Russian is the official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Moldovan regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria.
Russian minorities live and speak their native language in Ukraine, the Baltics, Uzbekistan and Israel. These are large Russian communities outside of Russia.
There are approximately 25,000 Russians in the Czech Republic – particularly in Prague, Karlovy Vary and Brno. The Czech government states on its official website that “the Russian-speaking minority is rather divided; individual groups distrust each other and their lifestyles and political orientations differ”. Have you had the same experience?
Russian, as well as its literature and culture, is taught at Czech universities. The course focusing on the study of the Russian language, Russian literature, and the history of the Russian Federation is called Russian Studies.
For notation, Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet. It stemmed from the original Cyrillic alphabet and today has 33 letters. Along with 10 vowels and 21 consonants, there are two additional letters with no spelling meaning, known as soft and hard signs.
Another typical feature of Russian is the accent. The stress varies in strength and dynamics. Why is that? In Czech and in many other languages, the stress is always on the first syllable in a word or on the preposition in a prepositional phrase. Russian has flexible stress, and its position in words or phrases varies. The stress is also flexible and can be placed differently within various forms of the same word. Russians always pronounce stressed syllables firmly, reducing the sounding of the other syllables, which is another reason why the Russian accent is so distinctive.
There are a number of expressions in Czech and Russian that share the same or similar pronunciation but differ in meaning. It is therefore important to note that Russian can be quite tricky for non-Russian speakers.
Here are a few examples of these false friends, as they are known:
We believe you will be able to find common ground, and if not,
remember that we are always here to help you with any translation related problems.
We will make sure you are able to communicate as needed.