Thursday, June 19, 2014

Russian law to ban 'foreign' words

So lemme get this straight:  It's not okay when Ukraine, the only country in the world where Ukrainian is spoken, wants to protect its national language -- in fact it's "Fascism;" but it's just dandy when Russia discriminates against other languages -- going so far as to exorcise "foreign words" from public speech and writing!

This is worse than days of the Soviet Union, folks.  

Looking deeper, the fact that many commonly used terms simply don't exist in Russian reflects that the world's cultural, scientific and commercial dynamism is centered in the West... and eventually makes its way to Russia, where it is transliterated naturally by Russian first adopters who find it simpler to use the original word than invent a tongue-twisting Russian equivalent.  

Indeed, the casual use of foreign words is a status symbol among Russians; it implies the speaker is cosmopolitan, liberally educated, well-read and -traveled.  However, these are not the kind of folks the Kremlin likes: it wants Russians (minus the very elite, of course) to be parochial, state-educated, monolingual and stay at home.

June 19, 2014 | Moscow Times

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