Alternative name(s): Great Russian, ruso (es), russe (fr), Russisch (nl), ryska (sv)

Language family: Indo-European

Language group: Slavic

Geographical use: the former republics of the Soviet Union, the Baltic States, Greece and Poland

Information: Russian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet with 33 letters. The spelling is mainly, but not always, phonetic and there are few rules for the simple pronunciation.

Russian has no articles. There are three genders: male, female and neutral. The nouns are declined according to function and number. The adjectives are modified according to gender, function and number of the nouns.
Russian has six cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental and prepositional.

The verb has three tenses (present, past and future) and also knows the imperfectum, that describes a repetitive action, and the perfectum, that denotes a non-finished action. Because of these conjugations and declinations, word order is not as strict as in Dutch or English.

Typical for Russian vocabulary is that there are large word families which are derived from a specific root to which prefixes and suffixes have been added.

Originally the Russian language was written in the Old Church Slavic script. But by the 19th century the old script was no longer capable of expressing the many scientific, technological, cultural and political concepts. A new script had to be developed. By mid 19th century the new form was introduced.