English borrowings in modern youth’s speech

The vocabulary enrichment of each language is happening permanently. One of the ways of this enriching is borrowing. Currently the borrowing increases. It is observed a large influx of foreign (English) lexics in all spheres of life: science and technology, policy, financial and commercial activities, culture and tourism.

Loan words are found in all strata of language, including the modern youth’s speech. It is called "youth slang". It was decided to analyze English borrowed words from the youth and teenagers’ vocabulary.

The relevance of this topic is that the youth slang is one of the components of language development, its adjunction, and its diversity. The younger generation does not remain aside from this process and is one of its members.

The purpose of the work is in determining the place of the borrowed English words in the youth slang and in finding the reason of their forthcoming. To achieve the goal it should be done the following tasks: to examine and classify information relating to the research; to prove the relevance of the research in a survey of students and teachers of city schools and colleges; to determine the direction of the development of youth slang; to identify its advantages and disadvantages.

The subject of the study is English loan words in youth slang.

The object of the study is English loan words in the speech of students and teachers of city schools and colleges.

The hypothesis of this study is the assumption that only the persons studying or knowing the English language understand English borrowed words.

In the work, the following methods were used: analysis and comparison of the definitions in dictionaries and other sources; analysis of the reasons of the borrowing into the youth slang; survey and research of the students and teachers views.

Borrowing is copying (usually incomplete and inaccurate) of words or phrases from one language into another. Borrowing in languages is an essential factor of their development. Depending on the language from which the words were borrowed, they are called “Germanisms”, “Anglicisms”, “Arabisms” and so on. In this work, “Anglicisms” (or English borrowed words) will be investigated.

The influx of loan words from the English language began to increase significantly in the 90s of the last century because of the changes in political, economic, cultural and moral orientation of the society. Thus, we can notice borrowings from the English language in all spheres. We have become accustomed to new concepts: the inauguration, speaker, consensus, image, PR (инаугурация, спикер, консенсус, имидж, пиар). English terms have become dominant in the most advanced areas of science and technology: display, file monitoring, player, scanner (дисплей, файл, мониторинг, плейер, сканер); in the financial and commercial activities: business, the auditor, broker, barter (бизнес, аудитор, брокер, бартер); in the cultural sphere: bestsellers, westerns, thrillers, hits, pop (бестселлеры, вестерны, триллеры, хиты, попса).

There are different trends in the use of the borrowed English words. Some people believe that there is no reason to object to many current loans, as in recent years our life is replenished by new phenomena, and with them by new words, which are often absent in the native language. Is not it better a cumbersome phrase “a computing machine” or its abbreviation than “a computer”? Others deny the practicability of their use and fixing. For example, they consider the word “killer” to be completely unacceptable, because of the negative assessment which is blurred and which can be found in the word “murderer”. To say to a person “You are a murderer” means to make him a harsh sentence and to call him “a killer” is just to define his career. “I am a dealer, you are a killer, and we are both doing business”.

Similar processes of the vocabulary enrichment with the help of borrowings occur in all modern languages. In our fast-moving age the current of new ideas, things, information, technology requires a clear and capacious names of the objects and phenomena; it forces to involve the existing foreign names into the language without looking for the creation of the original words. Scientific, technical, military, financial, banking, sports and even cultural vocabulary throughout the world tend to internationalization. The desire for scientific progress, to civilization is reflected in the language. Partly, there is an alignment of the native language on the international standard.

Only the time will tell us to what extent the shape of the native language will be changed, whether it will be enriched or spoiled. The time will determine the fate of those or other borrowings, which may be approved or rejected. People have known the phenomenon of borrowing for a long time; they have become accustomed to many loan words, and even do not think where they came from.

Youth has always been the engine of progress. Today, young people began to visit other countries, to communicate with foreigners, listen to the songs (most of them are performed in English), watch English and American films more often. And, of course, the young people cannot stand using English words in their speech.

Slang is a special phenomenon in the language; it is formed in groups of people united by some criterion (by age, interests). In dictionaries, you can find the following description of slang.

Slang (English “slang”) is expressive and emotive lexics of colloquial speech, deviating from the accepted norms and standards of the literary language. Mainly, slang is spread among schoolchildren, students, military personnel, young workers. Slang is subjected to frequent changes, which make it as the language sign of generations. Slang, mostly affects vocabulary, that is, it adds new words or uses words with new meanings, and the structure (affixes, declension, tenses) are from the basic language.

