Russian language, Russki yazyk, principal state and cultural language of Russia. Together with Ukrainian and Belarusian, the Russian language makes up the eastern branch of the Slavic family of languages.
Linguists distinguish only three groups of Russian dialects: northern, southern, and central, with the latter heavily influenced by the other two.
Russian language has some very marked linguistic features:
1. It is a mainly phonetic language (the words are pronounced how they are written).
2. It uses the Cyrillic alphabet that can be written in uppercase, lowercase or Cyrillic cursive.
3. It has 5 vowel sounds and 37 consonant sounds.
4. The word order in a phrase is changeable.
5. It doesn’t use articles. Word order, use of plurals, demonstrative pronouns, etc. are used to express whether a noun is definite or indefinite.
6. It has 6 declensions for nouns, pronouns, demonstrative adjectives and ordinal numbers that tend to be declined according to the number and gender.
7. Verbs agree with the subjects in person and number (present tenses) or in number and gender (past tenses).
8. Russian uses three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral. Speakers need to know the gender of each noun given that it affects the endings of other words in the phrase due to the use of declensions.