Возникновение понятия "Рунглиш" в подростковой среде

XX Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
Старт в науке

Возникновение понятия "Рунглиш" в подростковой среде

Нагибина К.В. 1
1МБОУ "СОШ №22"
Бурашникова Н.А. 1
1МБОУ "СОШ №22"
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People all over the world use different languages. Variety of languages is caused by plenty of reasons: historical events, different climate, the way we understand the world, etc. But in spite of it all of us have lots in common. We have the same purposes in our life, same universal values. All of us are humans. We are always contact with each other, especially nowadays, when we can talk free with a person from a distant country without any problems. We travel, have business, so we influence on each other. That is why language is very changeable. And this quality gives us an extensive range of research.

So, there is one interesting phenomenon in the language. When people from different countries have to communicate, but they don’t know the languages of each other or do it extremely bad, they have nothing to do, but to use all the means: gestures, signs and even mixture of languages. And the last one is called pidgin or Runglish. It is a simplified kind of a language, based on different ones, and used by people from different countries, who don’t speak languages of each other, to communicate.

Russian people tend to use English more often than any other foreign words. That’s why there are many English borrowings in the Russian language. The Runglish language is the neologism designating the simplified language, and this phenomenon becomes popular among the youth.

The aim of my research work is to find out the most essential and popularRunglish words in the Russian language of teenagers, reasons for their appearance. The tasks of my research are to study literature on this theme, to find the definition of the word «Runglish»; to make a dictionary of frequently used Runglish words;.to analyze the results and make the conclusion

The object of the research: students of the 8th form

The subject of the research: investigation of the sources of Runglish and the reasons for the use of English words in our everyday speech .

The hypothesis of the research: Runglish has an impact on the cultural life and lexicon of young people.

Methods of the research are searching and collecting information on the selected topic (systematization, analysis, study, synthesis, comparison) through Internet sources.


    1. Runglish, it`s definition, the history

Runglish is a phenomenon not uncommon among Russian speakers with English as a second language, spoken in the post-Soviet States. The earliest of these  words is Russlish, dating from 1971. Appearing later are: Russglish (1991), Ruglish (1993), Ringlish (1996), Ruslish (1997),Runglish (1998) Rusglish (1999), and Rusinglish (2015) [1]

So far, there is no clear opinion about runglish. On the one hand, the term "Runglish" is a mixture of Russian and English using language norms. On the other hand, it is English, which is subject to significant transformations due to the influence of the native language. However, from linguists` point of view, Runglish is a pseudo-dialect of English.

For almost three centuries the Russians followed Tsar Peter's advice to "write everything in Russian, without using foreign words and terms". It is known that in his message to Ambassador Rudakovsky, Peter wrote[2]: “In your relations you use very many Polish and other foreign words and terms, for which it is impossible to understand the business itself: for this reason you will continue to write your relations to us all in Russian, without using foreign words and terms”.

During the Soviet era, there was no incentive to learn English. But that all changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Interest in learning foreign languages has increased dramatically. The "Iron Curtain" has fallen, there is an opportunity to move freely around the world, the computerization of the country has begun to increase, the Russians have a demand for information about Western culture. This has led to the emergence of new areas of use of the English language among Russians. People at that time had few language equivalents for translating foreign terms, so they were simply translated into Russian. The number of Americanisms has increased. Everyday speech includes such words as: offshore, website, file, mixer, toaster, shaker, bowling, skateboard, snowboard, biker, fitness, broker, blockbuster, prime time.

The term "Runglish" was popularized in 2000 as a name for one of the languages aboard the International Space Station. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov said: "We say jokingly that we communicate in 'Runglish,' a mixture of Russian and English languages, so that when we are short of words in one language we can use the other».

    1. The ways of formation of Runglish words

Today, linguists distinguish several areas in which Runglish is most often used:

Designation of new types of activities, professions, for example: merchandiser, freelancer

Designation of new areas of knowledge: blog, PR, promotion

Item designation: Laptop

Designation of musical directions: trance, folk

Identification of concepts to give them the prestige: the job offer, the client

According to A. N. Plutnikova, most often you can find words that were formed by attaching a Russian suffix, prefix and ending to a foreign root, in other words, they are hybrids. These words are pronounced with all the norms of the Russian language, namely, with phonetic laws. For example: юзать (to use — использовать), кликнуть (to click-нажать), репостнуть (to repost-переслать), лайкнуть — (to like — отметить), пошерить - (to share — поделиться). Thus, we can conclude that English roots are replacing Russian roots.

