Phrasebook 6--Shackles of English

During the transitional period when your vocabulary is still small and you do not yet fully understand how Russian words and expressions function, you will consciously or unconsciously borrow words and expressions from English. What you say will not necessarily be intelligible as Russian. Instead it will be Runglish, a mixed language which can be fully understood only by those with a knowledge of both Russian and English.

Russians can unconsciously pick up some of the Runglish expressions shown below when they learn English or listen to English speakers who are trying to speak Russian. Do not take this an indication that such expressions are correct or even widely understood.

EnglishRunglishRussianExplanation
How did he know?Как он знал?Отку́да он знал?Как он знал?” has the mysterious meaning “How did he do the knowing?”
to give a talkдава́ть речьвы́ступать с ре́чьюДава́ть речь” would presumably mean handing over the notes.

concentrate on the theme


концентри́роваться на те́ме сосредото́читься на те́ме

The expressions with концентри́ровать/ся are not Runglish all by themselves, but it is not normal to use them more than every now and then.

The word “фокусировать” is not used in this sense at all.


concentrate attention on ___ концентри́ровать внима́ние на ____ сосредото́чить внима́ние на ____
focus on the theme

фокуси́роваться на те́ме


сосредото́читься на те́ме
focus attention on ___фокуси́ровать внима́ние на ____ сосредото́чить внимание на ____
so that we can speak boldly что́бы мы мо́жем говори́ть сме́ло что́бы мы могли́ говори́ть сме́ло Что́бы followed by a verb in the present tense is gibberish. Here it 'means' “so that we could have we can”.
very fineо́чень прекра́сныйпрекра́сныйПрекра́сный” already means “very fine”.
through our conductче́рез на́ше поведе́ниесвои́м поведе́ниемOur conduct is not an obstacle or space to be crossed.
ask a questionспроси́ть вопросзада́ть вопро́сYou can спроси́ть вопро́с, but it will not answer.
God's sovereigntyсуверените́т Бо́гавлады́чество Бо́гаСуверените́т means sovereignty in the sense of the right of a state to self determination and territorial integrity.
Ask him if we will come.Спроси́ его́ е́сли он придёт. Спроси́ его придёт ли он. Спроси́ его е́сли он придёт.” would mean “If he comes, ask him.” When “if” means “whether” it should be translated “ли”.
different from _____ра́зный чем _____отлича́ется от _____ Разные means “different from one another.” Using it in the singular does not make sense.