Anglicisms in the Russian Language Based on -ing Borrowings

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2015
16 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. English as a Global Language
2.1 Reasons for the English Supremacy
2.2 Linguistic Factors

3. Anglicisms in the Russian Language – a Historical Overview
3.1 Anglicisms before the 20th Century
3.2 Anglicisms in the 20th Century

4. Definition of Loanwords and Typology of Anglicisms

5. Reasons for the Influence of the English Language on the Russian Language
5.1 Extralinguisic Reasons
5.2 Intralinguistic Reasons

6. Integration of English Words in the Russian Language
6.1 Semantics
6.2 Phonological Level and Spelling
6.3 Morphological Level
6.4 Syntactic Integration

7. Conclusion

Works Cited

1. Introduction

In every era of the history there were languages, that were spoken not only in its own culture, but also in other cultures for the reason of cultural, political, religious, scientific or economical executive positions of the concerning empire or state.

A lot a of european languages have been influenced by Latin and Greek because of the christianisation and the expansion of the roman empire to Gallia, Germania and the British isles. In the 18th century Frech became Lingua Franca, spoken by the royality. After the second worldwar English became a medium for worldwide accommodation by economical and political increasing of the United States. Throughout history many loanwords from the English have been adopted into Russian and many other languages, especially at the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of he 21st century. Since the end of the east-west conflict and the international position of the USA a rising use of anglicisms in the Russian language have been noticed.Every language is changing and is par of a lasting developemental process. Every part of developement and a linguistic era leave marks by implying new words while other words dissappear and become part of the past, also in Russian and English. New scientific and technological developements, the rapid growth of mass media and the public life are reasons for emergence of new words and meanings in English. They partly influence other languages for the reason of intergovernmental contacts in various areas and the global relevance of the English language in such a way, that it can be called an anglicism-explosion.

The term paper at hand is targed to give an overview of the linguistic developement of Russian language influenced by the English language and the reason for English as an influential language. Similarities and differences of words with -ing suffix are analyzed for degree of linguistic integration into Russian. Morphological, but also phonological features will be analyzed and the orthographical level of loan words and the exent of the English influence. This analysis makes it possible to draw a conclusion about integration of –ing borrowings and their phonological, grammatical, and derivational characteristics.

2. English as a Global Language

„English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age. The reason of this is obvious, because the increasing population in America and their universal connection and correspondence with all nations will, aided by he influence of England in the world, whether great or small, force their language into general use, in spite of all the obstacles tha may be thrown in their way, if any such there should be“ (John Adams, Letter to Congress, 1780)

In the beginning of the 21st century is ascertainable, that this prediction of the second US-American president John Adams (1735–1826) has become reality (Crystal 2012: 74).

2.1 Reasons for the English Supremacy

English is the offical or national languge in 59 countries and is spoken by 550 million people as a native tongue and by 500 million people as a second language. Also is the English language used by 25 countries as the language of education, a business language and lingua franca. It is taught at schools often as the first foreign language and is the official language in the most oganisations. A main reason for the present status of the Englisch language is the economical and political leading position of the United States until the beginning of the 19th century which is addicted to the Great Britain´s supremacy. Both the world trade - in particular the trade in the financial markets - and the electronic information and communication sector are strongly influenced by the English language (n.p.)

Until 17th century Latin was the language of international language of science, French in 16th century, German until the 1930s, Russian since 19th century, which is still tool of communication between Russia and states of former Soviet Union. English assumes the function of an interlanguage since the end of the 19th century and has become the lingua france in the beginning of the 21st century (Holland 2007: 18).

2.2 Linguistic Factors

To determine the influence of the English language linguistic factors with its structural and linguisic features have to be reassessed. Advantages for the supremacy of the English is a relatively simple grammar, large vocabulary and easy memorizable, short and monosyllabic words. Additionally English has a strong phonosymbolic power, a simple morphology and presents various options to create neologisms through conversation.

These arguments should be called into question. Although English as an Germanic-influences language is supposed to be learned easily by Europeans in contrast to Russian, Japanese or Mandarin, but simplicity and learnability of a language are subjective criteria. To find out linguistic criterias, interlinguistic reasons, which are under the English influence, are to be examined (Holland 2007: 23). On there reasons will be amplified in chapter 5.2.

3. Anglicisms in the Russian Language – a Historical Overview

„There is no natural way of identifying a discrete point within this interval before which the word is not an integrated loan, and after which it suddenly becomes one.“ (Miller 1988: 47)

Referring to this quotation by Christopher Miller changes of the Russian vocabulary, which become an inherent part of the language later, concerning historical backgrounds are going to be considered in the following part.

3.1 Anglicisms before the 20th Century

The Russian language had a favourable location due its constitution as a modern literary language. Besides Russian wasn’t dominated only by one language: there had been much contact with Finnish tribes and Turkic people, by which typically Russian words, like тундра and товарищ grew out .

First trade relations between Russia and England began to develope in the era of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584). English merchants enjoy the advantage of duty-free trade in Russia, also many English pharmacists, physicians and naval architects were working in Russia. In the years 1555-1649 first Anglicisms came into Russian: сер , ерль , местер , лорд , лорд - трезер , лорд - кипер , there was a wide variety in the spelling and pronunciation of Anglicisms in this era because they are transferred into Russian with individual pronunciation and without fixed spelling rules (Aristova 1965: 43).

Under Peter the Great (1672-1725) British shipbuilder and ingeneers settled to Russia. During his epoch about 3000 words had been taken from several languages into Russian, while the proportion of English words was only about 5% of the total loanwords of that time (Aristova 1965: 19). Until the 19th century contacts to England didn’t leave any linguistic marks (Muhr/Kettemann 2002: 120).

Due to technological developments in the early 19 th century (steam engine in 1784, first railway in 1807) made in England, American merchants promote borrowings from the spoken language in England. During this time there are about 120 anglicisms in Russian, including terms of monetary units (гинея , пенс , стерлинг , фунт , шиллинг), English dishes and drinks (виски , эль джин , портер , пудинг , пунш , ростбиф) and card games (бостон , вист , роберт)(Aristova 1965: 24).

The anglicisms from the second half of the 19 th century include scientific and technical terms, words from the politics, economy, agriculture, culture, sports: горилла , гризли , дарвинизм , динго , мимикрия , пони , сеттер , юкка ; буфер , газгольдер , деррик , ластик , манчестер , рельс , твин , тендер , тоннель , эбонит , экскаватор ; спич , спикер , чартизм ; спорт , спортсмен . In 1866 the dictionary of borrowed words by Michelson (1866) lists 300 anglicisms, including many political and philosophical terms. To Romanov, most of the anglicisms came in the years 1830-1870 into Russian (Romanov 2000: 27).

History of –ing Borrowing before the 20 th Century

The -ing borrowings constitute one of the largest groups of the latest loan words in the Russian language. According to the data of Russian National Corpus, the first -ing borrowings came into Russian in the 18 th century (n.p.). Concerning anglicisms before 20th century the contexts of usage show that most of the -ing borrowings in this massive were used as technical terms in construction, shipbuilding, military organization and sciences. Occasional borrowings of this derivational group came into the Russian language in the 19th century with the fashion for British culture. Dramatical social changes of the beginning of the 20th century brought new loan words into Russia: митинг (rally, political meeting), рейтинг (rating). From an historical point of view, it is noteworthy, that some of those borrowings became habitual, stylistically neutral part of Russian lexicon (Romanov 2000: 29).

3.2 Anglicisms in the 20th Century

The early 20th century was marked by rapid development of industry, science and technology. Russia maintains close relations with European countries which leads to linguistic borrowings from French, German and English. The number of French and German foreign words in Russian tends to decline, while the number of Anglicisms constantly increase (Romanov 2000: 31).

There is a clearly connection between the political situation in Russia and the borrowings from English. In times of ideological liberalism the borrowings become stronger, weaker in the phases of the Soviet fanaticism. Conditioned by the situation after the second world war, the political blocking and the cold war, English words appeared very slowly to the Russian, also because they were fight by the Russian leadership and replaced by Russian words. Examples for this are бульдозер (replaced by тракторный отвал = tractor plow) and камамбер (replaces by сыр закусочный = snack cheese). Since the end oft the east-west-conflict in the 60s anglicisms have started to increase, also because of the international position of the USA. There have been a number of English terms in the military, politics and economy, in the field of sports and everyday words: аммонал , аут , бар , блюз , ватерполо , дерби , джаз , докер , бойскаут , дредноут , лифт , локаут , митинг , регби , танк , трест , фильм , футбол , хаки , хулиган , шрапнель . To make new words understandable for all Russian speakers, foreign words dictionaries have been issued (Steinke 2006: 11).


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Anglicisms in the Russian Language Based on -ing Borrowings
Justus-Liebig-University Giessen  (Anglistik)
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ISBN (Book)
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Morphology, Loan Words, Borriwings, Lehnwörter
Quote paper
Olesja Yaniv (Author), 2015, Anglicisms in the Russian Language Based on -ing Borrowings, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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