All Slavic languages: Purism

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Mac_Linguist, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Mac_Linguist Senior Member

    English and Macedonian
    To what extent does your language attempt to prevent the influence of foreign languages? Providing neologisms to replace loanwords, etc.?

    Could you give some examples of successful reforms in your language?

    I'm particularly interested in Croatian and Serbian linguistic purism and their purging of Turkish loanwords from the standard. For example, Croatians use Kositar over the Turkish loan Kalaj.

    Any input is much appreciated.
  2. Mac_Linguist Senior Member

    English and Macedonian
    Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to replace words such as Sapun (Soap), Šećer (Sugar) and Boja (Color)?

    I realize that nowadays it would be impractical, but is it possible? What words were used by Serbs, Croats and even Macedonians before they adopted Turkish loans?

    Words used in every day situations:
    • bakar (Turkish: bakır)
    • boja (Turkish: boya)
    • bubreg (Turkish: böbrek)
    • budala (Turkish: budala)
    • čarapa (Turkish: çorap)
    • čelik (Turkish: çelik)
    • džep (Turkish: cep)
    • jastuk (Turkish: yastık)
    • jogurt (Turkish: yoğurt)
    • kat (Turkish: kat)
    • kula (Turkish: kule)
    • kutija (Turkish: kutu)
    • majmun (Turkish: maymun)
    • pamuk (Turkish: pamuk)
    • pekmez (Turkish: pekmez)
    • pilić (Turkish: piliç)
    • sapun (Turkish: sabun)
    • šećer (Turkish: şeker)
    • temelj (Turkish: temel)
    • torba (Turkish: torba)
    What are their older native equivalents?
  3. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Croatian language has generally been very purist ever since its standardization in the 19th century. The only borrowings that are generally considered as "legitimate" in standard Croatian are those from classical languages, and even those are not preferred if an alternative Slavic word exists. The only major exceptions are certain words that entered the language so long ago that they sound indistinguishable from Slavic words to native speakers, like those Turkish words that you mention. There are also a few borrowings from Romance languages, primarily in the arts-related vocabulary. Of course, various dialects of Croatian have huge numbers of words from German, Italian, Turkish, etc., many of whom are actively used by the vast majority of the population in everyday life, and the slang is nowadays full of English borrowings. However, an educated person will instinctively avoid such words in all formal contexts.

    In the 1990s, the Croatian government supported some ridiculously extreme purist efforts, which didn't have much overall success. Only a few of the words invented in that period have remained in wide usage. However, the tradition of pretty high purist standards had existed long before that, even while Croatia was a part of the former Yugoslavia.
  4. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    It would be impossible. I'm not aware of any Slavic roots with even remotely similar meanings that could be used to construct some purist alternatives to these words. It sounds strange that a Slavic language such as Croatian has no Slavic words for such fundamental concepts, but that's the way things really are.

    Some dialects do have different words for some of these concepts, but those are also borrowings, and they are not considered acceptable in the standard language.

    I have no idea, and I'm not even sure whether those words are known nowadays.
  5. Mac_Linguist Senior Member

    English and Macedonian
    Which do you know of that have remained in wide usage?

    I guess it would be possible to look to languages such as Slovenian and Czech, or even comparing all Slavic languages to find such roots.

    One more thing. What is the etymology of the Croatian word Toranj?
  6. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Off the top of my head, for example, zrakoplov (= airplane), tipkovnica (= keyboard), putovnica (= passport), domovnica (= citizenship certificate)... These words are used quite frequently nowadays, at least in formal contexts.

    For example, let's see what various online dictionaries give as translation for color (native speakers are welcome to correct my possible ridiculous misconceptions :D).

    Slovak farba is obviously a German borrowing (which exists as a substandard word for paint in Croatian); ditto for the Czech/Slovenian/Polish barva/barwa. For Bulgarian and Russian however, I'm getting the translation... цвят/цвет. :confused: This word means flower in Croatian and Serbian, and apparently there are Bulgarian and Russian words for flower with the same root. Could it be that it originally also meant color in Croatian and Serbian, but got replaced by the Turkish borrowing in this meaning?

