🇺🇸 When the Idea of Regulating The Russian Language is Expressed Using an English Loanword

Language norms and language policy are funny notions when the official statements on these very subjects are expressed using loanwords.

Yeah, you read it right. As was my habit, I was skimming through newspaper articles in Russian in hopes of stumbling upon bizarre stuff concerning Russian. And stumbled I did (it’s in Russian, mind you) !

The gist of the article is that Russian language specialists and experts took the initiative to standardize the Russian language norms. This includes assessing the current sorry state of Russian dictionaries, as they often contradict each other, and expanding government authority in the affairs of Russian language policy.

Too little too conspicuous

What I found pretty tingly was the way one expert expressed himself on the matter of modern Russian dictionaries:

По словам Дощинского, словари часто противоречат друг другу, создавая хаос в языковых нормах. Он предложил сформировать специальную комиссию для мониторинга и анализа словарей.

So, what’s wrong with that?

“Мониторинг” ( ) is not a Russian word. Wish as you might, it’s not a Russian word by any yardstick. It’s just not.

Any Russian word ending with “инг” ending is an English loanword …. or so I think. I’m no Russian language expert myself, but come on, мониторинг – monitoring; шоппинг – shopping; клининг – cleaning… I can go all day.

The alternative

Instead of “мониторинга”, the gentleman could have used “комиссию для отслеживания / контроля состояния“…

I know, I know… It’s wordier.

And, oh the horror, it doesn’t sound as trendy as “мониторинг”.

But if the French can live with “la surveillance de l’état de”, so can the Russians with “отслеживание состояния”.

But no, the latter always has to reinvent the language by means of English loanwords.

And this, gentle reader, is what I will be covering in the upcoming articles on English loanwords in Russian.

Until then!

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3 thoughts on “🇺🇸 When the Idea of Regulating The Russian Language is Expressed Using an English Loanword

    1. Thanks for the read!

      As far as the everyday street language, sure, knock yourselves out with English loanwords to your hearts’ content, but folks, when it comes to the Russian mass media, not least newspapers, c’mon… words don’t do it justice, no pun intended.

      The French can handle their language. Yes, doubtless, it’s difficult and unpleasant a job, but they are enforcing the language norms and proper not-borrowed words usage.

      – “Computer” in French?
      – “Computé something?”
      – No free passes, Jack. It’s “l’ordinateur”. You better up your French, buddy.

      It’s still better than nothing. And this effort of theirs is to be commended.

      In the forthcoming articles I’ll compile lists of blatant and unnecessary cases of English loanwords usage in Russian newspapers. Some of them truly make my hair stand on end….

      Liked by 1 person

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