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Russian language
Moscow, RussiaTo my mind, the most inflected language is the most beautiful one. Otherwise it is not interesting to learn a language. If we take it seriously, then Russian will be one of the most, together with Lithuanian and Ancient Greek.

Old Church Slavic continued to be used as the literary language until the end of the 17th century in Russia, and only in administrative and legal matters was writing completely free from Old Church Slavic influences. In the 18th century the secularization of culture that occurred during the reign of the Russian emperor Peter the Great caused a great upheaval in language. The old written language, whether the essentially ecclesiastical Old Church Slavic or the administrative language, was unable to encompass the many scientific, technological, cultural, and political concepts that Peter introduced, and a written language developed that was actually a mixture of styles, including the archaic Old Church Slavic, the vernacular, and the recently borrowed Western elements. A new norm developed that reached its present state in the first half of the 19th century.

Nowadays Russian is spoken by more than 250 million people, and still is one of the five official languages of the United Nations. And though the Soviet Union was dissolved, Russian is widely used as the second language in all Republics of the former USSR, in Eastern Europe in Mongolia and Northern Korea. This is really unfortunate for non-Russians, I believe, because the language is very hard even for Russian children at school.

The Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet; it has 33 letters. Spelling is basically, though not completely, phonetic, and the rules of pronunciation are few and simple. Russian has no article, either definite or indefinite. The three grammatical genders into which all Russian nouns fall are the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter. The nouns are declined according to case and number. The six cases are the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, and prepositional, and the two numbers are the singular and the plural. Adjectives agree with nouns in gender, case, and number. The verb has three tenses, present, past, and future; in addition it has the category of aspect. The two aspects are the imperfective, presenting the action as a process of repetition, and the perfective, presenting the action as a unified whole, usually from the point of view of its completion. The distinction in aspect is preserved in all three moods, indicative, subjunctive-conditional, and imperative, and in participles, both adverbial and adjectival, the latter being either passive or active. Due to declension and conjugation, the word order in Russian is not as strict as in English, it is completely free and can depend only on the emphasize. A typical feature of Russian vocabulary is large families of words derived from the same root by means of various prefixes and suffixes.

Anyway, Russian is really worth studying. But as for me, I don't know how could I manage to learn it, if I were not speaking it since my birth.

Russian Links