English Linguistic Culture Influence On The Russian Language Space (21st Century)


At the present stage of evolution, language occupies an important place in the value system of any country. In the context of globalization, there is a cooperation between different countries in the fields of science, economics, politics, culture, which leads to significant changes in national languages ​​and cultures. Language is not a stable quantity; it is dynamic and capable of development. The reasons for the leading status of the English language against the background of other languages ​​and its growing influence on other linguistic cultures are investigated. Due to the impossibility of countries to protect themselves from such an English-language introduction, the issue of preserving the national language, its features, cultural values ​​and national identity comes to the fore. A variant of global bilingualism or multilingualism is considered as a way to solve emerging linguistic and cultural problems. Learning a foreign language is not difficult for a modern person, it is considered a variant of the norm and is welcomed in existing living conditions. The assumptions of modern Russian and foreign linguists about the prospects for the development and dissemination of English in the global language space are given. The article focuses on the influence of English linguistic culture on the Russian linguistic and cultural space, compares the mentality of the English-speaking and Russian-speaking peoples, and identifies the positive and negative phenomena of this influence.

Keywords: Globalizationlanguage spacelanguage contactsborrowingsperstratumconcept


In the 21 st century, the processes of globalization continue to intensify and occupy leading positions in the international arena. The cooperation of countries in the field of science, technology, medicine, economics, politics is successfully implemented through communication between people, namely the establishment of language contacts. The creation and development of intercultural communication has sharply raised the question of languages of international communication and the role of national languages and cultures in the modern language space.

The term “language space” has a number of definitions, mostly abstract. In general, “the concept of “language space” is most often used in the meaning of a stable area of ​​distribution of a particular language, as a mother tongue and officially fixed in a certain territory” ( Brynina, 2016, pp. 121). The fact that the language space is inextricably linked with the sociocultural space remains unchanged, together they form part of the semiosphere and enter the cultural field of action, reflecting the “language-culture” relationship. “The language space also includes a circle of national-specific concepts that define both the given language and the culture to which it belongs” ( Pozdnyakova, 2010, p. 21). We will talk more about them later. The language space is not stable and unchanged. Its change depends on events taking place both around the world and in a single country. The language spaces of different languages are not isolated, they interact and interpenetrate each other, affect each other. They change in the process of globalization under the influence of intercultural communication, and together they form a global language space.

Problem Statement

First of all, the preservation of language as the country's national wealth comes to the fore. In modern science, the term “language contacts” is understood quite broadly and according to Erova ( 2017, p. 123) includes “the interaction of: 1) dialects and idioms of one language; 2) languages ​​of different social groups within the same language; 3) closely related languages; 4) different in structure of languages”. Among the types of linguistic contacts, linguists distinguish “the concept of “instratum” – to indicate cases of territorial and geographical contact of two languages ​​and “perstratum” – in the interaction of languages ​​in the field of spiritual culture, science, technology, etc.” ( Loshakova & Pavlenko, 2019, p. 203). For European countries, the ancient Greek language, from which they learned most of them to create their own language systems, became perstratum. At the modern stage of evolution, this role is played by the English language. In this case, “English is not considered as a separate language with its own unique language system, but as global English” ( Kirsanova, 2016), or in other words, “lingua franca”.

Among the main factors that contributed to the global dominance of the English language, it is worth highlighting:

  • Political power and the presence of a developed economy in English-speaking countries (primarily the United States);

  • The priority of the English language in the Internet space;

  • The desire to join the global information society; as Geybel ( 2002, p. 18) notes, “any state striving for modernization, industrialization and in order to become technologically competitive must accept and use information received in English;

  • English is one of the main languages ​​in the work of international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, etc.

Now “the English language is the language of international communication, plays the role of a link in the implementation of intercultural communication” ( Wello, Nur, & Azis, 2017, p. 9). During the period of development of economic and political relations of various countries, the international community seeks to simplify interaction, highlighting the principles of linguistic unity. Starchikova, Shakurova, and Starchikova ( 2019, p. 403) add that “in the context of globalization, knowledge of foreign languages, and especially English, and the presence of intercultural competence are very valuable in the modern labor market, which in turn encourages people to learn not only their native, but also foreign languages”. Taking into account these conditions, “modern countries strive for global bilingualism (“mother tongue + English”)” ( Geybel, 2002, p. 20).

Despite the fact that the role of English as the main language of international communication is beyond doubt, the opinions of linguists on its future prospects are somewhat different. Some believe that the English language will continue to be introduced and suppress other languages, while maintaining their leading position. Others, in turn, argue that this assumption is rather doubtful due to the rapid development and increase in the number of speakers in languages ​​such as Chinese, Hindi, Arabic. In addition, despite the strong position of the English language in the international language space, issues of multilingualism are increasingly being addressed, explaining that the knowledge of one language is not enough to realize the growing opportunities.

“In the mid-1980s, Braj Kachru introduced a model of 3-level (circular) distribution of the English language: the inner circle, the outer circle and the expanding” ( Voyevoda, 2013, p. 37). The main factors influencing this distribution were geographical proximity, similarity of the linguistic system, and ongoing political processes.

Research Questions

A number of key issues are brought up for consideration:

  • The impact of the English language on the Russian language space.

  • The influence of the English language on the Russian cultural space.

  • A change in the mentality of the Russian people.

  • The positive and negative aspects of the introduction of English borrowing.

  • Forecasts for the future.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study – to determine the impact of English linguistic culture on the Russian language space of the 21 st century.

Research Methods

The methods by which the study was carried out include the observation method, comparative method, analysis and synthesis methods.


