Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
My January 2016 call for information about furry conventions for my Furry Fandom Conventions book, announced on Dogpatch Press, contained a comment from Anonymouse that I didn’t address at the time. He said:
“Russians needs to translate “furry” into their own language. For the last 20 or so years they have not been translating anything, and simply adopting more english words, writing them in Cyrillic letters. If this keeps happening, the Russian language will disappear in 50 years. Mark my words.”
Why do the Russians need to translate “furry” into Russian? I may be prejudiced because I’m in an English-speaking country, and we take pride in the English language containing so many foreign words. We call them “loan words”, but there is no sign that we’ll ever give them back.
James Nicoll’s 1991 epigram has become famous:
“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
A favorite observation of SF writers is that if a time-traveler from the present went a thousand years into the past, he or she wouldn’t be able to understand the English language then; it’s changed so much.
We look with amusement at the Académie française’s attempts to keep the French language “pure” by regularly issuing lists of new foreign words (mostly English) creeping into French, often with the correct French words that should be used, such as “Le chewing gum” – “gomme à mâcher” is recommended.
What should “furry” be in other languages? Here is a quick list from Wikipedia.
2000 furries from 41 countries responded to a 2011 IARP survey.
Catalan – El furry fandom
- Chinese – 獸迷
- Czech – Furry fandom
- Danish – furry
- Dutch – Een furry
- English – The furry fandom
- Esperanto – Ŝatantaro de felo
- Finnish – furry
- French – Le fandom furry
- German – Das furry
- Greek – To furry fandom
- Hebrew – פאנדום פרוותי (right to left)
- Hungarian – A furry
- Indian (Sanskrit) – फररी फैनडोम
- Indonesian – Furry fandom
- Italian – Il furry fandom
- Japanese -ファーリー・ファンダム (furry fandom phonetically in katakana)
- Korean – 수인러
- Norse – Furry
- Polish – Furry (with a note that this is English for futrzak or futrzastość)
- Portuguese – furry fandom
- Russian – фурри
- Serbian – Фури фандом
- Spanish – El furry fandom
- Swedish – furry fandom
- Ukrainian – фурі
- Welsh – Y furry fandom