based on the Muscovite dialect.
Share which languages are spoken in Russia.