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The Impact Of English Loanwords On Russian Language

3819 words - 16 pages

The impact of English loanwords on the Russian lexis
for the recent decades

Russian people for a long time have been involved into the political, commercial, scientific and cultural relations with other nations. At the same time the Russian language has been replenished with words from other languages. Loanwords from ancient languages Greek and Latin, words from Dutch, German, Polish, Ukraine and other languages mastered the Russian language in different historical periods without prejudice to its national identity, but rather enriched and expanded its range. Those words named new things, products, concepts, etc. Russian language vocabulary contains approximately 10% of ...view middle of the document...

Many Foreign negotiations are conducted in English, which is labeled as lingua franca. For example Chinese-Russian or Japanese-Russian negotiations are not infrequently conducted in English (Proshina 2006).
High prestige of English words is revealed in a great number of Anglicized words in advertisement, brand names, company names, and others (A11, Hi-tech, Charmzone, Outhall, Pacific Tourservice, etc.). English words are associated with elite style, success, and progress (image-maker, gym, diving, weekend, shopping, engineering, consulting, training, player, etc.). English loans are used as euphemisms, often due to their greater prestige (for instance, office manager instead of secretary). It is interesting that one can see or hear obscene English-american words instead of Russian ones because they seem to be sound less insulting than similar Russian words. Academic Yevgeny Chelyshev, the Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, states that in the American word "killer" the negative assessment contained in the Russian word "ubiytsa" had blurred and the appearance of such kind of words is dangerous for the recipient language because it destroys its national basis.
"Skazat’ cheloveku ty ubiytsa – eto vynesti emu surovy prigovor, a nazvat ego killerom – eto kak by prosto opredilit ego professiyu: «Ya - diller, ty - killer, oba vrode delom zanimayemsya…" [To tell a man "You're ubiytsa" - is to make him a harsh sentence, but to call someone a killer - is like just define his profession: "I am - a dealer, you – are the killer, we both have our business […]".
Certain English words are typical of various social groups. For instance, the slang of young people is abundant in English words, journalists spread new Anglicized words through mass media and professionals (businessmen, financiers, politicians, scholars, etc) are also responsible for disseminating of English borrowings. But the main issue is that the dissimilation of English words comes very fast and many of foreign words are not understandable for the Russian people, and it is sometimes accompanied by a distortion of their original meaning. Thus, the British word teenager - a young girl or a boy between 13 and 17 years old (Karantirov I. (2004), in Russian language is used not only in the sense of a teenager it gets more ‘mystery’ -"someone like a punk or a hippie."
"Teenager – dlinnye nogi, dlinnye volosy - prishel trudoustraivat’sya…"
["Teenager - long legs, long hair – is looking for a job [...]" (Golub 1997:64)
Krysin (2000) argues that there are certain tendencies in accepting loans:
1) The older a speaker is, the less she or he patient to loanwords;
2) The more educated speaker, the easier she or he accepts borrowed words;
3) Professionals in the field of humanities are more tolerant toward English borrowings than those whose profession is not related to language and culture.
Therefore, this work...

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