Russian is a member of the East Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. In addition to being the most extensively used of the Slavic languages, Russian can also be found over the widest physical area. Out of a total of approximately 260 million speakers worldwide (according to a 2012 survey), over 150 million people – about 99.4% of the Russian population – claim Russian as their first language, making it the 8th most spoken native language in the world.
Besides being one of six official languages of the United Nations, Russian is spoken as either a first or additional language in many countries in the world, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, to name just a few. Furthermore, since 1975 Russian has also been one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station.
The “Golden Age” (from the end of the 18th to 19th centuries) saw the standardisation of the Russian language, resulting in it being used as the national literary language. As a result, 94% of Russian students receive their teaching mainly in Russian.
Throughout the eras, Russian has been influenced by many languages, including Greek, Latin, Polish, Dutch, French, Italian, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Russian is a relatively consistent language, although there exists a large number of dialects. Standard Russian is used throughout the country for written and spoken purposes, with multiple smaller-scale variations being used depending on location. Some linguists divide Russian dialects into two primary regional groups, namely Northern and Southern; while others prefer three groups – Northern, Central and Southern.
The Russian speaking countries of the former Soviet Union are systematically substituting Russian with their own local languages, thereby slowly reducing the number of Russian speakers in the world.
At Language Inc., a professional language service supplier, we are able to assist you with your translation requests. Please visit our website (https://www.language-inc.org/en/services/languages ) to view the list of languages we can translate into and from to assist you to reach your target audience. Whether you need a translation into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa or any other language listed, please feel free to be in contact with us.
If you are in a business that involves overseas trade you will know the importance of accurate translation and use of languages. You will most likely also understand the major world languages that are now prevalent, as it is no longer the case that English is all you need to know. The gulf in culture between the West and the East can be difficult to comprehend to those who are not already used to it; for example, Mandarin Chinese – a very widely used language spoken by billions of people – is so different from our understanding of written language that it can be baffling.
At Language Inc. – a leading name in the translation and language solutions industry – we are aware of the common business languages and offer a full range of copy and editing services in all of these, but we believe there will be important languages you have overlooked that you will likely come across. Russian is one, and it is a very important language in business terms as this is a country that has reserves of some of the most important minerals and raw materials in the world. Thanks to the rise to prominence of Brazil, Portuguese is also increasingly used, and we can provide full services in both.
Often overlooked is Hindi, a language spoken by many millions in and around India – a country with a rapidly expanding industrial base – and you may also overlook both Arabic and French, which are widely spoken in many powerful and fast growing industrial countries. At Language Inc. we are always aware of the need for services in such languages, and we use only native speakers who are experienced and highly trained. Whatever language you need us to work with we can, so get in touch with Language Inc. right now for the best language solutions around.
Background and status
Belarusian, together with Russian, is the official language of the Republic of Belarus, and in some parts of Poland. It’s spoken by about 7 to 9 million people in 16 countries, mainly concentrated in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Poland. The language is also known as White Ruthenian or White Russian (not to be confused with the “White” Russians who fought against the communists after the Russian Revolution of 1917).
After the collapse of the Communist regime, Belarusian naturally strived to re-establish its former prestige and popularity. Unfortunately, this proved to be quite a difficult task as generations of Belarusians have grown up in a Russian-speaking environment and have been socialised in a russophone educational system. Thus the language, being rejected by the Belarusians, struggled through reforms and protests, until it was established as the second official language along with Russian, which it remains today. Another attempt was made by a group of linguists and patriots in 2005 to establish a new internal standard, and although it was gladly embraced by the people, not much has changed regarding the use of the language.
Growth and usage
Since the 2010s, however, the situation around Belarusian has started to slightly change due to the efforts of language advocacy institutions, individual representatives of such educational, cultural, scientific and linguistic organisations, and the endeavours of pro-Belarusian public figures from media and communication fields, musicians, philosophers, entrepreneurs and benefactors. Despite losing its exclusiveness in the 1995 Belarusian referendum, new signs about Belarusian can be seen to trickle down into the life of the Belarusian society with advertising campaigns supporting the cause (outdoor billboards promoting and acquainting with the Belarusian language, branding campaigns for the leading telecommunication providers like Velcom, etc.), the simplified version of the Belarusian Latin alphabet on the metro map being introduced into the messages of the transport network, and dedicated advertising festivals upholding marketing communication in Belarusian.