The Russian Language
Russian is a synthetic and inflectional language, i.e. more than 90% of grammatical forms are conveyed by means of suffixes, prefixes, inflections, postfixes. There are also a lot of irregular forms and exceptions.
For example, the initial form (infinitive), “прийти” meaning come:
- Я пришел – I came (man)
- Я пришла – I came (woman)
- Я приду – I’ll come (both man and woman)
In Russian they distinguish fifteen parts of speech (noun, adjective, numeral, pronoun, verb, participle, adverbial participle, adverb, a category of state, preposition, conjunction, particle, modal words, interjections, imitative words), six of them are changeable, i.e. they have various grammatical forms and should be grammatically agreed with each other.
Веселый (adj.) танцующий (part.) мужчина (noun.) зашел (verb) в дом = The merry dancing man came home. Веселая танцующая женщина зашла в дом = The merry dancing woman came home.
There is a category of gender in Russian. They distinguish four genders: masculine, feminine, neutral and common, which are grammatically expressed. For example, the English phrase ‘I agree with…” can refer to both a man and a woman, and in Russian the man has to say ‘Я согласен с…’, and the woman ‘Я согласна с…’
In Russian there is no strict word order and the same idea can be realized with different syntactical constructions.
Rules of punctuation are quite complicated, detailed and very strict, i.e. any punctuation mistake is a gross mistake.
In Russian, rules of spelling and those of orthoepy often contradict each other. For example, the word ‘milk’ in Russian is pronounced as ‘малако’ (malako) and is written as ‘молоко’ (moloko).
Russia is one of the biggest countries in the world, it is a federation and within its territory there live many nationalities speaking different languages and dialects. But, nevertheless, Russia has only one official language. Spoken Russian, and its written form, is the only variant published in dictionaries and reference books.
There is a grammatical category of animate and inanimate, which is not always semantically and logically defined. For example, the word ‘corpse’ is inanimate while the word ‘dead person’ is animated, and the word ‘doll’ is also animated.
In Russian, a comma is used as a decimal mark instead of a dot and chevrons (« ») are used for quotation marks.