Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.

Quick Facts


Total Worldwide Speakers: 143,553,950


Language Family: Indo-European, Slavic


Spoken in:
 Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan



The earliest known writing in Russia dates from the 10th century and was found at Novgorod. The main languages written on them in an early version of the Cyrillic alphabet were Old Russian and Old Church Slavonic. There are also some texts in Finnish, Latin and Greek. Russian started appearing in writing regularly during the reign of Peter the Great (a.k.a. Peter I) (1672-1725) who introduced a revised alphabet and encouraged authors to use a literary style closer to their spoken language. The dialect of Moscow was used as the basis for written Russian.

Russian literature started to flower during the 19th century when Tolstoi, Dostoyevskii, Gogol and Pushkin were active. During the Soviet era knowledge of the Russian language was wide spread though the subjects authors could write about were restricted.



Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot


Andrei Rublev

Audio Tracks Russian
Subtitles English
Running Time 205 min
Rating Not Rated

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Audio Tracks Russian
Subtitles English
Running Time 150 min
Rating Not Rated

You I Love

Audio Tracks Russian
Subtitles English
Running Time 83 min
Rating Not Rated


Learn Russian Now!

An interactive language program, Learn Russian Now! will help you learn the necessary skills to speak Russian. Participate in real conversations, read interesting articles, and watch videos. This program is great for both beginners and those already familar with the Russian language.

Teach Yourself - Instant Russian

Need to learn Russian but don't have the time? Instant Russian is an audio tool to help you quickly learn the basics of the language. With this program you'll be ready for your next trip in no time!

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.

For assistance with Mango, please see Getting Started with Mango Languages.


Powerspeak Logo Includes a combination of scored online activities, exercises, lessons and games. Course activities include an adventure story containing graphics, audio, video and an intuitive way to track learning progress. Learners are also challenged to practice speaking and writing in a variety of interactive modules designed to simulate real conversations with native speakers.

For assistance with Powerspeak, please see the Getting Started with Powerspeak guide.

Saint Michaelís is now offering online accounts to use Rosetta Stone, a leader in language learning software. While the LLRC still has Rosetta Stone software available in the lab, this software can be used anywhere, anytime! Interested in learning more? Click here to get started.



Web-Based Links

BBC Languages — Russian

BBC Language is an online base language learning software that offers resources for Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and many more languages. Learn the basics of 36 different languages and the culture as well!

Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.


 Grammatica is a reference of the Russian language built into a text editor. It instantly displays stress marks, inflections, and translations of text you paste into the editor. It also allows you to type Russian text on a Latin keyboard by transliterating input.

Index Search Results for Russia

 An index of online resources relating to Russian history.


Language lessons, dictionaries, alphabet, pronunciation, grammar. Featured sections on making comparisons and girls' names.

The Moscow Times

Provides viewers with the latest news from Russia. Written in English.

The Russian Language

Overview of the Russian language from Wikipedia with links explaining the writing system, vocabulary, and history.

Russian Language and Cultural Articles

  Provides Russian articles to help you practice reading Russian. Each article contains Russian text.

Russian Language Lessons

 Fourteen free online lessons plus a variety of articles on grammar and vocabulary. Includes tools like a Russian dictionary and translator.

Russian Verb Help

This page offers help with different conjugations of Russian verbs. It includes a layout of what a learner's Russian keyboard looks like, and what a standard Russian keyboard looks like. There are also a few practice exercises.

Super Russian Websites

A website for Russian grammar, web resources, links, grammar reviews, Russia, Hotels, Tutor, Alphabet, Russian Websites, tutorial, exercises, and more.