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Foreign Terms to have Russian Equivalents
November 17, 2006 18:11

Russian businessmen and civil servants will soon be prohibited to say “dollar” and use other familiar vocabulary: all foreign financial terms must be replaced with Russian equivalents. Excess of foreign financial terms turned out to make Russian legislators outrage. All legislation in the RF must be held in Russian, but the vast majority of business and financial terms have no analogues in the native language. The terminology problem is getting more and more acute with every passing month, as Russian people are gradually getting familiar with public investments. In keeping with statistics, over half of the population of the country is ready to participate in various financial operations, but details remain complicated for understanding due to linguistic barrier.

The round-table meeting held November 7 and dedicated to linguistic rule-making issues took place in the State Duma. Legislators, financial experts, linguists and interpreters coincided in their opinion that each foreign word had to be accompanied with a Russian one. However, the work should not be confined to scientific efforts only, since civil servants and businessmen are unlikely to abandon habitual words, at the same time people may confuse notions. That’s why the legislation should be amended to oblige relevant ministries and institutions to prepare expository letters explaining the meaning of exploitable terms.

 Deputies think it is possible to regularize the linguistic issues by means of taking legislative measures. They say that legislators must lay information clearly for those, who are intended to follow these legislative rules. The vast majority of the population could become market makers similar to Americans and Europeans, but when people hear complicated and unknown terms they get scared.

The acting director of the Institute of the Russian Language of RAS favoures the deputies’ decision, but with reserve. Russian analogues should be looked for avoiding “Russian only” state of mind, as the existent tendency of internationalization along with the vernacular should be taken into account. Besides, people who frequently use foreign words got accustomed to them since their work is in the market field presupposing equity market vocabulary, which is made up with borrowings.

Thus, not all foreign words are expected to be banished, as some of them fit quite well into the Russian language. For instance, “creditor-debtor” words are borrowings, but they came into the language and are in public use.

The participants of the round-table meeting came to the conclusion of necessity to create a working party including financiers, linguists, journalists and interpreters. Results of the group work may serve as a basis for making recommendations on finance terminology usage. Ministries and departments operating at the financial market must be first to receive the recommendations.

Besides, there is another point of view. Common people are quick to pick up new vocabulary, and there is no need to worry about them, as they gradually come to understanding of what definite terms mean and then just spout them.


Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian language     

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