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Not from Russia but Speak Russian

Not From Russia But Speak RussianWhere I live in Northern CA there is a huge Russian-speaking community, and I am so happy that both my kids and I are lucky to be exposed to Russian a lot.

Recently it dawned on me that out of the people I know who speak Russian so many are not actually FROM Russia, although most are from the former USSR.

What is Russian Diaspora? About 30 million people who speak Russian live outside of Russian Federation. The largest Russian speaking communities are found in the US, Germany and Israel.

This led me to look up: How many Russian-speaking people actually live in the US? And Wikipedia never disappoints, so here is an article on the topic.

For your information, out of the 316.1 million people living in the US (2013) there are 836,171 Russian speakers (for comparison, there are 36,995,602 of Spanish speaker in the US). And the table below ( taken from Wikipedia) explains why I meet so many Russian-speaking people in CA :

State Total Aged 5–17 Aged 5–17%
New York 216,468 24,531 11.30%
California 141,718 19,503 13.80%
Washington 49,282 13,975 28.40%
New Jersey 46,094 6,636 14.40%
Illinois 41,244 4,871 11.80%
Massachusetts 37,865 5,180 13.70%
Pennsylvania 35,029 5,275 15.10%
Florida 31,566 4,002 12.70%
Oregon 21,443 5,622 26.20%
Maryland 19,892 2,175 10.90%
Texas 17,310 2,108 12.20%
Ohio 15,672 1,847 11.80%
Minnesota 14,427 3,104 21.50%
Virginia 13,922 1,846 13.30%
Georgia 13,091 2,332 17.80%
Colorado 13,090 2,228 17.00%
Michigan 12,363 1,553 12.60%
Connecticut 11,457 1,496 13.10%
North Carolina 9,288 1,699 18.30%
Missouri 7,831 1,566 20.00%
Arizona 7,685 895 11.60%
Wisconsin 6,817 770 11.30%
Indiana 5,722 962 16.80%
Tennessee 4,270 933 21.90%
Utah 4,218 730 17.30%
Alaska 3,912 976 24.90%
Nevada 3,808 436 11.40%
South Carolina 3,806 991 26.00%
Maine 2,408 849 35.30%
Kentucky 2,208 236 10.70%
Idaho 1,966 283 14.40%
Kansas 1,919 288 15.00%
Oklahoma 1,774 270 15.20%
Rhode Island 1,740 90 5.20%
Iowa 1,683 238 14.10%
Louisiana 1,576 267 16.90%
New Hampshire 1,447 263 18.20%
Alabama 1,437 177 12.30%
District of Columbia 947 48 5.10%
Montana 893 332 37.20%
New Mexico 887 109 12.30%
Hawai'i 814 136 16.70%
Nebraska 807 60 7.40%
South Dakota 762 153 20.10%
Mississippi 725 81 11.20%
Vermont 637 80 12.60%
Delaware 550 77 14.00%
Wyoming 519 130 25.00%
North Dakota 429 88 20.50%
Arkansas 415 34 8.20%
West Virginia 338 47 13.90%
Total 836,171 122,578 14.70%

But how many countires apart from Russia actually still use Russian as their official Language? According to Wikipedia, only 4: BelarusKazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistan. However there are 6 regions where Russian is an official lanaguage. According to Wikipedia, in addition to the above mentioned countries in which Russian is an official language, there are several other countries where Russian, though not official, is spoken by a significant portion of the population. These include:

If you look at the map of the former USSR and the current Russian boarders - it all makes sense. Israel is there because of the large volume of Russian speaking immigrants (see about Russian Diaspora above), I assume.

MCB21V2 One of the beautiful and very differen from Russia countires that uses Russian is Mongolia.

In the last Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #20 I came across two wonderful articles which helped me learn about Mongolia and it's food:

Learning about Mongolia 

Around the World with Pancakes: Mongolian Gambir 

After reading about the country I am now curious to know about the Mongolian language too. As far as I understand, the cyryllic alphabet is used now but the original script for the lanaguge is being re-introduced. I see several hours of research about the Mongolian language in my future!

If you are interested in raising a Multicultural child or want to interest your child in other country's languages, culture, traditions, or food - it's a great source for such information! Visit Multicultural Kid Blogs - we are a proud member of that wonderful community!

If you are teaching your child Russian and are not actually from Russia, I would love to know where you are from!

Anna Watt

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
Category: Russian Holidays |
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