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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Russian Language

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what's the topic of today's video no

that's far too general no it's not that


no I already made a video on that one

yes that's it hello everyone welcome to

the Lang focused Channel and my name is

Paul today I'm going to talk about the

Russian language

why is Russian important well Russian is

one of the world's major languages it is

one of the six official languages of the

United Nations and it is the eighth most

widely spoken language in the world with

around one hundred and fifty-five

million native speakers and around 260

million speakers in total if we include

second language speakers it's an

official language in Russia of course

but also in Belarus Tajikistan

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan it is also an

official language in 38 other

unrecognized States autonomous

territories and regions in Ukraine

Moldova and Georgia and also a few

localities in Romania and the Russian

economic zone in Spitsbergen in Norway

it is also widely spoken as a second

language and a lingua franca throughout

much of Central Asia the Caucasus region

and in Eastern Europe even in a lot of

places where it is not an official

language that's why Russian is important

Russian is the most widely spoken

language of the Slavic language family

have a look at my video on the Slovak

language family here to learn more about

it in detail but in brief the Slavic

languages are a branch of the

indo-european language family and the

beginning of the Slavic language branch

traces back to a language called

Protosevich which existed around 500

c-e-o over the next few hundred years

proto Slavic split into three varieties

west slavic south slavic and east slavic

which eventually diverged into branches

of the slavic language family containing

numerous languages each russian is an

east slavic language along with

belarusian ukrainian and also rue seen

at the time that these three branches

developed there was a single slavic

literary language that all Slavs could

understand that language was Old Church


rushon is written in the Cyrillic script

which was created for the purpose of

writing old Church Slavonic until the

14th century the ancestors of modern-day

Russians Ukrainians and Belarusians

living in a state called Kiev in rust

spoke dialects of old east slavic the

spoken language existed alongside the

literary language of old Church Slavonic

a situation of diglossia

there is however some evidence that

people used to write in the spoken

vernacular for some kinds of casual

writing birch bark letters from the town

of Navarre Road in the 14th century are

written in the vernacular language and

the concern topics of daily life old

Church Slavonic however was the literary

and religious language in the 13th

century see II Kevin Roose was conquered

by the Mongol Empire which brought a lot

of foreign Turkic loanwords into the

East Slavic dialects especially words

related to political and financial

matters after the end of Mongol rule in

the 14th century the old East Slavic

area was split into two separate states

the Grand Duchy of Moscow to the east

and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the

west in the general area of Ukraine

Belarus and Lithuania the oldest Slovak

dialects in those two states began to

split and develop in different

directions in the West the Ruthenian

language emerged with heavy polish

influence ruthenian dialects would later

develop into Ukrainian and Belarusian in

the east

Russian emerged with much more influence

from old Church Slavonic

modern Russian today resulted from a

kind of tug-of-war between an old Church

Slavonic on the one hand and the

vernacular spoken dialects on the other

hand for example in 1453 C II after the

fall of the Byzantine Empire Byzantine

and Bulgarian scholars began moving to

Moscow and they were upset that old

Church Slavonic had become corrupted or

rusev eyed and they tried to standardize

the language to remove these impurities

so a unique Russian language had begun

to emerge but scholars pulled the

language back towards old Church

Slavonic but then during the rule of

Peter the Great from 1696 to 1725 the

written language was pulled in a

different direction away from old Church

Slavonic in order to increase literacy

he simplified the orthography of the

written language eliminating some

letters and some diacritics he also made

great efforts to modernize and

westernized Russia and started to orient

Russia towards Europe and French

came the common language of the upper

classes in Russia as you might guess

this resulted in the adoption of some

French loanwords into Russian he also

oversaw the intentional adoption of

specialized modern vocabulary from

various european languages like french

dutch and german peter the great's

reforms were some of the first steps in

the development of modern literary

russian the basis of standard russian

today another influential person in the

development of modern literary russian

was mikhail lomonosov

in 1755 he wrote a grammar of the

Russian language which revolutionized

the written language by combining old

Church Slavonic with the spoken language

throughout the grammar he refers to old

Church Slavonic as the language of high

style and he refers to the spoken

language as the language of low style

and he advocated a blended middle style

for most forms of writing the high style

was basically reserved for religious

texts and the low style was reserved for

the most casual written material in the

following decades authors and poets

developed a new middle style that would

form the core of modern Standard Russian

the most influential was the poet

Alexander Pushkin who was sometimes

referred to as the father of the modern

Russian language he fully developed the

idea of three different language

registers high middle and low making the

spoken vernacular a legitimate part of

the language he also greatly expanded

the vocabulary of literary Russian by

directly translating phrases and idioms

from other languages he greatly

influenced modern literary Russian and

as a result modern Standard Russian

which formed during this time based on

the literary language in the 20th

century Russian underwent some small

changes mainly in orthography but by far

the most important thing to happen to

the language was the creation of the

Soviet empire Universal schooling and

the mass media spread modern Standard

Russian and reduced dialectal variation

in Russian it also spread the language

over a vast geographic area covering all

the member states of the USSR today

Russian is still widely spoken in all of

those areas in his a common lingua

franca between different ethnic groups

and between the citizens of different

countries so what is Russian like

orthography Russian is written in the

Cyrillic script an alphabet consisting

of 33 letters which were mostly

developed from Greek letters some are

the same as letters of the Latin

alphabet but some of the sounds they

represent are different like this one

phonology there are 21 consonants in

