Certainly, belonging to the same language group does not guarantee that the speakers will understand each other. These are still different languages. Yet, no one would argue that among people of related languages, the language barrier is minimal. So Russians who visit other Slavic countries will be able to understand their people.
This chart shows the number of people (in mill), who consider a certain Slavic language their native one. Still the number of Russian speakers is way bigger than number of those who consider it a native language. For example, only in Ukraine the number of Russian speakers is severaldozens of millions.
RUS1 – Russian-speakers living in Russia; RUS2 – Russian-speakers living in the CIS, Europe, the U.S. and Israel; RUS3 – people around the world who consider Russian their second language, OTH – Bosnian, Slovene, Macedonian, Silesian, Sorbian, Rusyn, Kashubian
You can see that the number of people who speak Slavic languages is at least 400 million.
What are the Similarities between Russian, English, French, Spanish and German Languages?
Slavic languages belong to the biggest language group – Indo-European, which includes English, French, Spanish, German and others. In the world, more than 2.5 billion people speak a language of this group.
Interestingly, Russian and English languages have some words that sound the same: nos (ru) – nose (en), tri (ru) – three (en)… Experts say that with proper training Russians can speak English without an accent, since both languages have the same phonetic structure.
Such prevalence of Slavic languages is one more reason why Russians are reluctant to learn foreign languages.
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