Linguistic Xenophobia

Feb 3 2013 @ 6:25pm

movement is afoot in Russia to ban the use of foreign words in public:

‘We’re tormented with Americanisms,’ the leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, complained last week. ‘We need to liberate our language from foreign words.’ He is drawing up a list of 100 words which he would like it to be illegal for broadcasters, writers and academics to use in public. Fines and unemployment could face anyone caught saying cafébarrestaurantsalemoutonperformance or trader. Some of the words have come into use since the fall of the Soviet Union; others have been around for decades, if not centuries. ‘There are perfectly good Russian words you can use,’ Zhirinovsky says. ‘Why say boutique when we have lavka?’ (Lavka is usually translated into English as something like ‘stall’.)

Meanwhile, France trying to replace “hashtag” with “mot-dièse,” which means “sharp word”:

This isn’t the first time France has changed up its vocabulary to avoid English words creeping into the language. In 2003, France replaced the word “email” with “courriel,” and attempted to create new terms for Wi-Fi and blog.