Anglicisms in Russian Language

Posted on February 26th, 2012

Mixer is an example of Russian AnglicismIf you hate memorizing Russian words, then this article will make your day! Today, I’ll talk about the words in Russian that are easy to read, easy to pronounce, easy to remember and, therefore, are easy to learn. Today we will talk about Anglicisms – words that came into Russian language from English.

All languages change constantly. They evolve and grow. They adopt words from other languages, recycling them and creating new meanings, while at the same time losing old unused words on their way. It’s funny how we notice that we talk slightly different from older generations and younger generations talk slightly different from us.

Languages change due to the variety of many different reasons. One of the reasons is adopting words from other languages. Russian has adopted many words from English language. These words are called Anglicisms – англицизмы [an-glee-TSIZ-mi].

Due to the cultural, industrial and economic development, growth of tourism and emergence of the Internet, Anglicisms have become and are still becoming increasingly popular in Russian language within the last two decades.

Reasons why Anglicisms are Used in Russian Language

There are several reasons that make English words feel more welcome in Russian. Let’s talk about some of them.

Reason 1: It Seems Easier to Use Anglicisms

Sometimes when having a conversation in Russian, it’s difficult to find an appropriate word in English. This is true about Russians who speak English often, for example, when living in an English-speaking country.

If you are Russian, but you speak English often or most of the time, it just seems easier to express your thoughts using an English word instead of looking for the word with a similar meaning in Russian. For example, sometimes you will hear in Russian:

Таргет = target
Паб = pub
Тренинг = training
Пассворд = password
Уикенд = weekend
Кул = cool

It’s not that we don’t have similar terms in Russian, we do. Sometimes we just find it easier to use English words written in Cyrillic.

For example:
Instaed of таргет, you can use Russian word цель
Instead of паб you can say – пивная
Instead of тренинг you can say тренировка or обучение, if used as a noun, or you could use учебный if used as an adjective. Other words and combinations would also be possible depending on the context.
Instead of пассворд you can say пароль.
Instead of уикенд – выходные
And instead of кул you can use прикольно or other words, that would depend entirely on the context.

Another interesting phenomenon is translating sentences or phrases from English into Russian and forming them into phrases or sentences in Russian the same way they are in English. This makes them sound strange and awkward.

Phrases like “спасибо за ваше время” that is translated from English “thank you for your time” and “ты в порядке?” that is translated from English “are you alright?”

If you would like to speak Russian clearly with minimal use of the expressions similar to the ones above, you can try to work on your vocabulary. Read in Russian as much as possible and practice by speaking to a native Russian language speaker.

Reason 2: Anglicisms for New Inventions

Some Anglicisms have immigrated into Russian because they express a new term that had never been used in Russian before. At least, these guys have a good excuse for being a part of Russian language. This is especially true for new inventions, for example:

Сканер = scanner
Принтер = printer
Компьютер = computer
Блендер = blender
Интернет = Internet

These are the words I was talking about at the beginning of this post. They are easy to read and pronounce because they are similar to the words in English, which makes them easier to remember and learn.

Reason 3:  Anglicisms 

It’s true that sometimes we would use an Anglicism to make things sound pretty in Russian.

Using English words may seem a little more accurate, appealing or even prestige then using the same words in Russian, for example, имидж (image) instead of образ, шоу (show) instead of представление.

A Few More Examples of Anglicisms in Russian:

Well, let’s look at a few most interesting examples:

Дилер = dealer
Маркетинг = marketing
Продюсер = producer
Менеджер = manager
Босс = boss
Реэлтор = realtor
Провайдер = provider

Computer Vocabulary:
Вирус = virus
Диск = disc
Веб-сайт = web-site
Веб-мастер = web-master
Банер = banner
Браузер = browser
Ноутбук = notebook

Sports:
Футбол = football
Баскетбол = basketball
Боулинг = bowling
Дайвинг = diving
Матч = match

Food and Kitchen:
Миксер = mixer
Тостер = toaster
Блендер = blender
Хот-дог = hot-dog
Кетчуп = ketchup
Чизбургер = cheeseburger
Чипсы = chips

There are many more interesting Anglicisms that I will talk to you about. In my next article, I will cover computer – related vocabulary and slang. What do you think about Anglicisms in Russian language? Do you find it easier to learn them?

Viktoria.

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