Padonkaffsky jargon (Russian: язык падонкафф, yazyk
padonkaff) or Olbanian (олбанский, olbanskiy) is a cant
language developed by a subculture of
Runet called padonki (Russian:
падонки). It started as an
Internet slang language originally
used in the Russian
Internet community. It is comparable to the
Padonkaffsky jargon became so popular that the
President of Russia
President of Russia
Dmitry Medvedev jokingly suggested that
Olbanian be taught in schools.
1 Origin and etymology
2 Use and development
4 Notable examples
5 See also
Origin and etymology
The term Olbanian is an alteration of Albanian, although Albanian is
not used to create Olbanian slang.
Learn Olbanian! (Russian: Учи олбанский!) is a popular
phrase that was coined in a 2004 incident in
LiveJournal when an
English language user found a post written in Russian, which he didn't
understand and was unable to translate. He asked what language was
being used. He was jokingly told that the post was in Albanian. He
questioned why people were posting messages in Albanian by saying:
Because? It's LIVEJOURNAL. An American website. Not an albanian;
(#*!@()! site. Plus, being an American means that the rest of the
world should have to cater to me. But that's just mypointofview.
In reaction to this comment, an
Internet meme started, urging the
English language user to Learn Albanian! and flooding him with email
messages, text messages, and calls to his personal cell phone.
English language user wrote an apology in Russian,
explaining that he had mastered the Albanian language.
Since then, the request to "Learn Olbanian!" became a friendly
response to anyone using incorrect grammar or when saying something
that doesn't make sense.
An invitation to "Learn Olbanian!" was directed at Madonna in 2006,
when in her blog she used an electronic translator to address her
Russian fans and called them "Russian ventilators" by mistake.
Use and development
The language was first developed in 1997 by intellectuals with
Internet access who were developing and using open-source software
LiveJournal and Russian FidoNet. They were journalists, system
administrators and professionals with academic degrees.
The language is based on sensational (mostly phonetic, but also
counterphonetic) spelling of the Russian and Ukrainian languages often
using profanity. It combines complex orthography with creative use of
idioms and literary expression. It is often used to express
disagreement, amusement, or to create political satire. It was
popularized by the padonki subculture on websites like Udaff.com and
Fuck.ru (currently defunct) created by entrepreneur
Egor Lavrov and
Konstantin Rykov, now a deputy of the Duma.
Padonkaffsky jargon is difficult to translate with a traditional
dictionary because many of the misspellings also involve puns and
cultural slang. Padonkaffsky language has gone mainstream and is
common in Russian vernacular and popular culture. As a result, the
websites on which Padonkaffsky language originally appeared are now
dominated by another kind of high-shock-value material, adult
The unstressed letter ⟨о⟩ is replaced by ⟨а⟩, and sometimes
the other way around. The unstressed letters ⟨е⟩, ⟨и⟩, and
⟨я⟩ are also interchangeable. The consonant ⟨в⟩ may become
⟨ф⟩ or ⟨фф⟩, the suffix ⟨-ик⟩ becomes ⟨-ег⟩,
⟨жи⟩ becomes ⟨жы⟩, ⟨я⟩ becomes ⟨йа⟩, etc.
Examples: превед (PREVED, from привет privet 'hi!'),
аффтар afftar (from автор avtor 'author'), йад (from
яд yad 'poison'), etc.
On July 6, 2006 in an online conference,
Vladimir Putin was asked this
question: "PREVED, Vladimir Vladimirovich! How do you regard MEDVED?"
This became the most popular question, with 28424 votes. No answer
was given, but the Associated Press, reporting on the questions
collection process, interpreted Medved as a reference to
then-vice-prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev. Another popular question
in the same conference was: How does one patch KDE2 under FreeBSD?
Mat (Russian profanity)
^ "Kremlin Favorite Campaigns as Putin's Alter Ego". U.S.-Russia
Business Council. Reuters. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Мадонна поблагодарила русских
вентиляторов" [Madonna thanked Russian ventilators].
Lenta.ru (in Russian). 13 September 2006. Retrieved 20 November
^ Fedorova, Nataliya (19 February 2010). "Учи олбанский!"
[Learn Olbanian!]. Metro74 (in Russian). Retrieved 20 November
^ Kleinman, Zoe (16 August 2010). "How the internet is changing
language". BBC News. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
^ Baiburin, Albert (June 2008). "Newsletter" (DOC). National Identity
in Russia from 1961 : Traditions and Deterritorialisation.
Retrieved 20 November 2014 – via mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
^ "Yandex. Questions to Vladimir Putin" (in Russian). Yandex.
2006-07-01. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007. Retrieved
^ "Дмитрия Медведева перепутали с
Dmitry Medvedev got confused with a bear]. Lenta.Ru
(in Russian). 2006-07-07. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
Internet slang dialects
Lolspeak / LOLspeak / Kitteh
Martian language (Chinese)
Padonkaffsky jargon (Russian)
See also English internet slang (at Wiktionary)
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