Recently I started to notice that in some contexts, mostly crime-related the form "раён" is used instead of "район". Although the words are pronounced similarly, they are used in different contexts and with different prepositions: "в районе" but "на раёне".

Can anybody please clarify the difference?

  • Sorry, but can you provide phonetical transcription of both "район" and "раён"? I claim this question to be incorrect, since from phonetical point of view these words are equivalent. And I guess you are asking not about written form.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 7:37
  • @shabunc I am asking about written form. They are indeed pronounced the same way.
    – Anixx
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 7:57

3 Answers 3


It's a criminal slang. There is no difference other than that.

It's obvious that раён is incorrect, it's only used to emphasis the criminality of the speaker. But even на районе is sufficient.

  • 2
    Also a bully question ты с какого района? instead of neutral ты из какого района?
    – Lyth
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 6:21
  • 2
    For most educated people it may be obvious that раён is incorrect. However when you think about the number of youths who grew up on computers, and compare the level of education between now and 20-30 years ago, the obviousness starts to disappear. There are too many Russian-speaking children that cannot write correctly grammatically.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 8:07

In many cases, mispelled word раён as well as the wrong combinations на районе, с района is used in an ironic way by the people who are not criminals or hooligans. Such writing and using of wrong prepositions are often used to emphasize IQ level of bullies/criminals, because there is stereotype that they are actually talking this way. Increased attention to the word "район" can be explained by the gopniks' catch phrases "Ты с какого района?" and "Сидим с пацанами на районе".

To summarize:
район - correct spelling, раён - incorrect
в районе - correct, на районе - incorrect
из района - correct, с района - incorrect


This is not a criminal slang (especially just the spelling "раён"), though it has "criminal roots". You can hear many people speak like that - taxi drivers, street sales persons, workers, etc. Most of them are not well-educated, so they do not know the right way to speak. Of course the criminals are also not educated, so when you imagine how criminals speak - they will certanly use incorrect forms of words and language constructs.

As for spelling "раён" sounds exactly as "район", so "ё" is used here to emphasize the incorrectness of the speech, especially in the expression "на раёне" (and most likely the person speaking so will spell it incorrectly).

As for "на" - this preposition is often used in argots instead of "в": "на зоне", "на больнице", "на тюрьме" (see this answer by Quassnoi).

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