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7 Comments

  • I can speak perfect Runglish then. 😉 And yes, I tend to overuse the word “babes” which stands for “пупс” in Russian. So happy to see my native tounge is featured on the pages of this blilliant blog.

  • It seems that the first blend like that to appear was “Ruslish” – I remember about 5 years ago sophisticated guys who had just returned from a scholarship in the US warned us, potential grantees, never to bother prospective american friends with check (quote) “your poor papers written in Ruslish”.
    Though I must admit the scale of convergence of Russian and English nowadays is not limited to different versions of merging the adjectives of nationality – you will be surprised at the number of teenagers (and adults) saying (as if in Russian) “Vsem respect” – meaning “best regards to everyone” or just saying “sorry” instead of the familiar Russian word.
    Being a teacher of Business English myself I find it increasingly difficult to translate some words or combinations – we do not have anything against IPO/spread/goodwill, etc. But, personally, I don’t consider it a huge threat – some time ago we had nothing to say against computers, TV and many other notions that make our life so much more varied.

  • St. Cyril & Methodius day was a national holiday of Slavic culture & literacy in the sadly now long-gone Kingdom of Yugoslavia; to their credit, the Bulgarians still commemorate this on a national level. Needless to say, they’re pretty important saints in the religious cultures of all Slavs, too. Very interesting posting. I speak Russian, but am Serbian by heritage, and see some clear parallels. I am saddened by Serblish – as a native speaker of Serbian, but born in Canada, I realize its inevitability to some degree, but feel that my parents’ admonition of “speak one language at a time” (i.e. not to mix them) is tough to pass on to my own students when Serbian media in Serbia itself introduce many borrowings, not out of necessity as a non-native speaker might, but for the sheer ‘cool factor’ they bring to news reports, advertisements, etc. Languages evolve, and borrowed words sometimes become naturalized inhabitants of the minds & dictionaries of their speakers. The Slavic languages & their native speakers have all faced worse threats than this & will no doubt survive.

  • My favourite words in the English dictionary to do with Russian are nogoodnik (used occasionally in US) and boychick (Jewish slang for son or young man, also US). Chick derives from Old English, but it is used in boychick to represent the Russian suffix -chik. Nogoodnik looks as if it is the English ‘no good’ plus Russian suffix -nik, but it’s more likely to be from the Russian word negodnik, meaning a good-for-nothing.

  • One should remember the newcoined word REFUS(e)NIK in the 70-ies. Words are born to denote new concepts and things: the USA of the 90-ies enjoyed GLASNOST’, PERESTROIKA.
    The professional slang also includes many words that are all Greek even to native speakers. If you listen to computer programmers or doctors you will decide they speak a foreign language – it’s true/

  • I stopped reading the paper about slavic loanwords when the guy claimed folkloristics came from the “Russian” folkloristika! I don’t think you can get much more of an Anglo root than folklore.