    I would guess that it somehow came from the Latin turris, which is, if I'm not mistaken, also the ancestor of the English tower, German Turm, and Spanish torre. I don't know if it came directly from Latin or through some other language. Note however that this is just my personal amateurish guess -- for a reliable answer, you should consult a dictionary or an expert.
  7. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    Since the institutionalized splitting up of Serbo-Croatian – “one language with two alphabets” - into Serbian and Croatian, the new state of Croatia has favoured a language policy aiming at increasing the distinctiveness of Croatian. The only way this can be done is to dig into the indigenous vocabulary in search for native words which are distinct from Serbian. Elimination of Turkish loanwords in “Serbo-Croatian” seems to be a particularly cherished goal of this policy – as if Serbs don’t have some of the same inclination to remove these century-old cultural words... I wonder together with Mac Linguist:

    Whether it is impractical or possible – I am sure this is a very interesting debate. The more fundamental question is rather why this frantic eviction of ordinary people’s lexical choices in the past should have a priority in the first place today. None of these words were “forced” on anybody. They just entered the language through usage by illiterate people, and it is only in hindsight that etymology was born, a science which turned out to be a handy tool for shaping a national mythology.

    According to a genuine puristic mind, words of a certain provenance should receive an anathema. The line of thought goes like this:

    a) “We associate Turkish with Ottoman conquest and occupation.”​
    b) “We want to be free!”​
    c) “Anything Turkish prevents us from being free.”​

    The logical outcome is to attack a part of one’s own patrimony, the lexical wealth of one’s own language.

    If you put it this way:

    We hate sapun because it is Turkish. The use of it should stop immediately. Sapun makes us unfree!​

    -- you implicitly focus on the content of the word realizing that the form is of minor importance...

    Of course, purism is not limited to the Balkans. But I see some fundamental differences in puristic efforts between, say, Germany and Croatia. If purism is defined as “an attempt to replace foreign words with native ones”, German purism has been pretty successful. In the end of the day it also gives you a choice to use whatever “international” word of Latin/Greek origin you might prefer for scientific writing. Turkish purism has also been successful to the extent that Ottoman words of Arabic/Persian origin which only served the purpose of communicating between members of an elite and were more or less unknown to ordinary people, were evicted from the lexicon of the national language. Modern Greek purism, on the other hand, has sought not only to replace foreign words (primarily of Turkish origin!), but to restore “lost” grammatical categories. The ideal is always the past – the “Golden Age” of national illusions.

    What I mean by “frantic purism” is to limit puristic efforts to certain layers of vocabulary. This is a consciously directed purism with a smack of religious ardour. A funny aspect of such a national policy is that sometimes serious etymological research is necessary in order to decide whether this of that word is really of Turkish origin.

    And here I come to my point of intervention in this debate.

    What is “wrong” with kutija and sapun? I thought the first word was a Greek loanword in Turkish, and the second one a cultural word of ultimately Latin origin. In Modern Greek these two words occur as κουτί [kuti] and σαπούνι [sapuni]. “Soap” went from Latin to Aramaic, and entered Arabic as sabūn. Turkish sabun obviously came through Arabic (and no body wanted it to leave! :D). Now, the above sapun reminds me more of Greek σαπούνι than of the Turkish word.:confused:

    It would be of considerable interest to compare the two existing compilations of Turkish loanwords in Serbo-Croatian from 40 years back with the actual state of affairs in Serbian and Croatian. The two books in question are:

    Anton Knežević: Die Turzismen in der Sprache der Kroaten und Serben, Meisenheim am Glan 1962, and
    Abdulah Škaljić: Turcismi u srpsko-hrvatskom jeziku, Sarajevo 1966
    Perhaps I am asking too many questions and making fun of puristic movements as I don’t possess the correct state of mind to question somebody’s right to be free...:D
    :) :)
  8. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    While a lot of what you write makes sense, I think you're overlooking some practical aspects of the issue. Most Turkish words in various South Slavic dialects are restricted to certain regions and cannot be understood elsewhere. Those Turkish words that are indeed so widespread that they are shared between most dialects in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro, have been adopted into their respective standard languages, and nobody (to my knowledge) has ever tried purging them out. Examples of such words are the ones in the above list, like čizma, boja, or kutija.

    The avoidance of many Turkish words was necessary in the standardization of Serbo-Croatian in order to make that artificial language reasonably comprehensible throughout the republics in which it was supposed to be the standard. The same happened with many other local dialectal words, including some purely Slavic ones. I actually grew up in Bosnia, and I assure you that many Turkish words that we used there on a daily basis are totally incomprehensible to most people in Croatia.

