It’s easy to recognize Russian, at least in its written form, because it’s one of a few languages that use the Cyrillic script as a writing system. This script is based on the Early Cyrillic developed in the First Bulgarian Empire, a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. Other countries that use Cyrillic are Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.
The Cyrillic alphabet has undergone several dramatic changes over its long history, and the original forms are difficult to represent on modern electronic devices. The computer support for both the original and the current version of Cyrillic saw a noticeable improvement only with the release of the Unicode 5.1 standard in 2008. Not all fonts feature complete support for the archaic Cyrillic letters, but one exception is Segoe UI, a member of the Segoe family used in Microsoft products for user interface text, as well as for some online user assistance material, intended to improve the consistency in how users see all text across all languages.
Characteristics of the Russian Language
As a Slavic language, Russian is similar to Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, Slovak, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian, just to name a few. The modern Russian has been standardized around the 18th century, with the first compiled a normalizing grammar book being released in 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov, a Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science.
A large number of international organizations, such as United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency, World Health Organization, International Civil Aviation Organization, Universal Postal Union, World Bank, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or International Mathematical Olympiad, use Russian as one of the official languages.
Recently, Russian has become the second-most used language on the internet, with almost 6% of all websites being in Russian. Even though Russian speakers are spread across a huge expanse of land, the language itself is relatively homogeneous. Most speakers of Russian or languages closely related to Russian would understand one another without any major issues.
These and other reasons make Russian a very attractive language, one that opens many doors to business opportunities as well as one of the world’s largest cultural heritages. Russian may seem daunting at first, but you’ll quickly discover just how beautiful this language can be.