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13 Jan, 2021 11:55

Russia’s top sports channel ‘Match TV’ clamps down on English language, frowning upon words like ‘okay,’ ‘loser’ & ‘championship’

Russia’s top sports channel ‘Match TV’ clamps down on English language, frowning upon words like ‘okay,’ ‘loser’ & ‘championship’

Russia’s most popular sports broadcaster, Match TV, has asked its announcers and commentators to stop using a long list of anglicisms, apparently to prevent English words from replacing those with an existing domestic equivalent.

The list includes terms like ‘coach,’ ‘performance’ and ‘highlight,’ all of which have perfectly good Russian translations, but provides exemptions for anglicisms which have long become part of the sports lexicon. For example, ‘save,’ play-off’ and ‘dribbling’ have all been given the green light.

The list was first revealed by journalist and writer Stanislav Gridasov, who noted that Alexey Miller, the CEO of Match TV’s parent company Gazprom, is a “zealous fighter for the purity of the Russian language.”

The presence of anglicisms in Russian sports jargon is no surprise - both football and ice hockey, the country’s most popular sports, were invented in English-speaking countries. In recent years, with the growth of the internet and access to foreign broadcasts, more and more foreign words have become popular.

Interestingly, the Match TV ‘accepted anglicisms’ list also includes catenaccio, trequartista, and scudetto - all of which are Italian.

According to Tina Kandelaki, the General Producer of Match TV, the list is just a recommendation, and there will be no punishment dished out for breaking the rules.

“The published notice is nothing more than a summary of the discussion of many people involved in creating content for Match TV,” she said. “Of course, there are no fines. There is an internal consensus, as there is about swearing or sleeping on air.”

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