    Therefore, at least some of the purism was driven by the need to unite a very diverse set of dialects by an artificial standard language, rather than by nationalism.

    Actually, the situation with many Turcisms in Bosnia and Serbia -- among which I also include the Arabic, Persian, and other words that came there through Turkish -- was exactly the same. Even these days, you'll occasionally hear a Muslim cleric from Bosnia speaking in a formal and official tone in a language full of such words that are barely understandable to the common folk.
  9. el_tigre Senior Member

    Of course

    Here is listof popsssible alternatives:
  10. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    According to my etymology dictionary, Polish torba has been borrowed from Turkish and Turkish borrowed it from Persian.
  11. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Russian has acquired a lot of words during the last two decades, mostly from English. For example, a large amount of business terms are loanwords from English. Frankly speaking, I see nothing wrong in it: if an English word describes something perfectly well, why invent a Russian equivalent which would consist of two or more words?
  12. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    Thanks for your comment, Athaulf! If anybody can say something unprejudiced about Turkish loanwords in former Yugoslavia, it must be a person who grew up in Bosnia but belongs to another ethnic group! Mutatis mutandis, Ivo Andrić (1892-1975), the Nobel prize in literature 1961, was also a Croat who spent his youth in Bosnia. Andrić was not particularly fond of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (from which he received a long jail sentence), but he had nothing against German culture – he studied in Graz and served his country in Berlin as a high-ranking diplomat. He would have all the interest in keeping Yugoslavia together. The life span of Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980), also a Croat, corresponded almost exactly to that of Andrić. Interestingly, neither of them favoured the age-old policy among national Croatians to maximize differencies between Croatian and Serbian. And Serbian not only had many more Turkish loanwords than Croatian, but paradoxically – considering the national mythology which was born with the battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389 - the Serbs did less to get rid of them. Both Andrić and Tito turned out as “Serbs” when it came to language policy. And yet, you say:

    Andrić’ books contain a plethora of Turkish words! Is there a contradiction here? I have read an abstract of a PhD (Ann Arbor) about Turkish loanwords contained only in Na Drini ćuprija. To me Andrić’ language – even if I am not able to read his books in the original version - has a certain flavour of Kazantzakis. When it comes to Turkish loanwords contained in certain books of the latter, there are plenty of them which you will never find in any Greek dictionary. I sort of repeat myself when saying that there is nothing wrong with “peripheral vocabulary”. Some words will be used while others will perish – whatever their origin is. If you asked ten years ago what ‘avian’ means in English, many people wouldn’t know. But then the “bird flue” came along.:p

    The use of avoidance in the quoted sentence above basically seems to me as meaningless as – well, as to mix two language varieties of South Slavic in a cocktail mixer and voilà, out comes a standardized language...:D

    Admittedly, Andrić had a fascination for Bosnian culture and he wanted Yugoslavia to be a sort of synthesis between Oriental and Western culture – in spite of his Catholic upbringing. This was obviously wishful thinking. Perhaps the bridge he built through his work was too much tilted towards the Oriental strand?

    There are so many complicating factors in South Slavic language policy that whatever argument an outsider might come up with, there is always an argument against it. Or a claim that he hasn’t quite understood the whole stituation - which is fair enough! One thing has struck me when talking to Serbs and Croats about language policy: Croats are much more convinced that their arguments are valid. With Bosnians I can’t generalize.

    An interesting word! Polish toyra, “haversack*) hung around the neck of a horse”, probably entered Polish through the now extinct Turkic language Kipchak. The “Kipchak Turkic lexical traces of Ottoman heritage in Rumanian and Balkan languages” have recently been investigated by Maria Mina Lazarescu-Zobian. I don’t know why she calls it “Ottoman heritage” as long as Kipchak linguistic influence came to the Balkans (and especially to today’s Rumania and adjacent areas) through the Golden Horde of which Kipchak was the lingua franca. Ottoman linguistic influence came through Anatolia – Kipchak came through the open land north of the Black Sea and left many curious traces, f.ex. the Turkic language spoken by the Jewish Karaim minority in Poland and Lithuania, now nearly extinct.

