May 01, 2020

Opening the Floodgates

Opening the Floodgates

For several years, Russia has been very Russia First: eager to promote the Russian language, Russian traditions, Russian food, and basically everything made or invented or conceived on the land that is now the Russian Federation. It has been fairly successful, except in one area: language. No matter what Russia does, it can’t seem to dam up the flood of Anglicisms.

The reason to borrow words from other languages hasn’t changed much over the centuries. Russians have long borrowed words from Dutch, French, Tatar, and English to describe a new concept or object and express new connotations. They borrow when the foreign word is shorter and easier to say, or when using it makes you seem hip and cool. So, ship terminology came from Dutch, food and fashion words came from French, a lot of administrative and currency terminology came from Tatar, and technology and business terminology came from English. 

Today, the English flood is connected with media, business, psychology and fashion. And speaking of flood, it’s флуд (not to be confused with наводнение). Флуд is a flood of long, tedious, wordy, annoying posts on social media. The person who does this is, of course, a флудер as in: Флудерам вход воспрещён! (No flooders allowed!) 

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