Understanding a Russian Sports Report Without an Interpreter: Is It Possible?

2019. № 5, 71-78

Aleksandra E. Somova, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences)
(Russia, Moscow), alsomova@yandex.ru


The article is devoted to the use of English borrowings and English
words in the reports about winter extreme sports, which were included on
the programme at the latest Olympic games.
The paper analyses the use of English borrowings and English words by Russian
sports commentators in various snowboarding broadcasts at Sochi and
PyeongChang Olympics. The material used includes running commentary
scripts of sports commentators from Channel One, Russia-1 and Match TV.
This paper emphasizes the importance of lexicographic description of this
type of lexis and describes metalinguistic refl ection of sports presenters
commentating on the extreme sports. The metalinguistic refl ection reveals
a diffi culty of adapting a large group of subject-specifi c words for mainstream
The author compares the use of extreme sports terms borrowed from English
in Russian extreme sports commentary with their use in sports commentary
in other languages and other kinds of sports. The article discusses both the
situations when the use of English words in Russian sports commentary is
appropriate and justifi ed by the specifi c features of the discourse and the
situations when it renders the perception of the commentary diffi cult.