In addition, as A. N. Plutnikova emphasizes, now there is a mixture of languages in word combinations (big idea — большаяидея, used in the meaning of главнаяидеяилиосновная).

However, transliteration is often used. Words of English origin are used with the preservation of their phonetic and graphic appearance. For example, брифинг (briefing — informational meeting), спичрайтер (speechwriter — compiler of speech texts).

Also, the use of abbreviations can be attributed to runglish. For example, асап (ASAP — as soon as possible, as quickly as possible) or имхо (IMHO — in my humble opinion).

Nowadays due to a rapid development of science and technology English words appear in Russian language in the same rapid way. It’s not a new phenomenon as in the course of history Russian people have been carrying on trade and maintaining social and cultural relations with lots of foreign countries. Vocabulary is the most accessible sphere for different kinds of external impacts, the sphere where all changes are reflected that happen in life of a society.

There are several reasons why Runglish appear:

  • a new notion should be expressed not by a word combination or a sentence but by one word. In this way word sniper appeared in Russian language instead of descriptive word combination.

  • social-and-psychological factors. Very often people consider that a foreign word sounds more beautiful and it is more fashionable to use adopted word as it shows that you are well informed about all novelties.

People had to invent new words very quickly and borrowing proved to be the best method. Runglish is a process of taking a foreign word (in our case English word) and its subsequent penetration into Russian language by means of transliteration. There are many borrowings from different languages such as French, German, Italian but today more and more English words appear as mostly English speaking countries lead in many spheres such as:

  • computer technologiesfile, monitor, byte, processor and many others.

  • finance and economybroker, dealer, budget, balance, banknote and others

  • politics and diplomacypresident, prime minister, parliament, liberalism, impeachment and others

  • sportsprinter, football, basketball, wrestling, tennis and others

More and more words now occur in the sphere of social networks. Nowadays this sphere develops extremely rapidly as internet communication has mostly displaced all previous types of communication, sometimes even real one. Many words such as follower, blogger, chat, tweet, repost, like, selfie have become an integral part of speech especially among young people.

Today in Russian language one may see lots of examples of borrowed words, so called russified words. Such adaptation happens in the following ways: by addition of russian suffixes, shortening, play of words, declension etc. Such method doesn’t make new words more understandable but it helps to “domesticate” them and make them sound more native. With a help of Russian grammar they are easily integrated into the system of Russian language.

Today, opinions differ about runglish. Some linguists insist that the large-scale penetration of English is destroying the system of the Russian language, its identity and culture. At the same time, other linguists are convinced that the use of English in Russian speech is a "tribute to fashion". The Russian language has absorbed a large number of borrowed words of non-English origin and there is no reason to refer to the word "football" differently than to the word "sidewalk". The language has a "self-cleaning function", so it will be able to get rid of unnecessary language elements over time, due to the fact that there is no serious threat to the Russian language. According to S. A. Boyko[3], this point of view is based on the following facts:

    • English-language equivalents are assimilated according to all the rules of the Russian language, that is, they acquire gender, declension, prefix, suffix, ending.

    • The use of English-language words in speech is the creation of occasionalisms, that is, it is a language game, creative self-expression.

According to A. P. Skovorodnikov, Russian linguists should carefully study the processes that can be observed in the speech practice of society in connection with the important role of language in people's lives. As Yulia Yuzefovich says, commenting on the situation in the emigrant environment, changes in the Russian language are comparable to Darwinian evolution, according to which natural selection occurs, and the strongest survives.

It is impossible to control the process of language development to the full extent. The appearance of new foreign words points to the fact that society keeps up with the times, trades and communicates with developed countries rather actively. However excessive borrowing may not always be reasonable, for example when we use some borrowed word instead of existing Russian one and thus form favourable conditions for slang formation. In this way we clutter up our speech with useless words and their abundance make it sound absurd. It is necessary to look after our language and especially after the words we use.

    1. The classification of Runglish language

1. Direct. The word occurs in the Russian language in nearly the same way and with the same meaning as in language - initial: уик-энд - the weekend; black - негр; money -деньги, talk-show- ток шоу, CD-player- сиди плейер, sprint-спринт.