Some sources describe slang as synonym of jargon or argot. Perhaps this is not entirely accurate, because jargon or argot words are often characterized by a reduced, and sometimes rough stylistic coloring. While youth slang are used by young people when they communicate with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, slang performs encoding feature that hides the meaning of the conversation from the uninitiated people and gives an opportunity for young persons to feel free and relaxed. This fact will allow us to define the term “youth slang” as the words, which are only used by people of a certain age category, replacing everyday vocabulary and characterized by conversational familiarity and color.

According to the British linguists J.L. Kittridzh and J.B. Greenough: “Slang is the language-tramp, which is not far from the literary speech, and continuously strives to make its way to the most sophisticated society”.

Enhancing of information flows, the emergence of the global computer network Internet, the global economic development of the market, international tourism and cultural relations lead to the emergence of new loan words, which are very attracted to young people.

Speaking about the current situation, many philologists and linguists note, that the intensity of the borrowings of foreign words has reached enormous proportions. Of particular concern is the fact that in everyday speech of young people loan words from English slang and their derivatives are more often met. Young people find it easier to express their thoughts and feelings, by means of a foreign language. People around do not always understand what teenagers or students are talking about. They speak another language, which is the language of their generation. In the beginning, it is funny school jargon, then youth slang, then the language of a subculture (bikers, break-dancers, rockers or rappers).

Ways and methods of forming youth slang with the use of the English language are very diverse, but they always make the English words suitable for permanent use.

We note a number of reasons why the English loan words appear in the native (Russian) language: the need to name new phenomena, objects, concepts: a laptop, scanner, internet, player, printer (ноутбук, сканер, интернет, плейер, принтер); the lack of conformity in the native language: chips, video salon, hotdog (чипсы, видеосалон, хот-дог); the need to express by means of English loan words some descriptive notions: pilling, lifting (пиллинг, лифтинг); the refill of language with the help of more expressive means: facecontrol, businesswoman, PR (фейс-контроль, бизнесвумен, пиар); perception of foreign language words as more formal: exclusive (эксклюзивный).

The classification of English loanwords in scope of application:

Mass media

This area is filled with borrowings very quickly. Internet is the “champion” for the use of loans, especially in the texts of advertisements, messages about events, international events: a talk show, online, Primetime, imagemaker (ток-шоу, онлайн, праймтайм, имиджмейкер).

Power, politics

In the recent years, in the political vocabulary many foreign words have appeared: inauguration, speaker, impeachment, the electorate, image, consensus, public relations (PR), the summit (инаугурация, спикер, импичмент, электорат, имидж, консенсус, пиар, саммит).


Those words, which we are so accustomed to, came to us from English: athlete, football, bodybuilding, fitness, bike, volleyball, basketball (спортсмен, футбол, бодибилдинг, фитнес, байк, волейбол, баскетбол).


For the new technologies, new names are coming up with, and these names sound in English: computer, laptop, mobile, scanner, organizer, keyboard, monitor, email (компьютер, ноутбук, мобильный, сканер, органайзер, клавиатура, монитор, имейл).

Movies, music

This area is a powerful source of popularization of the English language. Thanks to pop culture, most of English words are included in the basic language without any obstacles: I’ll be back; never-ever, let you go, a thriller, a remake, rap track (триллер, ремейк, рэп, трек).


In this area, there are such loan words: investment, marketing, dealer, broker, marketing, price list (инвестиция, маркетинг, дилер, брокер, маркетинг, прайс-лист).

All of the above examples allow to make some conclusions. Power and politics had 7% of all borrowings; sports, economy, movies and music had almost the same amount of interest (1123%). However, most of the English borrowed words are used in the media (33%). Therefore, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet are the most accessible and widespread source of borrowings. Thus, the conclusion is in the fact that these words play a big role for filling the Russian language with the English borrowed words, and rather than any specific group of native speakers.

A survey of students and teachers of city schools was conducted. The groups of students from 16 up to 20 years and teachers of 23 and older have a large circle of friends, use the Internet, listen to music of various contemporary trends, watch movies, play computer games and watch the news of the world. They know English and they are choosing in it everything that they are interested in.

Most of the young people use borrowed English words in their speech consciously and they can explain their meanings.

The main idea in the youth slang is a departure from the commonness, it is like a game, sometimes it is irony, and sometimes it is a mask. Language is like a living being. The words are born in it, live their lives; some words leave, and others remain forever. Each generation brings into language its vocabulary. Some people find it (slang vocabulary) positive, some negative. Philologists admit that there is nothing wrong with the youth slang. Many teenagers use it to a certain age, and then return to the literary language. The main thing is that the borrowed English words from the youth slang are always possible to replace with the literary words and the results of survey confirm it.


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Year: 2016
City: Almaty
Category: Philology