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How Russian Language Has Changed in 20 Years

How Russian Language Has Changed in 20 Years
history of russian language
(Last Updated On: August 17, 2021)

If we weren’t constantly evolving, we would never have survived in the world. The absence of change means the death of the body and soul. The world is always changing and moving forward, which is why societies and people have to do the same. There are times when some questionable practices were legal. But as times changed, people realized their mistakes and updated their laws. It is foolish to think that we have never made any mistakes. The only way to make sure we don’t repeat them is by learning from them. One of the examples of change can be observed in languages. New words and slangs get added to everyday vocabulary frequently, which is why the way the languages are today is different from the way they used to be a hundred years ago.

The Russian Language:

The native language in Europe with the highest number of speakers is Russian. It is quite a unique and complex vernacular. Although it is less difficult than Mandarin and Arabic, learning it is still quite a challenging task. Its alphabet and vocabulary are equally unique. The dialects have striking differences between them. There aren’t many words in the Russian language. As a result, many of them have been assigned multiple meanings. By putting stress on the right syllable or letter, the correct meaning can be conveyed. Foreigners have this problem when they try to speak Russian. By putting stress on the incorrect part of the word, they end up saying something wrong.

For English speakers, however, there is good news if they wish to learn this tongue. At least ten percent of Russian vocabulary has English origins. Once you get the hang of the alphabet, you will begin to notice the English words more frequently. But there are still many aspects that make Russian different from other tongues.

russian language history

How Languages Change?

If you have ever read a literary text written in Old English, you would know how different it is than the English of today. As time passed, humans tried to simplify the spoken word. The focus shifted towards creating languages that work for the common public and not the ones that were only suitable for the elite classes. A person can still speak English in a dignified manner, but they won’t have to rely on complicated words and sentences. Every tongue around the world has undergone similar changes. New additions were made into vernaculars to make them simpler. Even today, our languages are constantly changing. As everyone is so busy these days, the focus has shifted on creating a vernacular that can get the message across in as few words as possible.

  • What is the Russian language called?

    Russian is the official language of Russia. It is the first language of the majority of Russians. And an East Slavic language, which has 150 million native speakers. Also it is mutually intelligible to a great extent with Ukrainian and Belarussian. It is also the second most spoken language on the internet.

  • Is it hard to learn Russian?

    Russian is an East Slavic language which is written using the Cyrillic alphabet. Although the common order is subject-verb-object, the word order in Russian is quite flexible. Due to its unique features, it is not easy to learn Russian. For English speakers, Russian is one of the hardest languages to learn.

  • Who created the Russian language?

    The Russian language has been around for a long time, but its literary form was created much later. Alexander Pushkin is the one who codified literary Russian. He is the who is called the founder of the Modern Russian language. His contribution to the literary Russian made it simpler for the native speakers to learn to write it.

  • Do they speak English in Russia?

    Only 11% of the population of Russia can speak English. Almost all of these speakers live in urban areas. In Moscow, every street sign has translations in English. Even the metro stop announcements are also made in English. But it can be difficult for English speakers to get by in rural areas of Russia without known Russian.

  • What are the reasons for language change?

    1. Migration: The biggest reason behind language change is the movement of people from one part of the world to the other.
    2. Trade: Trade is another reason for people to interact and influence each other’s language.
    3. Technology: New words are being added into language because of technology and the internet.
  • How is the English language changing?

    The immigration of people from all over the world to the US is slowly changing the English language. Words from foreign languages are becoming a permanent part of English. The internet is also changing the vocabulary of English speakers. Memes add new words to the English language every other week.

  • What are the types of language change?

    1. Lexical Changes: In which, the words are borrowed from other languages.
    2. Phonetic and Phonological Changes: The sounds of words change in this type.
    3. Spelling Changes: Spellings have also undergone major changes throughout history.
    4. Semantic Changes: This includes change in the meaning of existing words.
    5. Syntactic Change: The volution of syntactic structure of a language falls under this category.
  • Is language change good or bad?

    In general, language change is neither good or bad. It is an inevitable thing because of migration and cultural interaction. But if language change affects the identity of a language to the point that it loses its originality then that can be bad. It can even lead to the extinction of a language.

How the Russian Language Has Changed in 20 Years?

Russian is no different than other tongues when it comes to change. Russian is known for having a lot less words in total as compared to other famous vernaculars. But the biggest change it underwent during the last twenty years is the increase in the number of dictionary entries. Many dictionaries listed the number of words in Russian between 130,000 to 200,000, but by last year the number had doubled. The Wiktionary of Russian language recorded 429,738 words in its database in September of last year.

russian language evolution

The reason behind the increase in numbers is the influence of foreign vernaculars on Russian. The number of English words that have been added in the vernacular is too high. But this hasn’t been the only change that affected the vernacular of Russia recently. The independent states that formed as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union started promoting their regional languages. In some of these states, Russia has no speakers at all; in others, the language comes second after the native tongue. Due to this reason, the popularity of the language only depends on the political and economic success of Russia. If people wish to communicate with the natives, they will need Russian translation, which will show the world that the vernacular is still going strong.

The considerable decrease in the number of Russian speakers is another thing that has happened in the last twenty years. Due to this, the value of the vernacular is decreasing in the world. Today, it is mainly needed if you need to communicate with someone in Russia. Although the country has a strong economy, there are much better options in Asia for businesses.

One positive change that the language has undergone in the last twenty years is becoming famous on the internet. Even if you have only seen it used in cat memes, that still means it is more visible than other tongues. It is one of the most used languages on the internet today, which is partly due to the access Russians have to the internet. The overall effect on the fame of the language has not made any dent in its online popularity.

In a world where more than seven thousand vernaculars are spoken, only a few are known around the globe. But each of them has to undergo changes in order to stay relevant. If there weren’t any words for computers, emails, smartphones, etc. we would be pretty lost today. But as we are inventing new things, we are also adding more words to our languages, so we never have to face any problem when communicating with others. Although Russian has lost a few million speakers, that doesn’t mean it will go extinct anytime soon. It is going to stay on earth for a long time.

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