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This particular resource links to the Wikipedia entry on the Russian language. This entry contains loads of information for the curious reader as well as for the serious Russian language learner, including historical and linguistic data.
Use this resource to become familiar with the Russian language and its context in today's world, to discover facts and linguistic data about Russian and its many varieties, access further information about and resources for learning Russian, and much more.
Russian (русский язык), transliteration: Russkiy yazyk, [ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk]) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of three (or, according to some authorities, four) living members of the East Slavic languages; the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn, often considered a dialect of Ukrainian).
Written examples of Old East Slavonic are attested from the 10th century onwards. While Russian preserves much of East Slavonic grammar and a Common Slavonic word base, modern Russian exhibits a large stock of borrowed international vocabulary for politics, science, and technology. Due to the status of the Soviet Union as a superpower, Russian had great political importance in the 20th century. Hence, the language is still one of the official languages of the United Nations.
Russian has palatal secondary articulation of consonants, the so-called soft and hard sounds. This distinction is found in almost all consonant phonemes and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language. Another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels, which is not entirely unlike that of English. Stress in Russian is generally quite unpredictable and can be placed on almost any syllable. Syllabic stress is one of the most difficult aspects for foreign language learners.
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