Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Russian Vocabulary - Borrowed Words in Modern Russian


The best way to think about the borrowed words in Russian is from a historical perspective. The influx of foreign words came in waves depending on what country or culture had influence in Russia:

• Byzantine influence and conversion to Christianity: influx of Greek words

• The reign of Peter the Great: influx of German and Dutch words (e.g. шлагбаум,  гастарбайтер, бутерброд and so on)

• End of 20th century, perestroyka (перестройка) and post-soviet Russia, globalization: influx of English words

• There are many words of French origin (because Russians have been fascinated with French culture, especially in 18-19 centuries), for example шансон, авангард and many others

• There are a few of Japanese words in Russian, such as самурай, банзай, хокку, каратэ, цунами, etc.

• Some Chinese words - женьшень, тайфун, чай, шарпей, фэншуй etc

• Some Turkic words - башка, сундук, казна, утюг, чугун, шашлык, алыча, амбар, сарай, халат etc.

In this video I mention just a few borrowed words. Knowing them will give you confidence to go on learning.