Roadmap of Linguistic Cargo Cult


The Roadmap of Linguistic Cargo Cult:

1. Use non-Russian substitutes for words as often as possible, just transliterate them even when it’s not necessary (reverse Occam razor: entities must be multiplied beyond necessity).
1.1. Use non-Russian substitutes for words as often as possible, translating them into Russian.

2. Practice 1. even when there are Russian analogues.
2.1. Practice 1. even when there are non-Russian analogues, which were appropriated rather long ago, so are generally seen as native Russian despite their foreign origin.

3. ???


Here’s an example: let’s take the word ‘roadmap’ (politics). There are Russian analogues/translations of this term: план/программа/схема/сценарий [действий/развития] (plan/programma/skhema/stsenariy [deystviy/razvitiya]). They are all of clear foreign origin (план – plan, программа – program[me], схема – scheme, сценарий – scenario), but nowadays they are perceived as ‘Russian’ (2.1.). Nevertheless, the literal translation of the word ‘roadmap’ is used – дорожная карта – dorozhnaya karta (1.1.). Thus, it’s actually not a sign of linguistic ‘nativism’.


2 thoughts on “Roadmap of Linguistic Cargo Cult

  1. Pingback: Reading on Russia Roundup #46 – Russia Reviewed

  2. Pingback: Cargo Culture – Russian Universe

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