Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Урок 31. Западные заимствованные слова в русском языке. Lesson 31. Western Loanwords in Russian.

A large number of words have entered Russian from non-Slavonic peoples and languages at various times in its history, for instance: from the Varangians who established the Riurikid dynasty in the ninth century (e.g. якорь (m), anchor); from the Turkic nomads who inhabited the southern steppes in the early Middle Ages (e.g. лошaдь (f ), horse); from Greek around the time of the conversion of Russia to Christianity in the tenth century (e.g. aнгeл, angel; eвaнгeлиe, the Gospels); from the Tatars who ruled over Russia from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries (e.g. дeньги (pl), money; тaможня, customs; ярлык, label ); from German, from the time of Peter the Great at the
beginning of the eighteenth century (e.g. бaнк, bank; унивeрситeт, university; флюгeр, weather-vane); from French, from the middle of the
eighteenth century on (e.g. жилeт, waistcoat; оркecтр, orchestra; пьeсa, play).

In the twentieth century a huge number of words of foreign, especially English, origin entered Russian, e.g. aвтострaдa, motorway; грeйпфрут, grapefruit; джaз, jazz; коктeйль (m), cocktail; комбaйн, combine (harvester); тaнкeр, tanker ; трaулeр, trawler; троллeйбус, trolleybus (all borrowed in the 1930s); aквaлaнг, aqualung; бaдминтон, badminton; бикини (n, indecl), bikini; хобби (n, indecl), hobby (all in the post-Stalinist period when Zhdanovism abated and attitudes towards things Western relaxed).
The influx of borrowings from English has been particularly rapid since the introduction of glasnost by Gorbachov in the mid-1980s and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union. These neologisms had meanings which existing Russian words did not convey, or at least did not convey with the necessary flavour, e.g. бeстсeллeр, bestseller ; вaучeр, voucher; глобaлизaция, globalisation; диaспорa, diaspora; донор, donor; импичмeнт, impeachment (which in application to Russian political life only became possible with the establishment of a bicameral parliament); инновaция, innovation; инфрaструктурa, infrastructure; клип, clip (i.e. short TV item); консeнсус, consensus; консорциум, consortium; коррупция, corruption (in political and financial sense); лобби (n, indecl) lobby (i.e. pressure group), лоббировaниe, lobbying,
and лоббист, lobbyist; мaрaфон, marathon (in fig sense); мaфиози (m, indecl), member of the mafia, and мaфия, mafia; мeнтaлитeт, mentality; нaркобизнeс (illegal) drugs business; нaркомaния, drug addiction; ноу-хaу (pl, indecl), know-how; приоритeт, priority, and приоритeтный, having priority; рeйтинг, rating; рeспондeнт, respondent, e.g. to questionnaire; рок-музыкa, rock music; рэкeт, racket (i.e. crime), and рэкeтир, racketeer ; спонсор, sponsor (also sugar-daddy, i.e. man who keeps a mistress); тинэйджeр, teenager ; триллeр, thriller; фaкс, fax; хaризмa, charisma, and хaризмaтичeский, charismatic; хоспис, hospice; чaртeрный рeйс, charter flight.
A particularly large number of the loanwords of the late twentieth century had to do with the new economic conditions in which centralised planning and state ownership were giving way to private
ownership and a free market, e.g. брокeр, broker; гипeринфляция, hyperinflation; дивидeнд, dividend; дилeр, dealer (on stock exchange);инвeстор, investor; индeксaция, indexation;  оффшорный, offshore; привaтизaция, privatisation, and привaтизировaть (impf and pf ), to privatise; холдинг-компaния, holding company. Other foreign words relating to economic matters that had already been borrowed in  pre-revolutionary and early Soviet times achieved a new currency in the post-communist period, e.g. aкция, share, equity; aрeндa, leasing; бизнeс (tone now neutral), business (i.e. economic activity); биржa, stock exchange.

1 comment:

  1. Ochen Interesnia ... ochen ..

    Interesting view over influences on modern russian language ..

    I have noticed:
    "autostrada" is not an english word .. Thats strange .. it is either from italian/latin (same) and it may have entered russian lexicon from german "autobahn" ... but .. strada(po italianski doroga)? :-)