With over 170 million native speakers, Russian is the eighth most-spoken language in the world. However, due to Russia’s enormous size, native Russian speakers cover the greatest geographical reach out of all the languages in Eurasia. It even beats out China, which has over seven times as many speakers.
Along with English, Russian is the language of space. Astronauts have to learn Russian as part of their training and the computer system of the ISS uses both English and Russian. During the Space Race, Russian also influenced English. For example, the suffix -nik, used in “sputnik” (“fellow traveller”), was borrowed from Russian and is commonly used in words such as beatnik, peacenik and refusenik.
This is not surprising, Russian literature is incredible and in fact, many people learn Russian for the literature. I’d say this language definitely attracts the smarter crowd for this very reason. Curious?