Russian / русский язык [ROOsky yazIK]
Russian is the world’s eighth most spoken language by number of native speakers and is the most widely-spoken language of Eurasia, with speakers all over the territory of Russia itself, in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to the south-east, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic States to the west and the Caucasian nations to the south-west. It is also the largest of the Slavonic languages, which in themselves comprise a considerable member of the Indo-European language family.
Russian is a complex, inflected language with 3 genders, 6 grammatical cases and flexible word order. Russian verbs fall into several different conjugation patterns and are marked by aspect (a grammatical category indicating the type of temporal activity or duration in time of the activity described by the verb) as well as tense. Russians are very proud of their difficult language.
Russia is the world’s largest country, spanning 9 time zones, from Kaliningrad (which has no geographical connection to the rest of Russia) in the west, to Kamchatka, Chukotka and Magadan in the far east. Russia has abundant natural resources: specifically timber, minerals and oil and gas. It is close to self-sufficient in terms of energy and is a large exporter of fossil fuels; Russia also has huge reserves of nearly all major industrial raw materials and at least some of every industrially valuable non-fuel mineral, including precious stones and metals. It is an economic powerhouse, boasting the world’s eighth-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP and the fifth in terms of purchasing power parity.
If you’re doing business with Russia, can you really afford not to use the ablest and best-qualified linguists for your translations?
Did You Know?
Russia used the Julian calendar right up to the end of January 1918 (most of Europe adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 16th-18th centuries); the day after 31 January 1918 was 14 February 1918. The Russian Orthodox Church has never adopted the Gregorian calendar, which is why Russians celebrate Christmas on 7th January (25th December in the Julian calendar). Russians also celebrate the New Year twice: 1st January with much of the world, then ‘Old New Year’ two weeks later. Incidentally, the Russian Orthodox Easter does not always coincide with the western Easter: the same method is used to calculate when it should fall, but due to the calendar difference, Orthodox Easter can fall as much as a month later.
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