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Since childhood I instinctively knew if an English word that ends with "-tion" will have a translation into Russian ending with "-ция". There are some more pairs such as this.

Example:

Moderation - Модерация
Administration - Администрация
Transformation - Трансформация
Provocation - Провокация

Is there such a rule that English loanwords ending with "-tion" will have a Russian counterpart ending with "-ция"? What other such translation rules there are, if any?

  • This is from Latin, not from English. – Anixx Apr 26 '14 at 4:04
  • @Anixx yeah, two other users already said that – user1306322 Apr 26 '14 at 4:07
  • These are transliterations, not necessarily translations. As Highstaker points out in his answer, the same word can mean different things in English and in Russian. – David42 Sep 17 '16 at 10:36
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I will agree with Aksakal, that many words ending in -ция have probably been imported from Latin or French. Although модерация might be imported from English, since it is a relatively new word used mostly in the internet and IT.

Answering your question. No, not all words are translated by this rule. Many words do have such a counterpart, and the ones you mentioned are totally okay, along with many others.

But let's take, for example, "motion". In Russian it is "движение", and if you say "моция", I doubt anybody will understand you, this word doesn't really exist in Russian language. Same for "notion". Or "contribution". Or "contamination". But "emotion" translates as "эмоция", and it's perfectly fine. 8)

Another thing to note is that some words have such counterparts, but a Russian counterpart means a different thing in Russian language, or it may mean the same thing, but only in secondary/tertiary/whatever meaning, while it's primary meaning is different.

For example, "pollution". The primary English meaning is "a contamination (of the environment, for example)" while the meaning of "wet-dream" is secondary. "Поллюция" has it vice versa. When we hear "Поллюция", we first think of "wet dream", and barely anybody (except for linguistically literate people) will think of it as "a contamination of the environment".

Or let's take "action". It is some activity/act/deed. "Акция" can have these meanings ("акция протеста" - "protest action"), but it's more widely used meanings are "a share of stock in a company" and "a sale or a special offer in a shop".

So, to sum it up: yes, there are very many words that can be translated by the rule you stated. But this rule doesn't officially exist, because there are also many words that either cannot be translated that way or that have different meanings.

  • Of course, maybe some words I stated in my examples of non-existent ones actually DO exist, I might be mistaken. On the other hand, I would generally recommend to avoid using such words, mostly because they are not well-known, and native-speakers will probably not understand you, if you use them. So, I suggest using a Russian word for that - with "contribution" it is "вклад" "участие" "содействие" etc. Also, in this particular example Russian counterparts are generally shorter 8) multitran.ru/c/m.exe?l1=1&l2=2&s=contribution – Highstaker Apr 23 '14 at 16:00
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    Well, контрибуция actually exists in Russian, yet it has a different meaning (as money paid by the losing party to the winner in a war). – Anixx Apr 26 '14 at 4:01
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It's not English, it's also French and other languages which have words with Latin suffix -tio. It became -sion -tion in these languages. Russian probably borrowed directly from Latin, hence ция without "n" at the end.

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    Suffix -ция is borrowed from Latin -tio via Polish -cja. – Dmitry Alexandrov Apr 22 '14 at 7:44
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These words can also be translated as

модерирование

администрирование

трансформирование

провоцирование

In this case they would mean the process connected with this english noun.

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