The process of introducing English into the Russian language space began from the time of Peter the Great during the period of the development of navigation and continues to this day. Today, the causes of the emergence of internationalism in the Russian language, and in this case English and Americanisms, are quite different: from the appearance of new objects and phenomena in the Russian language picture of the world, requiring a name to elementary following fashion and modern trends. “Borrowing is an element of a foreign language transferred from one language to another as a result of language contacts, as well as the process of transition of elements of one language to another” ( Bukina, 2016, p. 91). That is, borrowing is seen as a process, and language as an activity.

At the present stage of social development, accompanied by a sharp increase in the pace of scientific and technological growth and socio-economic changes, the introduction of a large number of Anglicisms should be perceived as a regular and progressive phenomenon. It is also interesting that young people are more inclined to fill their speech with borrowings than representatives of the middle and older generation, who in the 21 st century perceive and transmit information using Internet resources. Due to the fact that most sites in “the Internet space are presented in English, as a result, Internet users actively absorb foreign language, in this case English” ( Deniko & Shchitova, 2016, p. 21). Most often, English-language borrowings are drawn from such areas of life as culture (soundtrack, single, remake, action, reality show, 3D), economics (marketing, promoter, merchandiser, offshot), computer technology (website, browser, user, online, offline), business (branding, contract, supervisor), sports (fitness club, doping, overtime, coaching), fashion (trend, casting, top model, fashion brand).

It is known that in countries such as “France, Germany, Poland, the government has developed laws that are aimed at protecting the national language and which regulate the borrowing process” ( Troshina, 2016, p. 150). In Russia, such events have not yet been carried out, which causes concern among many Russian linguists for the future of the Russian language. There are also two completely opposite points of view on the role of the English language in the Russian language and cultural space. Senko ( 2012) says that “the introduction of numerous foreign words leads to the displacement of indigenous lexical units, which leads to the destruction of important national images of the world. So there is pressure on our spirituality” (p. 73-74). However, according to another point of view, “the processes of borrowing and related internationalization cannot be prevented, and even more so, even protective, protectionist measures of a legislative nature can stop these processes” ( Kushnareva, 2016, p. 60), because due to globalization, language systems become open, which contributes to the interaction of languages, their convergence and internationalization of vocabulary funds.

As mentioned above, language is inextricably linked with culture. Each culture is characterized by a specific set of cultural concepts (keys) that show the specificity of the linguistic picture of the world. The main such concepts in the Russian language picture of the world were:

  • the idea of unpredictability;

  • space;

  • human relationships;

  • idea of justice;

  • openness of feelings and emotions;

  • obtaining benefits as a negative component of a human nature.

According to Karasik ( 2004):

The following value relationships between English and Russian cultures are noted in relation to certain cultural concepts. In English culture, success depends on the efforts of man. The main thing in the work is the result. The hero must behave nobly. A man is surprised at a miracle. You should be smart. The fool is worthy of ridicule. Prank deserves punishment. Anyone who pursues imaginary goals, exposing himself, is worthy of condemnation. In Russian culture, success depends primarily on a person’s abilities and luck. The main thing in work is the desire to work. The hero must make a sacrifice. A person is delighted with a miracle. You should behave beautifully. The fool is regrettable. Prank is reprehensible. Anyone who pursues imaginary goals is worthy of regret (p. 172).

The national features of the Russians and the British also differ. “The Russians are aimed at the world around (openness, generosity, hospitality, reliability), and the British, in turn, at the world inside (energy, motivation, secrecy, rationality, self-esteem, self-centeredness)” ( as cited in Karasik, 2004, p. 174).

Cultural associations that have the Russians when looking at English culture and traditions are interesting for consideration. Often, the United Kingdom is characterized by the following conceptual apparatus: fog, Albion, Greenwich, Shakespeare, tea, monarchy, queen, rain, good manners, restraint. In turn, such cultural stereotypes as Motherland, field, snow, birch, romance, bear, vodka, openness are associated with Russia.

Among other things, the fact that “Russian concepts mainly reflect the spiritual and emotional side of people's life is important in comparing the Russian and English conceptospheres” ( Kovtun, 2016, p. 143). In turn, English concepts are mainly oriented towards the rationalistic character of English culture. For example, such a concept as “soul” will be interpreted differently by representatives of English and Russian culture. If for the Russian people spirituality - the soul - is of paramount importance in the system of values, then the British put forward nothing more than common sense, which often acts as one of the central characteristics of the Western mentality.


Thus, in the course of studying the materials of modern linguists and analyzing the language situation in the world language space, we can conclude that the consequence of the influence of economic, political and cultural processes on the language component of different countries of the world is the active filling of language systems with foreign language and their change. Since the leading role of the international language of communication in various fields of activity has been assumed by the English language, the process of English borrowing is mainly observed, which allows us to consider the English language as a perstratum in relation to other languages.

In conclusion, it is worth noting a number of positive and negative factors occurring in modern Russia due to the influence of Anglo-American linguistic culture:

  • Strengthening the position of Russia in the international arena.

  • The development of the country in all areas of science and technology due to the introduction of foreign technologies with the corresponding international names.

  • The desire for multilingualism and intercultural competence in order to increase their own intellectual, professional and cultural level.

  • Changes in the linguistic structure unusual for the Russian language.

  • Lowering the status of the native word and the perception of English vocabulary as a reference.

  • Change in Russian mentality. Instead of the spirituality inherent in the Russian-speaking people, material wealth comes first; the main attention is paid to the individual and his needs, which in turn is characterized by such qualities as ambitious, aggressive, purposeful, effective, successful.

  • Changing the picture of the world.


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03 August 2020

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

Cite this article as:

Yermolova, O. (2020). English Linguistic Culture Influence On The Russian Language Space (21st Century). In N. L. Amiryanovna (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 86. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 443-449). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.52