Borrowed words in Russian, part 6

with 2 Comments

I read this in a fashion magazine last month: Думаешь над фэмили-луком?

What, фэмили-лук? Hmmm….

A few days later I passed a store window advertising matching his-and-hers holiday sweaters with the words семейный образ.

What’s the difference? How do people decide if the correct phrase is фэмили-лук or семейный образ? It’s a magical, amazing process to me. Are there any rules or guidelines? Is it simply all about marketing? Uh, I mean, маркетинг?

And more and more signs are appearing in a mixture of Cyrillic and English. For example, here’s a restaurant in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

And here’s a restaurant in Chelyabinsk.

Don’t forget the pizza na drovax. 😆


In the case below, I’m curious why the word donation was written in English. Is пожертвование not quite the right word? Does everyone really know the word donation? What about донация?


Here are few more loan words that I’ve seen recently:

What ever happened to фрикадельки, that beautiful funny word that all beginning Russian students can memorize on the spot?
I do agree that хаб is much easier than транспортный пересадочный узел.
English gerund (tubing) → Russian noun (тюбинг) → Russian adjective (тюбинговая).
I learned two things from this headline: #1. коллапс is more like havoc, breakdown, paralysis than an actual collapse. #2. The Russian weather media blows things out of proportion just as much as Portland TV channels do.
Perhaps сити sounds more expensive than город? Or does this sign refer exclusively to Москва сити and not regular old Москва?


And that’s all the words I have for now. Have any similar words caught your eye lately?



PS: There’s more?!

2 Responses

  1. Sol Solntze
    | Reply

    I always find myself reading the words (in my head) with a thick Russian accent (which I cannot achieve at any other time in English).

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      They sound the same in my head! 😆

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