It occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth, it spans 11 time zones across two continents (Europe and Asia), and has shores on three oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Ocean) … Are you there yet? Yes, today is all about Russia, and the potential of the Russian-speaking market.
Let’s begin with some basic facts about the Russian language. Which ones out of those had you heard before about?
- Russian is an official language in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It is also still widely used in other former Soviet Union countries such as Ukraine, where a significant part of the population are Russian native speakers. Besides, Russian is identified as a minority language in the Baltic states, Finland and Cyprus.
- There are about 120 ethnic groups in Russia who speak more than a hundred languages.
- Unlike the Romance languages to the west, Russian is distinct in both sound and structure. Whereas many European dialects are based on Latin, Russian is unique and has twice as many vowels and some extra consonants, endowing it with a melody all its own.
- It is the 8th most-spoken language in the world and one of the official languages of the UN.
Once we have cleared up the basics, it is important to consider that language industry usually focus primarily on Russia as the key market and overlook the used of the Russian language worldwide.Thus, we’ve brought together some facts about the Russian-speaking market which are certainly worth focusing on. Don’t miss them if you are considering entering the Russian-speaking market successfully!
- Russian-speaking people worldwide are actively moving online, with a total of about 161 million Internet users as of January 2020.
- M-commerce is a promising steady trend -- mobile subscriber penetration has reached 163% with a rising percentage of smartphone use and access to the mobile Internet in 2020!
- According to VCIOM’s latest Learning Foreign Languages survey, Russians, to a certain extent, speak English (63%), though only 5% can confidently say they are fluent in it. That means the market requires solid support from the translation industry as it has been proven consumers prefer to engage with content in their native language.
- Russia became the biggest country in Europe in terms of unique online Internet users as many as 7 years ago. The Runet - the Russian-speaking community on the Internet - numbers 76.4% of the population according to the CIA Factbook. Again, Russians prefer to read in their own language!