23 Words in Russian You ALREADY Know || The Power of Loanwords

You Already Know 23 Words in Russian Thanks to Russian Loanwords

Lex the Lion

Loanwords (or words borrowed from other languages) can be found in virtually every language spoken around the world.

In the case of Russian, English has had a significant impact on the language, resulting in a large number of Russian loanwords.

These words, also known as “Anglicisms“, can be found in everyday conversation, as well as in various forms of media and literature.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common Russian loanwords and show you that you probably know more Russian than you might think!

Loanwords are great because they provide us with a huge hit of motivation. When finding out that Компьютер is actually pronounced komp’yuter – we can immediately guess the meaning!

We are going to show you that by using loanwords, you can read, understand and say a lot more Russian than you ever realised!

Loanwords in Russian || Daily Words

Loanwords in Russian || In the Office

Loanwords in Russian || Other Words

Loanwords in Russian || Brand Names

Loanwords in Russian || FAQs

Learn Russian Online with LTL Flexi Classes

Loanwords in Russian || Daily Words

The first Russian loanwords we’ll take a look at are the ones you use in daily life.

These pop up very often so it’s good to remember these.

Компьютер

Компьютер (komp’yuter) meaning Computer.

This word is borrowed directly from English, and is used in the same way as in English, to refer to that household item we value so dearly these days!

Футбол

Футбол (futbol) meaning Football.

OK, this isn’t an everyday word for everyone but for those who enjoy football (and believe us, many Russians do), this is one you’ll need to know!

BONUS || To find out more about football and other sports, check out our guide to sports in Russia.

Джинсы

Джинсы (dzhinsy) meaning Jeans.

Whilst Джинсы and jeans look nothing alike on paper – when spoken you’ll realise how similar they are.

Learn that Russian alphabet people!

Ресторан

Ресторан (restoran) meaning Restaurant.

Walk the streets of Russia and you’ll see this one everywhere. If you’re feeling hungry and see Ресторан – take a gamble and see what’s inside?!

You might discover a brand new Russian dish 😎

DID YOU KNOW || The word for Bank in Russian is also the same in English as in Russian, банк. Who said Russian had to be hard?!

Спорт

Спорт (sport) meaning Sport.

Back onto the sports theme.

In fact, there are many sports in Russian that sound just like English.

Basketball, baseball and golf are just three examples. Find out more here…

Learn How To Say 23 Sports in Russian Thumbnail

Learn How To Say 23 Sports in Russian

Today we’ll teach you 23 sports in Russian. Sport in Russian is Спорт (pronounced the same as English). Ice Hockey and Football are two of the most popular.

Байк

Байк (baik) meaning Bike.

The two wheeled push bike rather than the more powerful motorcycle.

Loanwords in Russian || In the Office

Time to take to the office for this next group of loanwords in Russian.

Менеджер

Менеджер (menedzher) meaning Manager.

Rather than the G/J sound using in English, Russian uses more of a ZH with the ж letter.

Take note of this with your pronunciation in Russian.

Семинар

Семинар (seminar) meaning Seminar.

Perhaps you’ve been told you need to attend a Семинар. Now you know what it means!

Стартап

Стартап (startap) meaning Startup.

Стартап refers to a new and innovative company, usually in the technology or internet industry.

This isn’t the same as “starting up a car” for example.

Трейд

Трейд (treyd) meaning Trade.

Трейд, just like trade in English, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services.

Бренд

Бренд (brend) meaning Brand.

If you work in Marketing, then your job is to grow the Бренд.

TOP TIP || Remember to keep an eye on those letters that, whilst they look the same in English, have different pronunciations entirely.

In the word brand you’ll notice the second letter is p.

Тест

Тест (test) meaning Test.

Nice easy one here. Four letters, and three of them match the English with just the C replacing the S in the English equivalent.

Loanwords in Russian || Other Words

Тендер

Тендер (tender) meaning Tender.

An adjective meaning soft and gentle, or a noun referring to a formal proposal or offer to supply goods or services.

Турнир

Турнир (turnir) meaning Tournament.

Who wants to say the whole word tournament? It’s long and clunky. In fact in English it’s often shortened to tourney and it’s that version the Russians use.

Wise choice!

Турнир sounds almost exactly the same as tourney and holds the same meaning – a competition in which multiple teams or individuals compete against each other.

Джакузи

Джакузи (dzhakuzi) meaning Jacuzzi.

This word is actually an Italian word.

DID YOU KNOW || Jacuzzi is an Italian family name that’s also the brand name of a spa manufacturer.

It’s not just English words that get transferred between languages.

Бейсбол

Бейсбол (beyzbol) meaning Baseball.

We hinted at this one above. Many sports in English transfer over to Russian, and baseball is indeed, one of those.

Парковка

Парковка (parkovka) meaning Parking.

Not exactly the same as the English word here (the овка sound instead of ing), but near enough!

Фан

Фан (fan) meaning Fan.

Another example of why learning the Cyrillic alphabet opens up so many doors.

A simple three letter word, but two letters Ф and н, make all the difference.

The Russian Alphabet | A Complete Guide (with Quiz & FREE Flashcards) Thumbnail

The Russian Alphabet | A Complete Guide (with Quiz & FREE Flashcards)

Ready to start your Russian adventure? It’s time to learn the Russian Alphabet. Our guide comes complete with tips, tricks, flashards and even a quiz.

Контроль

Контроль (kontrol’) meaning Control.

Having the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour (as a noun) or to supervise the running of something (as a verb).

Контроль is used the same in Russian as it is in English.

Профи

Профи (profi) meaning Pro (Professional).

Another example of a longer word being shortened. Professional is just too long – even in English we use pro quite often.

FOR EXAMPLE || “She’s a true pro”

Russian is no different, although it falls somewhere in between the two with the 5 letter Профи.

Loanwords in Russian || Brand Names

Whilst brand names are not loanwords per-say – they still show the power of understanding the Russian alphabet.

If you can read the letters, and understand н is pronounced like n and not h – then you’ll be well on the way to glory!

Here are our examples of some world famous brands.

МакДоналдс

МакДоналдс (MakDonalds) referring to McDonald’s.

An interesting example given the recent controversy of McDonald’s in Russia.

If you plan to enjoy a good Maccy D’s in Russia – you might see a few knock off versions that look remarkably similar!

Волмарт

Волмарт (Volmart) referring to Walmart.

Walmart actually doesn’t exist in Russia (nor does it in Germany or South Korea curiously) but that doesn’t stop us learning how it reads in Russian!

Найк

Найк (Nayk) referring to Nike.

If you aren’t fully clued up with the Russian alphabet this one would throw you off as is looks nothing alike.

Despite its popularity in Russia, like McDonald’s – Nike has pulled out of the Russian market.

Конверс

Конверс (Konvers) referring to Converse.

Our final brand – the distinctive and popular Converse shoes.


That concludes our look at loanwords in Russian. We hope these words have given you some motivation to learn Russian.

We certainly won’t claim it’s easy, because it isn’t – but loanwords give us a small victory on a long path.

Do you know anymore Russian loanwords? Tell us in the comments below and we’ll add our favourites to the article 🤩

Loanwords in Russian || FAQs

What is an example of a loanword in Russian?

Джакузи

Джакузи (dzhakuzi) meaning Jacuzzi.

This word is actually an Italian word.

DID YOU KNOW || Jacuzzi is an Italian family name that’s also the brand name of a spa manufacturer.

It’s not just English words that get transferred between languages.

What does Менеджер mean?

Менеджер (menedzher) meaning Manager.

Rather than the G/J sound using in English, Russian uses more of a ZH with the ж letter.

Take note of this with your pronunciation in Russian.

What does Спорт mean?

Спорт means sport and is pronounced the same as English.

What is McDonald’s in Russian?

McDonald’s in Russian is spelt as МакДоналдс.

What does Компьютер mean?

Компьютер is computer in Russian.

Want More From LTL?

FANCY LEARNING RUSSIAN? Check out our online Russian courses here.

We offer a 7 day free trial to all online students where you can study Russian 24/7.

To top it all off, it certainly doesn’t just end with Russian, in fact we also teach: 

Come and be a part of our amazing community.

I'm Interested In:
.

1 comments

Leave a Reply

You will get a reply from us
Your email address will not be published. Name and Email are required.

  1. English Words Borrowed From Chinese | 35 Words You Already Know
    Reply

    […] more too. Why not check out our guide to 20+ loanwords in Russian and our favourite Konglish […]

Ask us a question!
  • LTL Avatar Irene Magnosi
    Irene Magnosi , Irene Magnosi

    Welcome to LTL Language School!

    How can I help you?