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  1. #1
    sharolga is offline Newbie
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    Smile Russian borrowings in English

    I'm really very iterested if there are any Russian borrowing in English. Do English people know and use them?

    It would be nice if you helped me in my school assignment. Maybe you tick the words from the list that a lot of people know their meanings.
    1 Babushka
    2 Balalaika
    3 Banya
    4 Bistro
    5 Bolshevik
    6 Duma
    7 Glasnost
    8 Gulag
    9 Kasha
    10 Kozachok
    11 Kremlin
    12 Kvass
    13 Matryoshka
    14 Perestroika
    15 Ruble (Rouble)
    16 Samovar
    17 Shchi
    18 Soyuz
    19 Sputnik
    20 Stalinism
    21 Taiga
    22 Tovarishch
    If you know any other Russian words ordinary people know, please write down.
    Thank you for you help.
    P.S. I can find Russian borrowings in Wikipedia, but I'd like to find out the real situation.

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    muska na ruska
    liguska kvakuska
    terem tirimok
    Sto tu hoches?
    Davaj.
    zdniom rosdenie
    tavarisi koniec
    Vodka
    Pravda
    pravilno
    balsoj
    horoso
    idi suda

    Rossiya, svyashchennaya nasha derzhava,Rossiya, lyubimaya nasha strana, moguchaya volya, velikaya slava,tvoyo dostoyanye na vse vremena!

    I like Russia.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    Quote Originally Posted by sharolga View Post
    I'm really very iterested if there are any Russian borrowing in English. Do English people know and use them?
    Answers below.

    It would be nice if you helped me in my school assignment. Maybe you tick the words from the list that a lot of people know their meanings.
    1 Babushka
    2 Balalaika And "domra", if that's Russian.
    3 Banya
    4 Bistro
    5 Bolshevik
    6 Duma
    7 Glasnost
    8 Gulag
    9 Kasha
    10 Kozachok
    11 Kremlin
    12 Kvass
    13 Matryoshka
    14 Perestroika
    15 Ruble (Rouble)
    16 Samovar
    17 Shchi
    18 Soyuz
    19 Sputnik
    20 Stalinism (And Leninism, Trotskyism, Marxism...)
    21 Taiga
    22 Tovarishch
    If you know any other Russian words ordinary people know, please write down.
    Thank you for you help.
    P.S. I can find Russian borrowings in Wikipedia, but I'd like to find out the real situation.
    "Commissar" (?); "Tsar/Czar" - which used to be used chiefly in history books, but has had a new lease of life in the sense of 'official government point of contact' - e.g. "Drugs Tsar"; "Intelligentsia" (many users give it a soft 'g'. as if it was borrowed from some other language, but I understand that the 'g' ["H", as in "Horowitz" - who went with the flow when Westerners mispronounced his name] is hard - like our /g/.)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 29-Jan-2009 at 18:35. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    To add to the above...

    Taiga, tundra, sastrugi < zastrugi, and polynya/polynia are all used as special terms in geography. "Tundra", for the "Arctic desert", is the most common among them, and probably the only one that has become non-technical--at least in Canada, for the obvious reason. The taiga (which covers almost half the country, I imagine) is usually called the "boreal forest".

    Troika is common. Vodka.

    I've seen raw buckwheat sold as kasha in Edmonton, in the ordinary supermarkets. That surprised me, though! Likewise the spring cake at Easter (the Western one!), kulich. I can't explain these; the stores were Safeways, that's our largest national chain, and they are not at all "ethnic" in any way.

    Cossack, not the diminutive "Kozachok".

    The Finnish sauna, not "banya".

    Katyusha, for the rocket tank-buster, is used sometimes.

    Babushka means not grandmother (although in Western Canada, where so many Ukrainians settled, a lot of people would understand the Ukrainian baba in that sense), but the head-scarf.

    Kvass is known, but only among gourmands who specialize in E. European cuisine. Schi is very, very rare. "Russian cabbage soup".

    Moujik and narodnik were sometimes seen even in the British press 100-150 years ago. I've seen a few "moujiks" in modern historical literature, but the term is mostly forgotten now.

    PS. Steppe for the Eurasian grasslands, although the American ones are called "prairies".
    Last edited by abaka; 29-Jan-2009 at 20:15. Reason: added steppe

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    Afterthought: I take back the '?' I used after "Matrioshka". This morning I came across this part sentence: "...Pirahã lacks recursion* in the mathematrical, matrioshka-doll sense...'. The word "matrioshka" was not even italicized (often a sign that the editor regards a word as foreign).

    And I've been thinking about "Stalinist" etc. I wouldn't really call those borrowings; they're just English adjectives formed from Russian names. Before I realized this, I was about to add "Stakhanovite" (I don't know what this means, but I've met it; I assume there was a man called Stakhanov.)


    b

    *It doesn't matter - for EFL students - what this means. The quotation just shows that "matrioshka" is used in current English (very current - the source was published in 2008).

  6. #6
    SUDHKAMP's Avatar
    SUDHKAMP is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    Rasputin

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    ... Schi is very, very rare. "Russian cabbage soup".

    ...
    Is this related to 'borshch'. That's known in English - at least in London (as there used to be a pseudo-Russian restaurant in Kensington called Borshch and Cheers.

    b

  8. #8
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    hello,

    recently is known : oligarch
    (but it's come from Greek )

    Cheers,

  9. #9
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Is this related to 'borshch'. That's known in English - at least in London (as there used to be a pseudo-Russian restaurant in Kensington called Borshch and Cheers.

    b
    Borsch or beet soup is also universally common, but schi is (was?) the national soup, I believe. Schí da kásha píscha násha (strong trochaic rhythm)-- Cabbage soup and buckwheat groats, that's our food.

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Russian borrowings in English

    I was wondering if "-sch-" was some kind of soupy morpheme.

    b

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