2. Loan-translation (phonetic borrowing). It occurs when the native language uses an item-for-item native version of the original. In Russian language the word sounds the same as in English: basketball, disk, manager, standard, comfort, action, hypermarket, supermarket, website, menu, disk, virus, club, browser, teenager, telephone, jeans.

3. Loan-shift. Adapting native words to the new meanings. For example, do you think that the word лайкать is connected to a dog? Of course, not. This is an adaptation of the English word “like”. It means to define your positive attitude towards photos and other things in social nets. Do we say банить when we want to wash somebody? No way. It means to prohibit something, from English “to ban”. Or one more example: кликать. It has no connection to calling somebody. It means to use a computer mouse. Аскать (to ask-просить)

4. Loan-blendor hybrids. Is a form in which one component is a loanword and the other is a native element (English roots and Russian suffixes, prefixes and endings): positive - позитив, позитивный;), primitive - примитивный, objective -объективный.

5. Jargon (barbarismos) - foreign words that retain their phonetic and graphic 'foreignness'. These word-strangers, contrasts with Russian vocabulary, not fixed in the dictionary of foreign words, and especially in the Russian dictionary. Active use of anglicisms, barbarisms was sign of our time: фейс-контроль, дресс - код, ноу-хау, мессидж, респект, батл, хэппиэнд, юзер, бейби, баксы..

6. Emotional expressions. A non-integrated word or a whole phrase from a foreign language: OK, вау(Wow!), epic fail, I`ll be back, happy end, goodbye, hello, hi, oops.

1.4 The impact of Runglish on Russian speaking teenagers' lives

The interest in using Runglish increased among teenagers these days. Young people find it easier to verbalize their thoughts and feelings, by means of a foreign language.

Of course, we cannot deny that English including American English strongly affects today teenagers. They watch American soap-operas and films, listen to American music, even have different prints on T-shirts.

We know that young girls like better watch not Russian, but American soap operas. Also there are many really good American films (or just films in English), that we watch and then discuss. Moreover, we know that groupmates like listening to songs in English language. You might think that it is not relevant to the subject, but we think that watching films in original, listening to music in English, play an urgent role in studying a language and, what is more important for this research - in borrowing new words. It often happens that after some popular films lots of new expressions appear in teenagers' vocabulary.

And we noticed one more aspect, which influences teenagers' lives: social nets. All groupmates without exception have their own pages in different social nets (and usually not only in one). There they connect with each other, with their friends in other cities and countries. All teenagers (and not only teenagers) all over the world use such networks as Twitter, Skype, Formspring, Vkontakte.

As you can see, there are many words that related to the Internet and social nets. Some words are general used words, but some are used only in the Internet (mostly by teenagers). A huge amount of those words that are used in the Internet are anglicisms and Russian users just took them started to use without any changes, like words facepalm or noob. But some words have been changed like лайкать (from like - in social nets) or гуглить (from the name of one famous finder - Google). By the way, there are so many words, which are used nowadays not only in the Internet, but also in our daily speech (like LOL). Now we can see that anglicisms have a giant impact on Russian language.

Among new borrowings there are a tons of slang words. Why do teenagers use these words instead of the common ones?

As a rule, English words are short and simple. Furthermore, teenagers are often influenced by their favorite films and sitcoms, popular music and TV programs. Therefore, they take the whole clause, like poker face, forever alone, epic fail. [1R]

Justified (or reasonable) Runglish are the words that replace the absence of corresponding concepts in the Russian language or when we need for a name of a new thing or an item. For example: touchpad, laptop, printer, journalist, business interface and many others. Scary to imagine, how we could call the phone, if we didn't borrow it from the British. A plotter, a scanner, a chocolate? That's why we call them justified Runglish. [2R]


So we tried to check our hypothesis and made the experiment. For this, we took different groups of children from the 4th form- 10 pupils, 8th form – 10 pupils and 11th form – 10 pupils. They were 30 of them. I asked them questions:

1. Do you know the word “Runglish”?

2. Do you use English words in your Russian?

3. Where do you mostly use them?

4. Why do you use them in your speech?

5. Do your parents use Runglish?

Table 1

  1. Do you know the word “Runglish”?


Don`t know

Hear about it

Students of the 4th form



Students of the 8th form



Students of the 11th form



So, I`ve find out that the group of children of the 4th form don`t know the word “Runglish” – 100%, 1% students of the 8th form heard about the word “Runglish”. 3% students of the 11th form also heard about the word “Runglish”.

