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Russian Language

Russian language (Russian: русский язык, transliteration: russkiy yazyk, is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, and the largest native language in Europe. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of three living members of the East Slavic languages, the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian. It is also spoken by the countries of the Russophone.

Written examples of Old East Slavonic are attested from the 10th century onwards. Today Russian is widely used outside Russia. It is applied as a means of coding and storage of universal knowledge — 60–70% of all world information is published in English and Russian languages. Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. Russian is also a necessary accessory of world communications systems (broadcasts, air- and space communication, etc). Due to the status of the Soviet Union as a superpower, Russian had great political importance in the 20th century.

Russian language is one of six official languages of the United Nations along with Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish.

Russian distinguishes between consonant phonemes with palatal secondary articulation and those without, the so-called soft and hard sounds. This distinction is found between pairs of almost all consonants and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language.  Another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels, which is somewhat similar to that of English. Stress, which is unpredictable, is not normally indicated orthographically though, according to the Institute of Russian Language of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an optional acute accent (знак ударения) may, and sometimes should, be used to mark stress (such as to distinguish between otherwise identical words or to indicate the proper pronunciation of uncommon words or names).

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Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

Currency Rate

December 2016

1 NZD = 45.24 RUB

1 NZD = 14,160 BYR

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1 NZD = 240.720 KZT

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