centralasian (centralasian) wrote,
centralasian
centralasian

_____________________[PRO] Russia diary: Linguistic inflation

Russia diary: Linguistic inflation
By Rafael Behr in Moscow
Financial Times, February 28 2003

очередная бестолковая статья про россию, на этот раз, про инфляцию русского языка. поскольку из ft, я скопировал весь текст тут:

Russia diary: Linguistic inflation

There is either too much swearing in Russia these days or not enough; opinion is divided.

Opinion is also on its way to the statute books if a coalition of prudish politicians and a foul-mouthed self-publicist called Vladimir Zhirinovksy get their way.

Russia-watchers will remember Mr Zhirinovsky as the neo-imperialist bogeyman who burst onto the public stage in a puff of xenophobia when the country's first post-Communist parliament was elected back in 1993. He hasn't gone away since.

Instead Mr Zhirinovsky has made a career for himself as parliament's enfant terrible-in-residence. He spits vitriol in carefully measured doses.

I caught the Zhirinovsky show first hand this week when he spoke out on a bizarre legislative project that aims to ban swearing and foreign words from public life.

The "Law on the State Language of the Russian Federation and Irregular Terminology in the Mass Media" divided opinions in parliament's lower house so effectively that fisticuffs broke out. It was then summarily dismissed by the more sober upper house on the grounds that it was plain stupid. Too many foreign words have infiltrated Russian. Try writing a constitution without a word for 'constitution'.

So a new draft was required, which task Mr Zhirinovsky took in hand, explaining at length his view on the matter. Foreign words, he said, are bad (not Russian). But swearing is good (very Russian). He reinforced the case by peppering his speech with the kind of luridly nuanced profanity for which the Russian language is rightly admired by people who admire that sort of thing.

There does seem to be a lot more swearing on TV than there used to be. There are also a lot more foreign words around. Fair enough, in Soviet days there simply weren't words for things like 'the internet' and 'privacy'. There were words for sex organs and bodily functions, but only for the amusement of the state censors.

But that doesn't explain the proliferation of a new breed of adjective, words like 'elitarny' (elite) and 'stilny' (stylish), which have attached themselves to everything from sushi restaurants to shoe shops.

These replaced 'modny' (a French borrowing meaning 'fashionable'), which was already an implausible claim when slapped on cheap Belarusian footwear. Before that was the wholly Russian 'kachestvenny' quality.

Once the high street has become elite and stylish to saturation point retailers will presumably have to become 'exclusivny' and then, who knows? 'membersonly'?

This picture needs some economic context.

The rouble, driven by high oil prices, is currently appreciating against the dollar. Foreign imports, driven out by the 1998 debt default and devaluation, are making a comeback. Lucrative raw material exports are pumping liquidity into the economy. Moscow services and retailers benefit, but domestic manufacturing languishes unreformed and uncompetitive.

These febrile economic circumstances must be affecting the local tongue.

Russian, I contend, is undergoing linguistic inflation. Cheap foreign words are being sucked in on the back of heavy exploitation of the language's earthy natural resource - swearing.

If my analysis is correct, the interventionist measures being considered by parliament won't solve the problem.

A more fitting model is offered by Alexei Kudrin, the finance minister. This week he was plugging a scheme to protect the economy from its over-dependence on high oil prices and their inflationary side effects. Mr Kudrin wants to create a stabilisation fund that would cream off the revenues currently earned on energy exports for use in leaner times to offset a budget shortfall.

It could work. Let the swearing go on, but for each piece of filth broadcast the guilty media would commission a high-brow arts programme. These would allow the language of Pushkin to compete more effectively with trashy foreign imports. At the very least it will make Russian TV a f*** sight more interesting.




Too many foreign words have infiltrated Russian - и в качестве примера приводится "конституция". свежак заимстование, да.

...in Soviet days there simply weren't words for things like 'the internet' and 'privacy' - а в других языках мы обнаруживаем довала эндемичных слов для интеренета, ещё с позапрошлого веке употребляющихя...

а про "прайваси" - вообще отдельная песня. это один из любимых коньков филоло-политиков. вот, де, в китайской культуре не существует понятия "личная жизнь", да и вообще с "личностью" у них плохо, так как "мы же не находим там слова, соотвествющего нашему "privacy"?. не говоря о собственно русских текстах, несколько волн эммиграции должны были тему эту обсосать просто со всех её сторон. но даже в сторону теоретическое обсасывание - он что, ни с одним нормально-русскоговорящим не мог эту тему обсудить??

...new breed of adjective, words like 'elitarny' (elite) and 'stilny' (stylish) - советское стиляжничество, как мне казалось, тоже хорошо известно профессионалам... во всех советологических текстах про него есть... про "элитность-элитарность" даже начинать базар неловко как-то.

these replaced 'modny' ... and 'kachestvenny' ... это вообще труба. не только он не знает что это про разное, и что слова эти давно и прекрасно сосуществую, каждое со своими ворохами тонких нюансированных контекство использования. но он ещё и культуролгическую фишку не сечёт, про эволюцию ценностей современных обществ (и не только одного российского).

Russian, I contend, is undergoing linguistic inflation. Cheap foreign words are being sucked in on the back of heavy exploitation of the language's earthy natural resource - swearing. комментов нет [напишем мы, дешево подыгрывая сему автору]

задача дня, как оказывается, это помощь "the language of Pushkin to compete more effectively with trashy foreign imports".

позорная статья какая-то.


russian_language
russian_society
linguistic_inflation
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 4 comments