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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Lena here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Russian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: Can you tell us about the Russian language and where it’s spoken?
Yes! I’m glad people ask this question before they decide to learn Russian. It’s important to have an understanding of what you’re learning before jumping straight into memorizing words and phrases.
Russian is an East Slavic language with over 250 million native speakers around the world. Let me give you a brief introduction of the history of the Russian language.
Russian is pretty old; it goes back to around 1st-2nd century BC and comes from a combination of dialects from the Indo-European language family. The first origins of Russian come from Russia’s literary language, Old Slavonic.
Around the same time, the first Slavic alphabet was created by two Greek missionaries and philologists, Cyril and his brother Methodius. Later, this language was split into Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian, which you can hear spoken today.
Later, in the 17th-18th centuries, Peter the Great played a big role in the formation of modern day Russian by combining its Slavic written language with everyday spoken Russian.
Russian is not only the official language of Russia, but also many other post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It’s also widely spoken in the Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltic states, and other former Soviet Union countries.
As you can see, learning Russian doesn’t limit you to Russia only. It also opens up new opportunities to speak to other people from many different countries!


Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
До встречи! (Do vstrechi!) “See you soon!”