Is there any explanation why a lot of sites use "липсинг" word instead of "липсинк"? Obviously it's russian version of the "lip-sync" word and should be written as "липсинк". Sure thing I know it's not "official" russian word but I'm still wondering.

P.S: http://www.trpub.ru/perevod-video/lipsing/ even this site that provides translation services uses "липсинг" version.

  • In this article from "ТВ Культура", popular and respected Russian TV channel, they use липсинк: tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/27857; but then again, in this article about dubbing from Wikipedia, they use липсинг: ru.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 24, 2016 at 13:59
  • Липсинк in ТВ Культура's article refers to the name of the show (спектакль "Липсинк"), so, as a proper name, it does not need to have correct speling. Though there is one mentioning of a term: '"Липсинк" – это кинематографический термин', though as it is quoted it's not clear if they use russian term or just explain what's the meaning of the show name is.
    – Artemix
    Feb 24, 2016 at 14:52
  • "lip-sing" does make some sense :) Feb 24, 2016 at 16:25
  • trpub.ru/perevod-video/lipsing - As you can see, they also know that it is "synch", not "sing" and nevertheless they write: "Липсинг (от англ. «lips» — губы и «synch» — синхронизация) – полная синхронизация звукового и визуального ряда в фильмах."
    – Artemix
    Feb 24, 2016 at 20:55
  • I'd say someone made blint idiot translation once (a la "ring the bell" -> "рынду бей") and the rest just blindly followed suit. I, personally, didn't knew about people using "липсинГ" until today. Feb 29, 2016 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


Though correct transliteration of lyp-sync is липсинК, липсинГ is often used instead, because the word is not listed in dictionaries, and as such, Russian speakers use their language feeling to decide which writing form suites best in this case. Note that most Russian speakers do not know English, so they do not use English rules here.

So, from a perspective of Russian-speaker, a word that sounds like [липсинк] can be written in two ways: липсинк and липсинг (both writings are pronounced the same way - [липсинк], this process is known as devoicing). Russian speaker knows that many borrowed words (they may or may not be aware of English origin of those words) have 'инг' at the end: фактчекинг, лизинг, конвертинг, спарринг, допинг, шопинг, тюнинг, кастинг, тренинг and so on and so forth. Since [липсинк] obviously goes to borrowed category, it seems that 'инг' ending is 'more correct' than 'инк' ending. This version is also backed by the fact that writing 'инк' in this position instead of 'инг' is a common spelling error (since both endings are pronounced the same way).

And in fact 'инк' ending is not common to other Russian words as well. Almost all nouns that have such ending are limited by: цинк, сцинк (lizard), инк (one of Inca people). Other words are proper and family names like Метерлинк, Хиддинк, Пинк Флойд. Non-listed in dictionaries, but known are линк (пруфлинк, гиперлинк), дринк (софт-дринк, лонг-дринк). So we have here only 10 nouns (plus 20 family names), while there are over 400 words ending with -инг.

Such transformation, based on common native speakers impression what is 'correct' and what is 'incorrect' resulted in modification of borrowed or existing Russian words with spelling similar to common spelling errors:

  • Initially Фляшка - later replaced with фляжка (borrowed from Polish flasza, looks like шк/жк misspelling)
  • Пошта - почта (borrowed from Polish росztа, looks like шт/чт misspelling)
  • Машта - мачта (borrowed from Dutch mast, looks like шт/чт misspelling)

Though липсинг may look more correct for a Russian eye (non-aware of English grammar and phonetics), the fact that most dictionaries do not contain this word, and existence of дринк and линк leaves a chance that consistent usage of липсинк will overcome incorrect transliteration.

  • This would be correct if it was "lipsing", but the English word is "lip-sync"
    – Alissa
    Feb 24, 2016 at 14:17
  • @Alissa Yes, correct transliteration is липсинк, but this is very uncommon to have English borrowing ending with -инк: дринк, софт-дринк, линк, пруфлинк, пинк (short for Пинк Флойд) and that's all. Most of these borrowings are slangish, while 'инг' borrowings are plenty and are listed in dictionaries. And in fact even Russian words ending with 'инк' are very rare (цинк, сцинк), other are proper or family names like Метерлинк or Хиддинк.
    – Artemix
    Feb 24, 2016 at 14:32
  • Sorry, previous version of your answer was confusing. I read it as "-ing words end with инг, hence this one should too". After a thought I'd agree with you. Though if I was translating an article with this word, I'd probably used липсинк rather than липсинг.
    – Alissa
    Feb 24, 2016 at 15:18
  • @Artemix, just to draw your attention, the words you've used to back the -инг-form originally end in -ing: shopp_ing_, cast_ing_, etc. Whereas lip-syn_c_ is short for lip synchronization, it follows a different word-building pattern. More about the phenomenon: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lip_sync
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:47
  • @Artemix, also, the person performing lip-sync is called a lip-syncer, or a lip-syncher, not a 'lip-singer.' This activity includes but isn't limited to singing.
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:02

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