Table 2

2. Do you use English words in your Russian?


Use English often


Don`t use

Students of the 4th form




Students of the 8th form




Students of the 11th form




I`ve known that the group of children of the 4th form use the word “Runglish66%. 17% students of the 4th form use it rare and only 7% have never used this word. 78% students of the 8th form use English words in Russian often, 18% of the respondents use them rare and 4% don`t use them.

Table 3

3. Where do you mostly use them?


in WhatsApp

at school

at home

Students of the 4th form




Students of the 8th form




Students of the 11th form




55% of pupils of the 4th form use the word “Runglishin Watsap, 25% students of the 4th form use it at school and only 20% use words at home . 30% students of the 8th form use in WhatsApp, 36% of the respondents use at school and 34% use at home. 45% of of the 11th form use English words in Watsap, 25% use them at school and only 30% use them at home.

4. Why do you use them in your speech?

For 76% of respondents the usage of Runglish became a habit, 17% think it is fashionable, 7% use Runglishin order to stand out among the peers.The most used Runglish words at my school are the following ones:Wow, ok, no,yes,hello, bye-bye.

Table 3

5. Do your parents use Runglish?


So, the analysis of the collected material showed that our hypothesis hasbeen proved. It is a fact thatRunglish is popular among today`s teenagers. We found out that the word Runglish is not known to everybody.

In conclusion we want to say that on the one hand, we believe that it`s hopeless to stop the process of using Runglish and try to prevent the presence of new words. Without them it is impossible to think of the modern human being or language. However, the impression of these words should be clear both to speaker and listener, and the use of such words should be appropriate and justified. The ability to use these words correctly shows the respect to the speaker's language and to himself.

Scientists consider that if the Runglish vocabulary exceeds 2-3% from the whole vocabulary, so it's possible that the language might disappear. The number of Runglish words in Russian language is more than 10%! Trying to copy other people's standards, we lose our uniqueness, mother tongue and sense of values.

But on the other hand, we should be attentive with their operation and shouldn`t overload our language with lots of needless words, which already have lots of synonyms in Russian. Having conducted my research we discovered that Russian speaking teenagers use Runglish of different types in conversations with their friends in texting messages and in the net communication. In spite of the opinion that a huge number of runglish words ruin our mother language, we are not in favour of the idea of fighting with their usage, as we find it ineffective. We must admit to using some language mixing of this kind myself - my favourite expressions being “nice вообще!” and “не good”.

However, we believe it is important to study runglish words and to accept them according to grammatical rules of the Russian language. We believe that language is able to self-clean, get rid of excessive, unnecessary words.

In general, foreign language vocabulary is a very interesting linguistic phenomenon whose role in the Russian language is important. Anglo-Russian linguistic interaction constantly attracted study attention directed to the study of the entire inflow of foreign vocabulary in Russian. The practical value of this work is that this research can be used in the teaching of English and Russian languages at college, lyceums and gymnasiums, universities etc. These institutions need to control systematic work to promote students' cultural treatment of foreign words, a good taste of the language. A good taste is the primary condition for the right and appropriate use of linguistic resources, as loanwords.

As a product of my work I have made a dictionary of frequently used Runglish words.


  1. https://ru.wikipedia.org

  2. http://studbooks.net

  3. http://timecodefest.ru

  4. http://slovar-vocab.com/

  5. https://mel.fm/sovet_psikhologa/3809274-bloging

  6. http://computerstory.ru

  7. Воробьева, С. В. Грамматическая ассимиляция новейших англицизмов в русском языке // Вестник Минского гос. лингвистического ун-та. Сер. 1. «Филология». — No 5 (42). — 2009. — С.178 — 186.

  8. О. В. Шенаева, журнал «Современные наукоемкие технологии», статья «Рунглиш в языковой среде современной России», изд. Издательский Дом «Академия Естествознания», г. Пенза, № 7-1, 2013 г., с.53-55.


  1. Krongauz M.A. Russian language on the brink of nervous breakdown // Znak, Yazyki slavianskih cultur [The languages of Slavic cultures], 2007. P 41(in Russian)

  2. Krysin L.P. Foreign words in modern life. // Russian language in the end of the 20th century. — М., 1996. Р. 53-187 (in Russian)

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