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Is the Russian Language Still Russian – or Renglish?

Where is the pride of the Russian people in their cultural heritage? Is the Russian language so deficient in vocabulary? Are Russian linguists unable or too apathetic to coin new Russian vocabulary? It looks as though Russian is gradually transitioning to English written in Cyrillic

 
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Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Bausman,

I would like to address my comments to the Russian media and share my thoughts and concerns regarding the language currently used in all Russian media outlets.

Is the Russian language still “Russian”? This is a question I ask myself whenever I read Russian articles or view Russian videos online. It’s rather ludicrous to see and hear English words directly transliterated into Russian without the slightest attempt at finding a Russian equivalent. I cringe when I hear and see in print words such as пресс-релизы (press-release), флеш-моб (flash mob), промоутер (promoter), ток-шоу (talk show), брифинг (briefing), шоу-бизнес (show business), продюсер (producer), пиар PR), истeблишмент (establishment), офшор (off shore), файл (file), хардлайнер (hardliner), ремейк (re-make), депозит(deposit), маркетинг (marketing), etc.  I can go on and on…. When such vocabulary is incorporated into the Russian language, it produces, to the Western ear, an impression that Russian is a pathetic imitation of English. Such gobbledygook is not only confusing but irritating as well. Where is the pride of the Russian people in their cultural heritage? Is the Russian language so deficient in vocabulary? Are Russian linguists unable or too apathetic to coin new Russian vocabulary? It looks as though Russian is gradually transitioning to English written in Cyrillic.

When communicating with Russians living in Russia and those living abroad, I hear their expression of alienation and frustration over the mass migration of English vocabulary into the Russian language. I sympathize with people living in Russia who have little or no knowledge of English. Without the knowledge of English, I myself would have a difficult time understanding the new “Russian” language. My numerous encounters with Anglicized Russian vocabulary leave me dumbfounded and amused.

It is indeed ironic that in view of the current U.S.-Russia relations, Russia continues to Anglicize its own language. If this trend continues, it might be appropriate to call the once great Russian language by its new name “Renglish.”

 

 


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Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.