    My guess is that the Polish word came through the Karaim language – through the vernaculars, I suspect, even if Karaim (in Hebrew) means “readers”.:D

    *) Etymologically, this word (of German origin) means “bag for oats” which is exactly what I want to express. Most people would associate haversack with a “shoulder bag”.
    :) קראים :)
  13. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I'm certainly not in favor of any sort of purist language policing, but I still think that most English words look and sound really ugly when imported into a Slavic language -- and I'm sure I'm not alone in this opinion. This is partly due to immense phonological differences between English and Slavic languages, which make most Slavic transcriptions of English words look and sound ridiculous. But it's also caused by the fact that people are trying to keep the form and sound of the English borrowings as close to the original words as possible, so that they keep sticking out like sore thumbs instead of being naturally distorted until they fit the host language comfortably.
  14. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I'm not sure what exactly you mean by the "age-old" policy. Deliberate maximization of differences between Croatian and Serbian was a systematic policy only in the 1990s Tudjman's Croatia and in the Croatian WW2-era Nazi puppet-state. I wouldn't say that either of these periods left a strong lasting mark on the language. Generally, since the literary languages of Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia were standardized, they have naturally developed in close proximity, but with different attitudes and rules for the formation and borrowing of new words. Andrić merely switched from the Croatian to the Serbian standard at one point in his career. (This incidentally shows that these standards, however similar, indeed have real differences -- even as a supporter of the unified Serbo-Croatian language, he couldn't make a serious attempt at writing in some eclectic mixture of the two.)

    I'm not really sure about this. It would be interesting to compare the number of Turcisms in the standard Croatian and Serbian language with the number of Turcisms in their various dialects from a century ago, although I doubt that reliable figures could be found for the latter.

    I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read more than a few short excerpts from Na Drini Ćuprija, but from what I've seen, this novel reads like perfectly standard Serbian to me, except for an occasional Turkish word thrown in for the atmosphere. (And for many of those words, it's impossible to find replacements anyway, like e.g. the official Ottoman titles.) Not that this means that it's bad, of course -- I'm just saying that I haven't found the vocabulary unusual in any way. For a more colorful inventory of interesting Turcisms, I would recommend the novels of Meša Selimović. And even those are by no means extreme; I remember reading some Bosnian texts written in deliberately archaic language full of Turcisms in which I was barely able to decipher anything from whole paragraphs.

    I'm not sure what kind of exposure to the South Slavic languages you have had, but my impression (perhaps mistaken -- my apologies if so!) is that you might be underestimating the differences in the number of Turcisms between different dialects from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro. No mainstream South Slavic writers have ever come anywhere close to incorporating most of the Turcisms from the old Bosnian and Serbian dialects in their writing. If someone did, it would be incomprehensible to most of today's audience even in Bosnia.
    Well, you're probably aware that the standard languages in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro are pretty artificial entities, constructed in a way not too different from what you describe by this metaphor. The goal was to construct something that would be reasonably comprehensible throughout those countries. While the refusal to officially recognize some Turcisms was certainly driven by anti-Turkish sentiments, it's undeniable that most of those words are regional peculiarities that could not be made a part of a language that was supposed to be so widely understood. Whether it was a good idea to create a single standard language for a continuum of such vastly different dialects -- that's a different issue. But once such a project was started, exclusion of many regional words and expressions was a necessary part of it.

    Overall, language is viewed as a political issue much more in Croatia than in Serbia. Many more Croats make a political point of having strong opinions on language issues such as purism or (dis)similarities between Croatian and Serbian. Of course, like everywhere else, when it comes to things that are perceived to have political significance, people usually don't have much interest for rational arguments, and opinions are perceived as a matter of collectivist pride, not intellect.
  15. Mac_Linguist Senior Member

    English and Macedonian
    Where do Šara, Zboj, Slador and Bumbak come from?

