Influence of English on Russian and
Melnyk from Ukraine
a linguist and a teacher I would like my
Slavic people not to forget their own
languages and not use borrowings when it
is not really necessary.
am a teacher of EFL at Kirovohrad Pedagogical
University (Ukraine). I have two native languages:
Ukrainian and Russian (both are Eastern Slavic
languages). Ukrainian is the official language in
my home country, but for many people Russian still
remains not only the native language, but also the
main means of communication.
my country became independent we have not been a
closed society anymore. We can read any Western
newspapers, books, watch original movies and in
general we experience more and more communication
with Western countries. In this way, the influence
of English is becoming more obvious.
course, there were English words in Russian and
Ukrainian in the Soviet period (we pronounced "girl
friend", "boy-friend", "weekend", "face", "happy
end" almost in the same way as they are pronounced
now we see a completely different influence: it is
very strong and new words from English are
ubiquitous. The majority of them are connected with
computing. Some of them are used without changes:
"upgrade", "browser", " e-mail", " mailbox", "
provider", " "hacker", " chat", " user", etc. Many
words are produced in Russian every day; they have
English roots and Russian affixes ("mastdait" means
"critisize" - from "must die", "smailik" from
"smile" - as a sign in " e-mail, "otfardit" means
"send forward", etc).
we use a common Russian word with a new meaning.
For example, "mylo" in Russian means "soap", but we
say "mylo" in spoken Russian meaning "e-mail",
because "mylo" and "e-mail" are similar in
speech of young people is full of English words.
Both Russian and Ukrainian speakers use the words
"cool", "dance", "free love", etc. Very often
English words are used in the press, although there
are Russian or Ukrainian words with the same
meaning, for example, the word "building".
new words in our Slavic languages are connected
with the field of economics ("coupon", "vaucher",
"broker", etc). The economy is changing a lot and
many English words are becoming necessary. One more
interesting fact is that we can observe such
changes in Slavic languages not only in the
countries where they are state languages, but also
in the countries where they are "minority"
languages. For example, there are huge Russian and
Ukrainian-speaking communities in the USA and
are not homogenous, because there were several
completely different waves of immigration from the
Slavic world across the Atlantic. In Canada we can
observe so-called "Ukish" - the language of
Ukrainian descendents who create sentences
according to Ukrainian grammar rules, but the
majority of the words are English. Even the people
who arrive in the US for a short time begin to use
many English words ("deductible", "landlord",
"porch", backyard", "deposit", "rent", "insurance",
"workshop", "chicken", "cottage cheese", etc).
the borrowings of Russian/Ukrainian people in their
home countries and in the USA are different. In the
USA Slavic people begin to use new words mostly
because there are many new items for them. For
example, we do not have deductibles in
Ukraine. If I translated I would need 3-5 words.
do many of us say "cottage cheese" instead of
"tvorog" (Russian) or "syr" (Ukrainian)? We have
completely different recipes for this product both
in Russia and Ukraine. We cannot connect American
cottage cheese with tvorog
or syr. So, we use two English words
instead of one Russian. Of course, it is possible
to say "American" + our own word, but being in the
U.S. it is easier to use English words.
is great that we now have an open democratic
society and can visit different countries,
communicate with different people and read many
books. But as a linguist and a teacher I would like
my Slavic people not to forget their own languages
and not use borrowings when it is not really
Happening to Our