Russian but 15 of them can be pronounced

in two different ways either hard or

soft and you have to judge which sound

to make by looking at the letter that

comes after the consonant the soft sound

is palletized meaning that part of your

tongue reaches the roof of your mouth

this makes the consonant kind of sound

like it's followed by a weiss out here

are some examples buck back back back

mal mal where we are suck suck vowels

there are six basic vowels in Russian

but there's a lot of variation in the

vowels depending on the surrounding

sounds and based on the stress pattern

of the word vowels are often reduced

when they appear in an unstressed

syllable this can make it a challenge to

pronounce words correctly based on their

spelling grammar Russian is a fusional

language meaning that suffixes and

prefixes are added to root words to

communicate grammatical meaning let's

look at nouns first there are six now in

cases in Russian meaning that both the

singular and the plural form of a noun

can take six different forms depending

on the grammatical function in the

sentence let's look at an example using

the word for sister nominative case

sister on sister I'd she tired the

sister reads genitive case sis three he

has now amis history I know the sisters

name dative case sister

but the history billet the brother gave

the sister a ticket accusative case sis


brought visit sister the brother sees

the sister instrumental case since Troy

he has reboosts histroy I live with the

sister prepositional case sister iya

nicest area on the sister on a sidenote

it's interesting to notice the cognate

vocabulary between Russian and English

and some other indo-european languages

sister his sister brought his brother

mediate his ticket and even the word for

see he reminds me of the Italian word

vedera which means to see so here we see

some clear indications of Russian being

an indo-european language now back to

the noun cases the case endings are

different depending on the gender of the


Russian nouns are grouped according to

gender with masculine feminine and

neuter nouns you can normally tell the

nouns gender based on its ending

feminine nouns can take either of these


neuter nouns can take either of these

endings and masculine nouns or the nouns

ending in any other letter the one

tricky exception is that some nouns end

in this letter and these can be either

masculine or feminine so you need to

memorize the gender of those ones

adjectives adjectives and Russian are

quite complicated

they are inflected to agree with the

noun they modify in gender number and in

case that means that any particular

adjectives can have 24 different forms

like this Wow

let's look at a couple of examples this

is the adjective meaning new in the

nominative case no be a de novo Optima

bean this is a new car in the genitive

case no vova severe no Vova after

Mabhida the new cars color so we can see

how the ending of the adjectives changes

to make it agree with the noun but it's

worth noting that the inflectional

endings added to the adjectives are

different from those added to the noun

so you need to memorize a big set of

endings for nouns and when to use them

but you have to memorize a whole

different set of endings for adjectives

and when to use those verbs the Russian

language has free verb tenses past

present and future that sounds

straightforward but Russian verbs are

also distinguished based on something

called aspect there's the perfective

aspect which means that an action has

been completed once then there's the

imperfective aspect which shows that the

action is still in progress still

ongoing or that it's an action that will

be recurring will be repeated many times

in Russian verbs there are two different

verb stems for the imperfective and the

perfective aspect basically like two

different words let's look at an example

for the verb meaning to write first the

perfective not visa and the imperfective

piece not either of these stems can be

conjugated for past present and future

tenses let's look at an example of how

aspect changes the meaning of a sentence

this sentence uses the verb with the

perfective verbs stem and is in the

future tense yana be frugal this

sentence means I will write a book but

when we take the aspect into account the

meaning is I will write one specific

book an action that will be completed

this next sentence uses the imperfecta

verb stem and is also in the future

tense yeah Buddha besides the meaning of

this one is more like I will be writing

a book in other words I will be in the

process of writing a book

at a certain time in the future or if we

use the plural form of book then the

meaning changes it means I will write

books yeah boo boo boo thuds continue

and that means I will write numerous

books a recurring action so in that case

the imperfective aspect indicates a

slightly different meaning basic word

order the most common word order in

Russian is SVO but because of the case

system the word order is much more

flexible than it is in English in

English we normally judge the function

of a word depending on where it is in

the sentence but in Russian we have the

case system the case endings can tell us

the function of the word so you can move

the words around and we still understand

what the subject is what the object is

and so on so a basic sentence might be

Corsica primal amoun meaning the cat

caught the mouse but you could also have

mush pamela Corsica or by malloc or

commish and some other possible word

orders so the basic word order is

flexible like that however in some cases

the context or the style that you are

trying to communicate in will determine

the word order articles like most Slavic

languages Russian doesn't have any

articles it doesn't have words like AA

or da if you have any Russian speaking

friends who dropped the articles when

they're speaking English that's probably

the reason so how hard is Russian to

learn well according to the American

foreign service institute Russian is a

category for language the most difficult

categories category five and that

includes Japanese Mandarin and Arabic

but Russian is in category four that

means that it's relatively difficult for

English speakers but not the most

difficult the most challenging things

will likely be the inflection of nouns

and adjectives as well as the system of

verbal aspect some people mistakenly

assume that the Cyrillic alphabet is

going to be the most challenging part of

learning Russian but people actually

learn that fairly quickly once they

start Russian is a major global language

that will be very useful to you if you

spend any time in Russia or in any of

the former Soviet republics so your

efforts will be well rewarded so the

question of the day for people who have

studied Russian what did you find

challenging about Russian and what did

you find straightforward about Russian

and for native speakers of Russian

Russia is a huge country do you notice a

lot of variation in the way that Russian

is spoken in different parts of the

countries are there noticeable accents

or dialects these days let us know in

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watching and have a nice day


The Description of The Russian Language