My foreign students often ask me if there’re any dialects in Russian.
In the follow article I tell why we don’t have hardly any dialects in Russian in spite of the huge territorry and very different regions.
The article is available in two version: in Russian and in English.
This is the link to the English version:


I was also very curious to know about this phenomenon, but in this podcast it is well explained, so now it seems logical to me. It’s good that this article is recorded in English as well, because I don’t speak Russian. Thanks a lot for this interesting podcast!


…and the russian version ?

: )

Maths, here you have a Russian version:

I’m sorry, Maths, here is the link to the Russian dialects in Russian:

Good article! :slight_smile:

Yes, good article. Thanks! It is especially nice to hear the examples of okanye, akanye and otherwise.

About Russian’s dialects.

It is a site of Institut of Russian’s language. This Institute defines rules of Russian spelling and Russian grammar.
But there is not any central organization which defines norm of English one, I think
Thus Russian is more centralized, then English.
Therefore there more variants of English

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astrosl. The articles and books are really detailed. The material listed on the site is interesting, and introductory works there, such as by Горшкова, I could probably handle. Thanks very much.

You’re right about English not being centralized, that’s for sure.

Thanks for the link @astrosl, i’ll be trying to read that later.

As far as I know, diversity of english regional accents (in the UK) is due to the large amount of time english has been spoken here (about 1500 years), so plenty of time for regional variations to arise. The main dialect regions (midlands , south-east, south-west, north etc) are still roughly divided along the territories of the original germanic tribes, and sometimes still carry the name of those tribes. e.g Sussex = South Saxon, Wessex = West Saxon.

By contrast, much of Russian land past the Urals, into Siberia, central Asia and the far east, has been populated by russian speaking people comparatively recently, in the last few hundred years. So, not as much time for regional differences to develop.

I think about different dialects.
It is important people understands talking.
Now peoples from different countries use English for their conversation.
Maybe difference pronounce.
Maybe difference spelling.

Within these limits dialects are not very important.
Maybe I wrong?

There are a good number of varying accents in the US as well, and we have only been speaking English there for a few hundred years as well. In fact I am somewhat surprised that American English pronunciation has diverged so greatly from UK English pronunciation in such a short time.

I think in the case of the US, the dialect regions have diverged in a relatively short time due to the faster and bigger waves of history that have influenced such a huge nation in a comparatively short period.

The South had the english spoken by wealthy plantation owning families, later influenced by the english learned and spoken by the slave population, The North-east, in contrast to the south was influenced by different waves of mainly white european migrants. I’ve seen somewhere that some features of New York dialect map onto Yiddish and Russian constructions.

Quite where a blue collar Boston accents comes from, I can’t even guess : )

@astrosl - Correct, most of the time people can understand each other, across their different accents. Though I have seen scottish-english with subtitles for American TV.

I’m Russian and I didn’t share Evgueny’s opinion about soviet radio influence. At least to the extent that dialects could be diminished by 50 years working radio :slight_smile: It’s an absolute nonsense for me. I was shocked when I read this :slight_smile: Really I dont know why Russian dont have dialects but am sure not for a radio…

I couldn’t find any mention in russian internet about strong dialects until soviet period. If they were I am sure all Russians would know about it from the classic literature.
Wiki says that in 19 century there were 5 dialects in all russia two of them we have today - okanie & akanie But they are too weak to be dialects…

I think maybe it is because Russian language just has simple pronunciation and very complex grammar. For example English has more simple grammar rules so they need more complex pronunciation to keep balance so to speak :)) And chinese has a most simple gramar of this 3 languages and most complex pronunciation. (So they have so much different dialects!) That theory is much better for me than soviet radio :wink:

Wiki says:

массовый интерес к русским говорам среди учёных появился только с середины XIX века. … Среди предложенных в то время вариантов членения русского языка … наиболее известен вариант В. И. Даля[13], в котором он выделил основные наречия (северное и восточное окающие и западное и южное акающие), а также смешанные: сибирское, новороссийское и донское[12].

PS correct my English, plzzzzzzzzzz

@Polk00 Everybody can have an own opinion.
But I as a philologist know that in 19th century we had different dialects that could be collected in 4-5 groups that Dal’ had made.
But gradually (not at once) they diminished by the strong influence (I believe in it) of the standards from Moscow radio and after that the soviet TV.
I as a student was in the Pskow region where we were writing the rest of these dialects (very strong dialects!) in the 1970s, but I was there 2 years ago and discovered that these dialects died out during last 30 years almost completely.

Обычно по говору сразу можно определить, что человек приехал из другого района России. Речь скобарей(псковичей) имеет свои особенности. Как впрочем, и речь людей из других регионов. И обычно , если я приезжаю в другой город, то быстро по моей речи определяют, что я “приезжая”. И я прилагаю определенные усилия, чтобы понимать местную речь. Когда были устные вступительные экзамены в университет, то в приемной комиссии мы быстро определяли кто откуда приехал.