    Apart from the Chakavian bječva/bičva, what would be the Serbian and Macedonian equivalents?
  16. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I'm good with borrowings, but what really scares me is when people are trying to derive, say, a verb from a noun and add Russian suffixes to an English word. It sounds really ugly.
    All in all, the language always knows which word to adopt. During the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were many loanwords from English which later became replaced by Russian equivalents.
  17. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    It is interesting that archaic texts are full of Turkisms! In a Greek context, older texts (than say 120 years) wouldn’t even exist in the vernacular, but only in a hybrid classicizing language. And any such writing would be practically devoid of Turkish loanwords. To the extent that texts are available in dialects, they would exhibit much more of this lexical stratum because dialects have never been subject to purism. When words are confined to paper, a purifying filter is immediately activated, so to say. And yet, there are plenty of authors who use Turkish loanwords which of course stem from the spoken language and which are hardly registered anywhere. The situation is different in “Yugoslavia” where the number of Tukisms in use would somehow depend on two important factors, I believe: where the author comes from and what his religious affiliation is. I can’t think of a Croat using indiscriminately words from Škaljić (mentionned in post #7), and that for the same two reasons as stated.
    No doubt, a Bosnian and interestingly a Serb – as I implied above, there was no “ferocious puristic movement” among Serbs (unlike among Greeks!) – they would both [Bosnians and Serbs] use whatever turkism came natural to them, and in some environments and during some time spans there were plenty of them which did come natural to an author who wanted to reflect (ordinary) rural life. The Ann Arbor thesis about turkisms in Na Drini Ćuprija contains 353 pages. So, if --
    -- one could just wonder what this female author is writing about. It is a non-published thesis in which, as it appears, she is trying to work out parameters for recognizing Turkish loanwords. This would imply that quite a number of Turkisms in Serbo-Croatian are so well-integrated in the language that they are not identified as such by the ordinary reader! This partly corresponds to the Greek situation, but Greeks are not quite willing to admit it.

    It is true that I primarily have a relata refero angle to my knowledge of South Slavic languages – there are so many other people who have produced judicious syntheses about all aspects in this field. There must be some reason, I believe, for my taking an interest in the area.:D I have studied Albanian and my father was a Russian.
    I have been shown things like that in Bulgarian.
    Instead of repeating myself, I’d like to quote a passage from a rare book, a passage that I happened to find on my hard-disk:

    The value of a language as a vehicle of expression is enhanced by adroit manipulation of superfluous forms. [...] In fact, there are few better tests of a language than the way in which it utilises its waste.​
    (W.G. Rutherford, The New Phrynichus, London 1881, pp.73-74)​
    This goes to the heart of the matter when it comes to purism.:thumbsup:
  18. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    One important difference is that in Bosnia, a far greater part of the population converted to Islam, and there was a fair bit of literary activity among Bosnian Muslims in the Ottoman times (they even developed a Bosnian script based on Arabic). Also, unlike in Greece, there was no archaic classical language that would be preferred because of the connotations of the past glory.

    Frankly, I don't know how much Turkish influence there was in various Serbian vernaculars before Vuk Karadžić, so I can't really estimate to what extent the Serbian language was purged of Turkish words during its standardization. But I'd be very surprised if many Turkish words weren't purged, since after Serbia gained independence in the 19th century, there certainly was a great campaign of general "de-Turkization" of the Serbian society. In the 1830s, Karadžić himself lamented over the fact that many Serbs had accepted Turkish customs and ways of life (in particular, he explicitly said that the upper and middle classes were thoroughly Turkized). Several decades later, after Serbia regained independence, the situation was drastically different; I would be surprised if this process of eliminating Turkish cultural influences didn't extend to the standardization of the language too.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Andrić's language is devoid of Turkish words. To better get my point across, let's place the different languages and dialects of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro on a scale of 1 to 10, sorted by the concentration of Turkish loanwords, where 1 would be the modern standard Croatian, and 10 the text most heavily loaded with Turcisms that was ever penned in the Ottoman Bosnia. I would rank Andrić's prose as maybe 4 or at most 5 out of 10 on this scale. For comparison, the modern standard Bosnian and Serbian would be maybe 3/10, the dialect I spoke in Bosnia as a kid perhaps 4-5/10, and the dialects my grandparents spoke there two generations earlier probably 6 or even 7/10 -- which would present many totally unknown words to most of the folks from Croatia. Stuff over 8/10 would be to a large degree incomprehensible even to me. These are of course just my intuitive off-hand estimates, but I think they present a roughly accurate picture.

    As an example comparison with Andrić, I've read some pieces of poetry by Aleksa Šantić that go as far as perhaps 8/10. For example, this beautiful short poem, with only 22 verses, contains as many as six Turkish words that were totally unknown to me when I first read it! There's no way you'll ever encounter a passage so heavily loaded with Turcisms in Andri
    ć's prose.

