Why bother to find the right word in Russian when the wrong word in English will do?
Текст «К каким последствиям для общества приводят войны» автор Лиза Шапатина писала долго, потому что нужно было найти хороших спикеров [spikerov], нужно было составить хорошую рыбу и нужно было структурировать текст так, чтобы было понятно, просто и интересно. И ей это удалось!
Author Liza Shapatina took a long time to write the text “What consequences wars have for society,” because she had to find good speakers, she had to make a good outline, and she had to structure the text so that it was clear, simple and interesting. And she succeeded!
Source: Liza Tyurina, Help Needed Foundation email newsletter, 1 March 2023. Translation by TRR
The right Russian word in this case would have been собеседник [sobesednik] — meaning, “source,” “informant,” “interlocutor” — instead of the now absurdly overused Anglicism спикер [spiker], which not so long ago, in the 1990s, referred only to the chairs of the UK House of Commons and the US House of Representatives, and occasionally, by analogy, the chair of the Russian State Duma. Now it used not only to denote parliamentary chairs the world over, but also, absurdly, “speakers” at conferences and other public events, and now, apparently, anyone who speaks or with whom one speaks, although the implied corresponding verbal form спикить (instead of, depending on the context, говорить, выступать, беседовать, докладывать, etc.) has not yet come into use, thank God. ||| TRR
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that bans government officials from using foreign words in official documents and correspondence as well as while carrying out their duties.
“When using Russian as the state language of the Russian Federation, it is not allowed to use words and expressions that do not correspond to the norms of modern literary Russian language,” the law published Tuesday said.
The exception, according to the law, is the use of “foreign words which do not have widely used corresponding equivalents in Russian.”
A list of foreign words that can be used will be compiled by a government commission and will be published separately, the Kommersant business daily reported.
A number of Russian political figures vowed to protect the Russian language from Western influence due to what they called “Russophobia” and “attacks on everything connected with Russia.”
Source: “Putin Signs Law Banning Officials from Using Foreign Words,” Moscow Times, 1 March 2023