Languages of Russia

Languages of Russia

Languages of
country = Russia

caption =
official = Russian official throughout nation; twenty-seven others co-official in various regions
unofficial =
main = Russian
regional =
indigenous =
minority =
immigrant =
foreign = 15% have foreign language knowledge []
# English (80% out of all foreign language speakers)
# German (16%)
# French (4%)
# Turkish (2%)
sign = Russian Sign Language
keyboard = Russian

source =


Russian was the sole official language of the Russian Empire which existed until 1917. During the Soviet period, the policy toward the languages of the various other ethnic groups fluctuated in practice. The state helped develop alphabets and grammar for various languages across the country that had previously been lacking a written form. Though each of the constituent republics had its own official language, the unifying role and superior status was reserved for Russian.

Russian lost its status in many of the new republics that arose following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. In Russia, however, the dominating status of the Russian language continued. Today, 97% of the public school students of Russia receive their education only or mostly in Russian, even though Russia is made up of approximately 80% ethnic Russians.

Official languages

Although Russian is the only federally official language of the Russian Federation, there are several other officially-recognized languages within Russia's various constituencies. This is a list of languages that are official only in certain parts of Russia.
#Abaza (in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic)cite web |url= |title=Constitution of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Chapter 1 |accessdate=2007-01-02 |publisher=Karachay-Cherkess Republic official website |language=Russian]
#Adyghe (in the Republic of Adygea)
#Altay (in the Altai Republic)
#Bashkir (in the Republic of Bashkortostan)
#Buryat (in Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug and the Buryat Republic)
#Chechen (in the Chechen Republic)
#Chukchi (in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug)
#Chuvash (in the Chuvash Republic)
#Erzya (in the Republic of Mordovia)
#Ingush (in the Republic of Ingushetia)
#Kabardian (in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkess Republic)
#Kalmyk (in the Republic of Kalmykia)
#Karachay-Balkar (in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkess Republic)
#Khakas (in the Republic of Khakassia)
#Khanty (in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug)
#Komi-Zyrian (in the Komi Republic)
#Mansi (in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug)
#Mari (in the Mari El Republic)
#Moksha (in the Republic of Mordovia)
#Nenets (in Nenets Autonomous Okrug)
#Nogai (in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic)
#Ossetic (in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania)
#Tatar (in the Republic of Tatarstan)
#Tuvаn (in the Tuva Republic)
#Udmurt (in the Udmurt Republic)
#Yakut (in the Sakha Republic)

Endangered languages in Russia

There are many endangered languages in Russia. Some are considered to be near extinction and put on the list of endangered languages, and some may have gone extinct since data was last reported. On the other hand, some languages may survive even with few speakers.

Some languages have doubtful data, like Serbian whose information in the Ethnologue is based on the 1959 census.

Languages near extinction

Most numbers are according to Michael Krauss, 1995. Given the time that has passed, languages with extremely few speakers (such as Kerek) might be extinct today.

* Ainu (15)
* Enets (70)
* Karagas (25 – 30)
* Kerek (2)
* Mednyy (10)
* Orok (30 – 82)
* Sami, Akkala ("extinct since 2003")
* Sami, Ter (6)
* Udege (100)
* Vod (25)
* Yugh (2 – 3)
* Yukaghir, Northern (30 – 150)
* Yukaghir, Southern (1 – 50)

Other endangered languages



See list of languages of Russia.

ee also

*Languages of the Caucasus
*List of languages
*Russian Academy of Sciences, the language regulator in Russia
*Japanese language education in Russia

External references

* [ Languages of European Russia] (Ethnologue)
* [ Languages of Asian Russia] (Ethnologue)
* [ Minority languages of Russia on the Net] project, which aims at presenting the languages of Russia to the Web and at facilitating their usage on the Web (most information is in Russian; it provides scientific references on each individual language as well as links to online language descriptions, educational and scientific institutions related to the language, resources on computer-processing of the language and some sites written in this language)


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