#7 - JRL 7019
January 15, 2003
Russian Government Fights with Dirty Language
Will they ban notorious Russian bad words?
The first session of the Russian State Duma in the year 2003 will take place today, on January 15th. The deputies are going to start their winter session with the discussion of the draft law regarding the Russian language. The Russian language, which was called by Russian classic writers as the "Great and Powerful Language," does not experience its best time nowadays.
The new draft law stipulates rather tough rules. A lot of adoptions from other languages that have Russian analogues will be banned. Furthermore, the state decided to struggle with the use of both low colloquial and scornful words. The new law also provides strict measures for those, who will use bad words.
However, Russian law-makers decided to make a concession for mass media outlets and for producers of advertising. The people of these categories will be allowed to use the words of foreign origin in their speech, if those words will be the inseparable part of the artistic intention. It deems that Russian deputies have had a lovely Christmas vacation, if they decided to settle the language problem in the country right at the very first session of the new year. They do not really like low colloquial words. What about swearing then? The Russian obscene vocabulary is very rich, it is a form of the Russian folklore. This is a part of the Russian national culture and history, so it would be stupid to turn a blind eye on that. It goes without saying that the obscene language is used by the vast majority of the Russian population, and deputies do not make an exception.
If the new law about the Russian language is going to be approved, we will have to witness very unpleasant changes. Such sounds like mmm or hmm will become the destiny of the blessed listeners. By the way, it is not only Russia that wants to purify its language. At the end of the last year, the Swiss government announced its decision to struggle with the words, which had been adopted from the English language. The government of Switzerland believed that those words dirty up the vocabulary of all four state languages of the country -- German, French, Italian and Romansch (based on Latin and spoken by a small minority in the Canton Graubuenden). The Swiss authorities are determined to launch something like a crusade against the domination of the English words. The government plans to make a special online dictionary that would translate most commonly used foreign notions. Their equivalents will be given in German, French and in Italian. The government of Switzerland stressed out that they were not going to get rid of all Anglicisms at all. Swiss officials only recommended to replace them with more understandable words of their native speech.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov