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Runglish, Rusinglish, Ruglish, Russlish, etc., (Russian: русинглиш / рунглиш, rusinglish / runglish), refer to English heavily influenced by the Russian language, a phenomenon not uncommon among Russian speakers with English as a second language.[1]

The earliest of these portmanteau words is Russlish, dating from 1971. Appearing later are (chronologically): Russglish (1991), Ruglish (1993), Ringlish (1996), Ruslish (1997), Runglish (1998), Rusglish (1999), and Rusinglish (2015).[2]

The term "Runglish" was popularized in 2000 as a name for one of the languages aboard the International Space Station. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov said: "We say jokingly that we communicate in 'Runglish,' a mixture of Russian and English languages, so that when we are short of words in one language we can use the other, because all the crew members speak both languages well." NASA has since begun listing Runglish as one of the on-board languages.[3] Although less widespread than other pidgins and creoles, such as Tok Pisin, Runglish is spoken in a number of English-Russian communities, most notably the Russian-speaking community of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York.[4]

In literature[edit]

Some notable novels have foreshadowed the development of Runglish. A small subplot in Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two concerned the crew of a Russo-American spaceship, who attempted to break down boredom with a Stamp Out Russlish!! campaign. As the story went, both crews were fully fluent in each other's languages, to the point that they found themselves crossing over languages in mid-conversation, or even simply speaking the other language even when there was no-one who had it as their native tongue present. Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange has a famous form of Runglish called Nadsat. (See: Concordance: A Clockwork Orange) Less famously (but also in science fiction), Robert Heinlein’s novel ‘’The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’’ is written in the heavily Russian-influenced English (much Russian vocabulary, some Russian grammar) of a joint Australian/Russian penal colony on the Moon.

Official resistance[edit]

The Russian government declared 2007 to be the "Year of the Russian Language". It has been claimed that this was in part to give support to what is seen as proper Russian against such influences as the spread of English and Runglish.[5] Yuri Prokhorov, the head of the Russian State Institute of Foreign Languages, stated that "Young people always develop fashionable ways of communicating. (But) it is Russian words used incorrectly that damages the purity of the language, not the introduction of foreign words."[5]


  • Appointments: Аппойнтменты (Appoyntmenty)[4]
  • Iced Coffee: Айсд кофе (Aisd kofe)[4]
  • Would you like that sliced or in one piece?: Вам наслайсовать или писом? (Vam naslaysovat' ili pisom?)[6]
  • Driving upstate on the highways: Драйвуем в апстейт по хайвеям (Drayvuyem v apsteyt po khayveyam)[7]
  • Sliced Cheese: Наслайсаный чиз (Naslaysaniy chiz)[7]
  • To merge branches: Смержить бранчи (Smerzhit' branchi)[4]
  • To manage: Сменеджить (Smenedzhit')
  • I sent you message with attached request: Я засендил тебе месседж с приаттаченым реквестом (Ya zasendil tebe messedzh s priattachenym rekvestom)


  1. ^ Lambert, James. 2018. A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity. English World-wide, 39(1): 14, 17. DOI: 10.1075/eww.38.3.04lam
  2. ^ Lambert, James. 2018. A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity. English World-wide, 39(1): 30. DOI: 10.1075/eww.38.3.04lam
  3. ^ "The Expedition One Crew".
  4. ^ a b c d Feuer, Alan (14 June 2005). "For the Thirsty Runglish Speaker: Try an Ized Cyawfeh". New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b Blomfield, Adrian (12 September 2007). "English invades Russian language". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  6. ^ Klepach, I. "Наши люди в Америке (Our people in America)". Mainbruecke (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
  7. ^ a b Mariupolsky, Konstantine (26 May 2005). "The inevitable birth of Runlgish – When Russian and English merge". Voices that must be heard. New York Community Media Alliance. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2010.