Why Study Russian

Russian in the World

There are approximately 5,000 languages used throughout the world today, of which some 130 are spoken by more than one million people and seventy by more than five million. Russian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, which includes English and the other Germanic languages, the Romance languages and other languages of Europe, the middle East, and the Asian subcontinent. Russian belongs to the Slavic group of languages, which is divided into West Slavic (Czech, Slovak, Polish, and Sorbian), South Slavic (Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian, and Slovenian), and East Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian).

See ReesWeb for Russian and Eastern European Studies on the Internet. This is a comprehensive resource for Slavic languages and literatures.

UN Logo Russian is the native language of some 150 million citizens of the Russian Federal Republic It is one of the five official languages of the UN, and ranks with English, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, and Spanish as a major world language. What is more, Russian remains the unofficial lingua franca of the former Soviet republics, an indispensable communications tool across all of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Russian is a major language for scientific publication, and it is an increasingly important language for business and trade as Russian institutions, both public and private, integrate with their European and American counterparts. Although for the moment the country is not an economic or military superpower, Russia still exerts considerable political influence around the world, and there will always be a need for American specialists in Russian affairs.
In a complex ethnic, linguistic, political, and economic environment, each nation places priorities on the foreign languages most important for its economic and political life, and each individual chooses the foreign language most important for his or her interests and needs. For many citizens of the United States, Russian will be of great importance in the twenty-first century.

next Russia as a Culture of Language
and Russian as a Language of Culture