Russian Language Resources

Interesting Facts about the Russian language

Dating to the 11th century, birch bark documents from Novgorod were penned by people of varying social status and different ages. They could be children’s schoolwork, notes sent from mother to daughter, as well as business records. The discovery of ‘Birch bark letters’ in 1951 changed our notions about the literacy rates in northern Russia. Literacy was far more developed than previously thought. Most Novgorod birch bark writings date between late 11th and early 15th centuries.

Early Cyrillic Script, developed in the 10th century on the basis of the Greek script. 


Venn diagram of Greek, Latin and Cyrillic alphabet correspondences

  The three circles contain the Greek (left), Latin (right) and Cyrillic (bottom) alphabets. The Cyrillic alphabet is used by the Russian language. The central area contains the letters shared by all three alphabets.

Modern Russian Alphabet

Contemporary Russian Alphabet, with 33 letters. 1918.

This postage stamp was issued in 2010 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the introduction of the modern Russian script by Peter the Great.
The inscription on the stamp reads “Russian civil alphabet  –  300 years.”