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Commonly Spoken

Russian is the fifth most spoken language in the world. Russia has a population of almost 150 million people and there are roughly 270 million Russian speakers in the world. It is one of the five official languages of the United Nations and remains the unofficial lingua franca of the former Soviet republics, an indispensable communication tool across all of the Caucasus and Central Asia and most of Eastern Europe as well as Israel.

Needed in Government

The United States government needs more Russian-language specialists than ever before. Federal agencies have identified Russian as one of the few languages “critical” to national security. Among the agencies that seek expertise in Russian: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Human Development, Department of Labor, and Department of the Interior.

Science & Technology

Russian is an important language for science and technology. The second highest number of scientific publications in the world are produced in the Russian language. Astronauts aboard the International Space station speak Russian.


Learning Russian prepares you to join the world economy. As a part of the World Trade Organization, thousands of foreign companies operate in Russia. Among them: Mercedes-Benz, Starbucks, Siemens, Boeing, Google, IKEA, Michelin, Coca-Cola, etc. Russia’s job market for foreigners is huge!

Knowing the Russian language boasts innumerable advantages in other disciplines at UNC such as in business, science, political science, history, mathematics, literature, and other foreign languages.


Russia is home to some of the world’s finest traditions in the arts. Some of the world’s most prominent writers, artists, musicians, directors of the stage and screen use Russian as their native language: Akhmadulina, Akhmatova, Alexievich, Bunina, Bulgakov, Chagall, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Gessen, Gogol, Goncharova, Gorlanova, Gorodeckaya, Kandinsky, Kashina, Malevich, Mussorgsky, Pasternak, Prokofiev , Rozanova,SolzhenitsynShostakovich, Stanislavsky, Stravinsky and Tarkovsky, Tchaikovsky, Tolstaya, Tolstoy, Tsvetaeva … to name just a few!