“Back to the Roots” – For The Rich, Of Course!

Back to the Roots Department

Russian companies renounce their foreign names
From: Russia Beyond The Headlines, January 22, 2016 Natalia Mashinistova, special to RBTH


(Click to enlarge) Restaurants and cafes in cental Moscow. Source: Lori/Legion Media

Russian stores and restaurants are actively changing their English names to Russian ones. RBTH tries to find out why.

Just recently the streets of Moscow and other big cities were filled with signs in foreign languages. Local restaurants, cafes, hotels and stores had such names as White Rabbit, Boston Seafood & Bar, Paris, Rendez-vouz or La Taverna.

Even establishments that were familiar to the Russian ear often would write their signs with Latin letters in order to give it character and provide it with a foreign luster. However, recently the trend has changed. More and more stores and restaurants are writing their names with Cyrillic letters or are changing them to Russian ones altogether.(…)

(…) Buy Russian

However, recently the situation has started changing and more signs are now appearing in Russian. Either the public has realized that no matter how much you call yourself London you will not get any better or cleaner or people have simply developed a sense of self-awareness. In all likelihood, the cooling in relations between Russia and the West has also played a big role in this turnaround.

The place formerly known as Moscow Cheesecake is now called Masterskaya Piroga (Pie Workshop) and names from tsarist Russia have also become fashionable, such as Syrovarnya (Creamery), Teremok (Chamber) and LavkaLavka (something akin to “Market Stall” written twice).

“We work in Russia and we are tired of American names,” says Ruslan Mikhailov, co-founder of the Masterskaya Piroga bakery. “Of course, you can pretend to be a cool brand by using an English name. Many Russian companies that produce their goods in China do this. But we thought: why not create a Russian brand?”(…)

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