Staunton, November 7 – Russians must maintain the distinction between “russkiy,” an ancient term referring to ethnic membership and not initially having anything to do with the state, and “rossiyskiy,” a more recent innovation referring to those who are part of a state, first in their own work at home and then in the use of these terms by those writing in foreign languages.
In an essay posted on the Rospisatel.ru portal yesterday, Yuri Serb says that Russians in both the ethnic and the political sense must understand this distinction themselves, must maintain it in their own work and in translations, and must insist that foreigners writing about the people and state of Russia follow this distinction as well (www.rospisatel.ru/serb-zametky4.htm
“Russian adj. 1 . related to the Russian Federation as a state, or to its territory; (of persons) having the citizenship of the Russian Federation, holding a Russian passport
n. 1 . (inappropriate use) person who emigrated from the former Soviet Union
2 . (inappropriate use) any person of Russky descent, irrespective of citizenship
Russky n. (pl. Russkie ) 1. one belonging to the most numerous people of Russia , the Ukranian Republic and Belarus (White Russia), totalling over 85 percent of population
2. the East Slavic language spoken throughout Russia and Belarus , and in most of the Ukranian Republic.”
Similar definitions can be worked up for French, German, Spanish and other languages, he suggests and gives the following example: “The French word russe by its sound value and morphology best corresponds to our russkiy; for the translation of the meaning rossiyskiy, more suitable would be russianique, formed in complete correspondence with the laws of French word formation.”