In 1936 the Nazi Propaganda Ministry endorsed the old German nationalist movement for Sprachreinigung (language purification). Soon Verdeutschungen (Germanized words) began to appear officially. Radio was changed to Rundfunk, Telefon to Fernsprecher, Automobil to Kraftwagen. The Relativitdtstheorie of famed refugee from Nazidom, Albert Einstein, became Bezuglichkeitsanschauungs-gesetz (relativity perception law).

Last week in Moscow, Communist Mother Russia trod briskly down the trail blazed by Herr Goebbels. The Soviet Academy of Sciences decided to thoroughly Russianize the Russian language, which is liberally endowed with words borrowed from French, German and English (samples: khuligan—hooligan, trolleibus—trolley bus, stend—stand. "In most cases," said Academician A....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!