    I agree -- that's a great quotation. :thumbsup:

    Note that I have no objections to loanwords, Turkish or otherwise, except aesthetic ones (which are primarily directed at the English words; most Turkish ones tend to sound great, as exemplified in Šantić's poetry). In these posts, I just wanted to point out that the real picture of things is a bit more complex than your initially presented it.
  19. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    Sorry - which of the poems are you referring to? There are 37 of them on the same site.:confused:

    I’ll come back to our discussion later.;)
    :) :)
  20. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I had in mind #8 (Pod beharom), which you can also find in a brilliant musical performance on the same website. The link I gave should lead to it directly, but apparently for some reason it doesn't do so in your browser. Many other poems from the same collection are very interesting in their choice of vocabulary, too.

    I forgot to mention that in each poem on that page, the underlined words are the ones that sound obscure and archaic to modern readers, including those from Serbia and even Bosnia (they are probably the ones that had footnoted explanations in the printed edition from which this was scanned). Most of those are Turkish, so you can get some idea about their frequency even if you can't read the language.
  21. mcibor Senior Member

    In Polish it's a bit complicated, cause we have all those three words:
    kolor - colour (visual)
    farba - paint
    barwa - colour (visual, musical, quantum)

    In Polish sometimes it sound funny, e.g. today I read a text - koloru metalik (of metalic colour), it sounds funny, cause there is already o Polishizm ;) metaliczny meaning that colour.

    However at work we operate on cases, and we have no problem with declination of that word:

    case: singular / plural
    N: kejs / kejsy
    G: kejsa / kejsów
    D: kejsem / kejsami
    A: kejsa / kejsy
    I: kejsem / kejsami
    L: kejsie / kejsach
    V: kejsie / kejsy

    Under communist reign there was an influence to change western foreign borrowings to pure Polish:
    krawat (cravatte Fr) to zwis męski = tie
    miotła - ulicznica płaska - broom
    But they never came into use.
  22. el_tigre Senior Member

    Also some other words.

    sanduk- bavul
    taban - stopa(?)
  23. Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li! Member

    Czech | Czech Republic
    In Czech, a whole slew of German loans was purged in the 19th century. Today, English is as fashionable as anywhere else around the world, so there's an increasing number of English borrowings, particularly through corporate newspeak and advertising.

    Additionally, some Czech words are being squeezed out by Latinate equivalents (which have existed alongside them for a century or two). This is, again, an influence of advertising and the media (they tend to use big words to look more "refined"), as well as bad translations of books, movies, and TV shows; especially from English, which of course has tons of Latinate words and translators just translate them halfway because they've got deadlines to meet and they get paid less than construction workers, but I digress.

    Personally, I think applying (unassimilated) loan words where there are perfectly acceptable Czech equivalents is just dumb and I tend to react to it with revulsion - even though, as an IT student, I often find it hard to avoid as well. The use of words from another language is only meaningful when it enriches your language, i.e. there's no word for what you're trying to say and you're unable to coin a new word such that it would be easily understood by other people.

    I think that's actually a little less bad than just leaving the words as they are because it means there's still some drive to assimilate these words, meaning people aren't going to stop speaking Russian (Czech, Croatian, whatever) just yet. A century or two from now, those words will have been integrated into Russian just like other borrowings have. It's not necessarily a good thing, but it's the lesser evil.
  24. el_tigre Senior Member

    Talking about Croatian purism: That was first of all , purism of linguists. "Ordinary people" used much more foreign words (which did not enter the standard!!!) but Purism considered to be acceptable and good.

    Today , neither linguists are not so hard in that.
    And ordinary people accept much more foreign words. Mainly from English , especially in computer/internet terminology.

    Some words are so widespread that they are not considered to be foreign.
    ex. fer (eng. fair) :(

  25. el_tigre Senior Member

    Another point of view: personal names.

    Amongst Croatian people there is very widespread foreign names of the people. That was due the fact that Croats (as predominatnly Catholics) used to give their children names of saints from west.

    Some names are so widespread that they are not considered to be foreign:
    Mario, Robert, Vera...

    Only little bit of people have Croatian royal names like:Krešimir,Mislav, Domagoj, Zvonimir, Tomislav, Borna etc.

    Apart from Serbs whose usage of Serbian royal names (or at least Slavic) is much more widespread.
  26. el_tigre Senior Member

    Talking about purism we have some absurd situations.
    Ex. everybody considers to be normal to use words like zrakoplov (airplane) , brzojav(telegram) ...

    But they consider to be weird to use words like brzoglas (instead of telefon) or samovoz ( instead of automobil).

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