November 19, 2021

Spelling Out the Rules


Spelling Out the Rules
Russian spelling is notoriously tricky, but not as difficult as learning to spell correctly in English.  Polina Zimmerman | pexels.com

For the first time in over sixty years, the Russian Ministry of Education is seeking to update the spelling rules of the Russian language. These rules will help to unify the spelling of some of the more recent loan words that the Russian language has adopted over the years, primarily from the English language, but from other world languages as well. 

Words such as "rap," "killer," "dealer," and "carsharing" have been a part of the Russian vernacular for quite a while now, but their spelling has yet to be formalized in a code. It can be rather confusing, even for Russians, to determine how to spell some of these less common words.

Of course, this is because Russian has different letters than English. For example, the sound made by the E in English can be expressed in multiple different ways in Russian, so one of the new rules will establish which words should take the Russian vowel "э" and which others will be spelled with the Russian letter "е."  

The new set of guidelines are also looking at units of language that are borrowed from other languages and used to form other words (like "mini," "audio," or "media"). Rules for how these language segments should be used, along with hyphens, will be established. 

English has many loan words borrowed from the Russian language too, but we just tend to spell (and pronounce) them however we'd like. 

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