What are the most significant changes in Russian language in 20th-21st centuries other than orthography rules and lexicon?


2 Answers 2


The heavily artificial, but apparently catching, trend towards indeclinable brand names and titles (driven by marketers trying to preserve what they call "brand integrity"). They're using a grammatical loophole of a sort, the implicit qualifier: работа в "Макдоналдс" rather than в "Макдоналдсе" implying в ресторанах "Макдоналдс", etc. This has led to occasional examples of people not declining anything that goes in quotes, including film and periodical titles. Personally I'm worried/grumpy about the younger generation picking up this lack of declension as intuitively "correct", but it's not such a big deal in the end.

In other "kids these days" developments, the malapropist substitution of неприкасаемый for неприкосновенный seems to be unstoppable; it's all over the media and no one cares. The latter word may go obsolete, and the former officially take on a meaning (untouchable as in immune or inviolable) antonymous to its original and strictly correct one (untouchable as in pariah).

A minor but very curious example of English borrowings influencing the Russian phonetic inventory, further than the already semi-accepted /w/, is what seems to be a palatalised glottal stop: at least one video game streamer on Twitch rendered "early drops" (a Hearthstone term) as [ʔʲо]рли-дропы (there's currently no way to even spell it standardly); this may become bigger in the future.


One trend driven by English influence is shortening some verbs and their derivatives by removing some suffixes in colloquial speech:

программировать -> программить 
терраформировать -> терраформить
трансформировать -> трансформить
информировать -> информить


  • 1
    I'm not sure this is a recent change. Russian language has the tendency to lose parts of long words in informal speech. This way "студенческий билет" becomes "студень" in speech, but is this new?
    – alamar
    Apr 6, 2015 at 15:35

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