Russian (ру́сский язы́к, russkij jazyk, pronounced [ˈruskʲɪj jɪˈzɨk]) is a Slavic language spoken primarily in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova,Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics of the Soviet Union. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of the three living members of the East Slavic languages. It is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia. It is also the largest native language in Europe, with 144 million native speakers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Russian is the 8th most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers and the 5th by total number of speakers. The language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
The standard well-known form of Russian is generally called the modern Russian literary language (современный русский литературный язык). It arose in the beginning of the 18th century with the modernization reforms of the Russian state under the rule of Peter the Great, and developed from the Moscow (Middle or Central Russian) dialect substratum under the influence of some of the previous century's Russian chancellery language.
Mikhail Lomonosov first compiled a normalizing grammar book in 1755 and in 1783 the Russian Academy's first explanatory Russian dictionary appeared. During the end of the 18 th and 19 th centuries, during a period known as the "Golden Age", the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of the Russian language was stabilized and standardized, and it became the nationwide literary language; meanwhile, Russia's world-famous literature flourished.
Until the 20th century, the languages spoken form was the language of only the upper noble classes and urban population, as Russian peasants from the countryside continued to speak in their own dialects. By the mid-20th century, such dialects were finally forced out with the introduction of the compulsory education system that was established by the Soviet government, as well as the influence of the mass media (radio and television).
Despite leveling after 1900, especially in matters of vocabulary and phonetics, a number of dialects still exist in Russia: "Northern" and "Southern", with Moscow lying on the zone of transition between the two .All dialects also divided in two main chronological categories: the dialects of primary formation (the territory of the Eastern Rus' or Muscovy, roughly consists of the modern Central and North-western Federal districts); and secondary formation (other territory).Dialectology within Russia recognizes dozens of smaller-scale variants.
Russian is a Slavic language of the Indo-European family. It is a lineal descendant of the language used in Kievan Rus'. From the point of view of the spoken language, its closest relatives are Ukrainian and Belarusian, the other two national languages in the East Slavic group. In many places in eastern and southern Ukraine and throughout Belarus, these languages are spoken interchangeably, and in certain areas traditional bilingualism resulted in language mixtures, e.g. Surzhyk in eastern Ukraine and Trasianka in Belarus. An East Slavic Old Novgorod dialect, although vanished during the 15th or 16th century, is sometimes considered to have played a significant role in the formation of modern Russian. Also Russian has notable lexical similarities with Bulgarian due to a common Church Slavonic influence on both languages, as well as because of later interaction in the 19th–20th centuries, although Bulgarian grammar differs markedly from Russian. In the 19th century, the language was often called "Great Russian" to distinguish it from Belarusian, then called "White Russian" and Ukrainian, then called "Little Russian".
The vocabulary (mainly abstract and literary words), principles of word formations, and, to some extent, inflections and literary style of Russian have been also influenced by Church Slavonic, a developed and partly russified form of the South Slavic Old Church Slavonic language used by the Russian Orthodox Church. However, the East Slavic forms have tended to be used exclusively in the various dialects that are experiencing a rapid decline. In some cases, both the East Slavic and the Church Slavonic forms are in use, with many different meanings. For details, see Russian phonology and History of the Russian language.
Over the course of centuries, the vocabulary and literary style of Russian have also been influenced by Western and Central European languages such as Greek, Latin, Polish, Dutch, German, French, and English, and to a lesser extent the languages to the south and the east: Uralic, Turkic, Persian, Arabic.
The Language in Sheffield:
Russian is one of the widely spoken language in Sheffield by not only natives- Russian - speakers also by others nationalities those were politically associated with Ex- USSR. such as Eastern European and Central Asian who had fled Soviet Territories and had sought asylum in the UK.