The word трудный is translated like difficult. The word трудоёмкий is translated like time-consuming, but actually, speaking of time resources, there is another word in Russian, времяёмкий. Though this word is relatively rare.

My question is - are трудоёмкий and времяёмкий are completely synonymous? I mean, the kind of activity which implies large consume of work is not exactly the kind of time-consuming activity. Those conceptions looks interrelated but not fully interchangeable to me.

  • 2
    Since I have never seen or heard "времяёмкий", I decided to google it, and together with this word, I've found the answer to your question here: old.russ.ru/krug/20030120_dar.html Thus my question: have you tried to find it in the Internet yourself?
    – Olga
    Aug 10, 2012 at 9:58
  • @Olga, yes I have. See, for example translation of времяёмкий and трудоёмкий in translate.google.com - I refer to this very web application, since it's translations rely on statistical data. I more believe to google translate then to russ.ru, where, by the way, I've used to work as editor ;) Moreover, exactly after googling I came up to suspicion that those two words are interpreted by many of speakers as synonyms.
    – shabunc
    Aug 10, 2012 at 10:02
  • I see, so your question is not about the definitions of words, but about how they are used.
    – Olga
    Aug 10, 2012 at 10:23
  • 1
    "I more believe to google translate" translation service from google is an wiki service, so one time it was translating "Лада Калина" as "Yellow Mazda". dp.ru/a/2010/10/14/Google_peresadil_Putina_s
    – hazzik
    Aug 10, 2012 at 11:35
  • 1
    Никогда не слышал слово "времяемкий". Есть слово энергоемкий.
    – user978
    Nov 10, 2012 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


I've never seen "времяёмкий" in the wild, so I suspect this could be a recent calque from English time-consuming.

Трудоёмкий is obviously not an exact counterpart of time-consuming, because it stresses that something requires effort, not time (although effort tends to take some time :)).

To capture the connotations of time-consuming you could use something like

  • exactly in link you've provided трудоёмкий is given as an example of synonym ;)
    – shabunc
    Aug 10, 2012 at 10:27

Понятия времяемкий и трудоемкий - не синонимы.

Например, определенные компьютерные операции могут быть времяемкими, но при этом не требовать затрат человеческого труда.

See this link


There is no such word времяёмкий in Russian standard dictionaries yet.

The article that Olga found is about experimenting with language. People suggest some words. These words are not in dictionaries yet and perhaps will never be.

I agree with comment by hazzic to the OP (Aug 10) that Google Translate is not a reputable source to conclude if word exists or not. It can return translations that are very far from perfect.

Dictionary of Zalizniak (1980) gives only 7 words ending with -ёмкий. (I ordered them by the frequency, defined here as the number of web-pages found by yandex.ru with the word:

трудоёмкий     5 mln
энергоёмкий    1 mln
теплоёмкий    142000
металлоёмкий   66000
влагоёмкий     42000
водоёмкий      30000
электроёмкий   10000

Not in Zalizniak (1980) but on internet:

наукоемкий     2mln
времязатратный 9000
времяемкий     5000

Among the pages found with времяемкий: on top was the page quoted by Olga which is kind of experimental; many pages were using this word enclosed into apostrophes to show that the word was invented on the spot for brevity, and many could just be attributed to an erroneous usage.

In 10 years from now this word may become a first class citizen in Russian, but now it is on the brink of existence.

Maybe in 10 years I will use this word, too, but now I wouldn't because ёмкий has positive connotation in Russian. For spending time I would prefer to use времязатратный.

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