World Languages: Russian

Number 8: Russian

With two of the top 10 languages under our belt – Javanese and Japanese – we move to number eight!

Russian is the eighth most common language in the world! Over 167 million people speak this language worldwide, which accounts for about 2 per cent of the world’s population. Russia is the main country where Russian is spoken, however parts of the Ukraine, China, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan, Belarus and Kazakhstan speak this language as well.

Accounts of written Russian date back to the 10th century, in what is now considered the Old Russian alphabet. Since then the Cyrillic alphabet has been updated and there are 33 letters in their alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is used for all written accounts of the language. About 10 per cent of the words the Russian language uses are internationalisms – words that bear resemblance to words in other languages.


Russian is part of the Indo-European language family and is one of three living members of the East Slavic languages (a group of languages spoken in Eastern Europe.) The few dialects of the Russian language are limited to the North dialect and the South dialect.

For those of you who are interested in learning the Russian language, it is considered to be of a medium difficulty. Oftentimes speakers attempting to learn Russian fuss over word pronunciation and inflection, however the sentence structure is often easy to understand. Russia follows a subject-verb-object sentence structure and has three only three tenses.

Check back next week for the seventh most spoken language in the world!