German-Russian macaronic language

The German-Russian pidgin is a macaronic language of mixed German and Russian that appears to have arisen in the early 1990s. It is sometimes known as Deutschrussisch in German or Nemrus in Russian. Some speakers of the mixed language refer to it as Quelia. It is spoken by some russophone immigrants in Germany from the former Soviet Union.


Russian acts as the linguistic substratum, supplying the syntactic structure into which German words are inserted. The German content varies from speaker to speaker, but can be as high as 50% of the vocabulary. The situation is somewhat akin to Spanglish in the United States.

Gender may be influenced by Russian genders, as in the case of most words ending in '-ung', which are always feminine in German, but usually masculine in the mixed language because Russian nouns ending in a hard consonant are always masculine. However, some words inherit their gender from the German noun, as in the feminine какая хорошая [kakaja xoroʂaja] from German feminine die Überraschung, meaning 'surprise'.

A mixed language makes greater use of the uncommon Russian auxiliary verbs иметь [imʲetʲ], meaning 'to have' and быть [bɨtʲ], meaning 'to be'. The corresponding verbs (haben and sein respectively) are very common in German.

German verbs are often treated in a sentence as though they were Russian verbs, being russified by replacing the German infinitive verb ending. -(e)n with the Russian -. For example, German spüren becomes шпюрать [ʂpʲuratʲ], 'to feel'

The following features vary from speaker to speaker:

Examples of the mixed language

Phrase in the mixed language Transliteration German Word English Translation
Я сижу в шпильхалле. Ja sižu v špilchalle. Spielhalle casino
Гельдшайны тут я векселяю. Gel'dšajny tut ja vekseljaju. Geldscheine, wechseln bills, change
И мюнцы тут я засыпаю. I mjuncy tut ja zasypaju Münzen coins
В блестящий Шпилёмат. V blestjaščij Špilëmat. Spielomat video arcade
А не томи мою ты зелю. A ne tomi moju ty zelju. Seele soul
Не сверли в ней лох. Ne sverli v nej loch. Loch hole
А не души мою ты квелю. A ne duši moju ty kvelju. Quelle source
Ох как я шпюраю подвох. Och kak ja špjuraju podvoch. spüren to feel
Мою фрайхайт ты обломал. Moju frajchajt ty oblomal. Freiheit freedom
Своё гезихт в окно сувал. Svojo gezicht v okno suval. Gesicht face
Ты под ногами ползал вурмом. Ty pod nogami polzal vurmom. Wurm worm
А я и не бештрайтаю. A ja i ne beštrajtaju. bestreiten to deny
Совсем дешёвый ангебот. Sovsem dešjovyj angebot. Angebot offer
Они бециюнгом довольны. Oni becijungom dovol'ny. Beziehung relationship
Это меня ферлецает. Èto menja verlecajet. verletzen to hurt
Я это лучше тебя кенаю. Ja èto lučše tebja kenaju. kennen to know
Что вам покохать на ужин? Čto vam pokochat’ na užin? kochen to cook
Не мешай, я лезаю. Ne mešaj, ja lezaju. lesen to read

Translator's Notes: 1) Many of these phrases were taken from an online casino by the original writer of the German version of this article. 2) Latin transliterations are nonstandard in that they use ch for x.


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