Code-Switching of Russian and English in Modern Advertising

Statement of the Problem

English has made significant inroads in Russia during the last decade; the most conspicuous traces of its presence are linguistic borrowings, as well as code-switching and mixing of English and Russian in some types of discourse.


The aims of the research are as follows: 1) to examine the role of English in Russian advertising and to analyze the types of code-mixing (Russian and English with Roman characters; Russian and English with Roman characters and direct translation; Russian and English with Cyrillic characters); 2) to test the hypothesis that four structural components in the layout of advertisement: headlines/attention getters and subheadings; body/main text; signatures lines; slogans (Bhatia 1992) can be in English in the Russian advertisement, business or product names. The theoretical rationale of the paper is based on the code mixing analysis presented in Bhatia, 1992; Ritchie and Bhatia, 1996.

Data Gathering and Methodology

The source of data for the analysis is mainly of two types: print materials from advertisements published in newspaper and magazine articles both in Russia and the U. S. A. (e.g., Izvestija, Pravda, Ogonek, Novoe Russkoe Slovo, Vestnik), as well as outdoor materials: business and product names in the Russian billboard. Though code mixing/switching of Russian and English is a widespread technique for achieving purposes of advertisements in the Russian-language press both in Russia and the U. S. A., the influx of Americanisms is larger and code-mixing is more frequent in the émigré periodicals. Observation is the major data gathering procedure; content analysis is the main analysis procedure.