Russian "language purity law" 2 replies

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11th January 2008

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#1 4 years ago

While just browsing through the Guardian's stories, I came across this: Speak literary Russian or face fine, Muscovites warned | World news | The Guardian

I am sincerely worried about the nationalist-racist way the Russian state is heavily leaning towards now - or do you think this is justified and / or normal in some way? I hear some people complain about English foreign words and loanwords in German, although they, strangely, seem to be perfectly fine with at least some Latin / Romance (Fenster, Senat, Uhr, Tinte, Kaiser) and Celtic (Wagen, Reich, Amt, Vasall, Eid) words.

[center]sigpic191442_14.jpg "I'm an amateur policeman and leisure time surgeon." Sounds insane? Welcome to the pain of historians and archaeolog


Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander

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26th April 2004

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#2 4 years ago

Different languages have regulators, especially languages that are generally mostly used in just one country. That's a good thing. Languages always change, but if one were to take a completely relativist stance then any trash slang would be a path of linguistic evolution, which I don't really agree with. The regulators give just recommendations, but of course since schools and government officials follow them they have power. Of course it's different to making using loan words illegal which doesn't even seem very enforceable.

Germans do use a ridiculous amount of words straight from English - like they of course have own words for a festival - but it's trendy to incorporate a word like das Party which just sounds stupid with German grammar rules. As that article mentioned, the French like to guard their language against foreign words. On the other hand, English uses a lot of French words - translating French into English seems to taboo sometimes. The motorsport governing body FIA is by its French name in English, although you could just use International Automobile Federation just like every other language does.

Loan-words, words having different etymologies and so on is a different thing than just shallowly copying words from English in an inconsistent way. A rich language doesn't do the latter.

MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

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7th December 2003

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#3 4 years ago

Regarding anglicisms; that is rather subjective. Most people use them to some degree. Some people use them more than others, which sounds odd to the rest. Managers or gamers have basically their own language which consits mostly of English words. However, if you force yourself to use only words that have been part of the German language for 100 yeras or more you sound silly as well. "Party", for example, is a very common word.

I don't really see the point of trying to keep a language constant. If people enjoy their language so much that they don't want to use any other language that is fine by me though. But a law that fines you for using the "wrong" expression? That sounds fishy, especially in connection with ethnic-nationalist political movements. Not to mention silly, as Russian has been heavily influenced by western European languages over the last couple of centuries, especially German.