Welcome to our Russian English page.
This page will contain a growing list of resources regarding Russian English; how Russian English has influenced international English and how English is spoken in Russia.
Please contact us if you would like to contribute.
Our blog posts on Russian English
Babes and babushkas: It’s Russian English month!
The reason we thought May would be a good month to focus on Russia is that the 24th of May is Slavonic Literature and Culture Day which, as it says, is a celebration of Slavonic literature and culture, as well as the Cyrillic alphabet. And, being the language lovers that we are, we like to get behind any sort of celebration of language.
The influence of English on the Russian language
Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, changes in the post-Soviet societies and their languages took place in front of our eyes. We got access to authentic US press, to Western books and original movies, and native English speakers came to teach English at our universities. The influence of English became obvious.
Sayings: lost in translation?
Over on Facebook we asked fans to translate – word for word – sayings from their language into English where the translation really doesn’t make sense in English. This turned out to be quite entertaining for a day at the office, and I’m sure there is a lot more fun to be had in this area.
Do we have to speak Maclish?
It goes without saying that as a result of careful and long-term language planning, English is nowadays accepted as an international language, the lingua franca of the modern age. Thus, there are accepted varieties now such as Spanglish, Frenglish, Japlish, and Denglish, a combination, or a mix of English and Spanish, French, Japanese, and German, respectively, where English components and English vocabulary have been introduced into the said language.
Fashing false friends
When I started my education at IADT, I realized that I lacked specific words and terms to do with the fashion industry. So I started to pick up new words all the time. Besides, I noticed that there were many English words which sound like Russian but whose meanings are different.
Live and learn
My most recent ordeal on TV was a press conference following a meeting of European finance ministers which discussed ways to contain the euro crisis (“anti-contagion measures”). The slogan was fiscal consolidation. I remember deciding if I should win time and translate it literally and thus jar on the ears of so many Russian viewers, or fall behind the fast speaker, giving each time an explanatory translation (“reducing state budgets and state debt”).
Borrowings and false friends between Russian and English
Sometimes, a word entered both English and Russian from a third language with the same meaning intact, but thereafter developed a different meaning in one or both, and so, what looks like a reassuringly familiar word becomes a potential source of confusion or embarrassment.
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