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Russian Language

Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation and shares official status in almost 20 countries.  It is the first language of approximately 145 million speakers and it is estimated that a further 110 million people speak Russian as a second language, making it the eighth most widely spoken language in the world.

Russian is written using a modified version of the Cyrillic (кириллица) alphabet. The Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters. The following table gives their upper case forms, along with IPA values for each letter’s typical sound:

А
/a/
Б
/b/
В
/v/
Г
/?/
Д
/d/
Е
/je/
Ё
/jo/
Ж
/zh/
З
/z/
И
/i/
Й
/j/
К
/k/
Л
/l/
М
/m/
Н
/n/
О
/o/
П
/p/
Р
/r/
С
/s/
Т
/t/
У
/u/
Ф
/f/
Х
/x/
Ц
/ts/
Ч
/ch/
Ш
/sh/
Щ
/tsh/
Ъ
/-/
Ы
/?/
Ь
/?/
Э
/e/
Ю
/ju/
Я
/ja/

Russian has preserved an Indo-European synthetic-inflectional structure, although considerable levelling has taken place. Russian grammar encompasses

The spoken language has been influenced by the literary one, but continues to preserve characteristic forms.

Where do people speak Russian?