Russian is a Slavic language spoken by more than 250 million people worldwide. It is the official language of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and is widely spoken in many other countries. Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which consists of 33 letters, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Types of Russian Language

  1. Standard Russian: Also known as Moscow or St. Petersburg Russian, this is the official language of Russia and the most widely spoken type of Russian. It is based on the dialect of the upper class in Moscow and St. Petersburg and is used in education, media, and government.
  2. Regional dialects: There are many regional variations of Russian spoken throughout the country, including Siberian Russian, Southern Russian, and Northern Russian. These dialects differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
  3. Old Church Slavonic: This is the oldest form of Slavic language and was used in the Orthodox Church and in literature until the 17th century. It is still used in some religious texts and ceremonies.
  4. Surzhyk: This is a hybrid language spoken in Ukraine, which combines Russian and Ukrainian. It is not an official language but is widely spoken in some regions.
  5. Soviet Russian: This is a type of Russian spoken during the Soviet era, which included some vocabulary and grammar unique to that time. It is still used by some older people and in some nostalgic contexts.

The main examination body for Russian language proficiency is the Russian Language State Exam (RLE) or the Государственный экзамен по русскому языку (ГЭР). This is a standardized test developed and administered by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science to assess the language proficiency of non-native speakers of Russian.

The RLE is used to evaluate proficiency in all aspects of the language, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and it is designed to test at different levels of proficiency, ranging from beginner to advanced. The exam is widely recognized by educational institutions, employers, and immigration authorities around the world, and achieving a high score can be an important factor in gaining admission to universities or securing a job.

In addition to the RLE, there are other organizations that offer Russian language proficiency exams, such as the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL), which is developed and administered by the Russian Language Testing Centre at Lomonosov Moscow State University. Other organizations such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) also offer proficiency tests in Russian.