Published August 27, 2015
Recorded Roztoky, Czech Republic. Description for Russian taken from the video of Andrey speaking Russian 5/20/20: Russian is an East Slavic language of the Indo-European family. It is an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and widely used in Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia. There are over 260 million speakers worldwide, making it the seventh-most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue, and the eigth-most spoken in the world by total number of speakers. It is an official language of the United Nations, observed annually on 6 June for UN Russian Language Day - coincinding with the birthday of Aleksandr Pushkin. Pushkin, considered the father of modern Russian literature helped shape the language into what it is today. Pushkin revolutionized Russian literature - and, in turn, the language - by rejecting 18th-century grammar and vocabulary (known as высо́кий стиль — "high style") in favor what was in use in the spoken language. The spelling reform of 1918, alongside Soviet accomplishments, raised the Russian language to the worldwide prestige it maintains today. Russia has a multitude of dialects, which are typically divided into Northern Russian, Central Russian, and Southern Russian. The dialects often show distinct and non-standard features of pronunciation and intonation, vocabulary, and grammar. Description for French taken from Bryan's video 8/26/18: French is spoken by about 60,000,000 people in France and almost 75,000,000 internationally. French is a Gallo-Iberian language of the Romance languages under the Indo-European language family. French is the official language of 29 countries and spans five different continents -- it is the 18th most natively spoken language in the world and the second most studied language worldwide, with about 120 million learners. Owing to the historical forces of French and Belgian colonialism beginning in the 16th century, the French language found its way across the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Given its historical prestige, French has become the primary or secondary language of many international institutions including the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. French has over two dozen dialects that also span all over the globe, from the southern tip of South America to New Caledonia and the Polynesian islands. As a Romance language, French descends from Vulgar Latin in Gallia, where it sustained linguistic influence from early Germanic invasions as well, resulting in Old French, the beginning of the French language from the 8th to 14th century. French was the language of diplomacy and international relations beginning in the 17th century and remained so up until the Second World War.