Thread: Russian Words and Phrases

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  1. #279
    Quote Originally Posted by Skwiskwis  [View Original Post]
    Hot Russian chick: "Please, stop speaking Russian. I can't understand your pronunciation and your giving me a headache and I'm tired of smiling every time you say something I don't understand. Can't we just simply go to your room and fuck?"

    Foreign guy looking, at one time at least, to get laid: "Russian is a living, breathing, growing language. You should celebrate the fact that I am contributing to its growth with my new pronunciations! Before we can go and fuck I want you to understand that all languages, except dead ones of course, are like living organisms. Have you ever heard the term "mongrel language?" No, well, let me explain. Wait. Where are you going? Toilet? Why are you taking your coat? Ok. I'll just wait for you here."
    I wish I had 100 rubles for every time that happened to me!

  2. #278

    Académie française and Крепкого здоровья и мирного неба над

    ah, and one, possibly two, possibly even three embellishments to s's post, including a tableau at the end. russia does have a governmental language regulator. in fact, it was modeled on the acadmie franaise by catherine ii. the name has changed once or twice since then and became, and remains, the russian language institute in the russian academy of sciences, in moscow.

    as with almost all such governmental language "academies," it is primarily concerned with the purity of the russian language.

    secondly, russian is not a "mongrel" language. important foreign influences upon the russian language fall into a few historical periods, including viking / scandinavian (seen in proper names like oleg, olga, igor) , tartar (from the tartar period) , greek (after christianity was introduced) and french (especially during peter the great's reign, when french was seen as superior to russian and many continental ideas / words were simply introduced into the russian language).

    however, the backlash to this also occurred during peter's reign when he put his foot down and actually ordered one of his european ambassadors to stop using so many foreign words in his speech. since the time of peter, moscow has pursued a policy against the excessive use of foreign words and phrases in russian.

    the term "mongrel language" is in any case not a particularly useful term, although its marvelously colorful and appropriate to this forum. it was famously used by mark twain to celebrate english. english has "borrowed" latin words and old norse words, french, spanish, arabic, dutch, bantu, greek, italian, wolof, yiddish, german, japanese, farsi, irish gaelic, and, well, words and phrases from over 300 different languages and dialects all appear in english. the russian lexicon doesn't even remotely meet this standard.

    finally, the discussion of language as living and breathing and growing is irrelevant to this the getting laid discussion. what's at issue is language as a social tool.

    hot russian chick: "please, stop speaking russian. i can't understand your pronunciation and your giving me a headache and i'm tired of smiling every time you say something i don't understand. can't we just simply go to your room and fuck?"

    foreign guy looking, at one time at least, to get laid: "russian is a living, breathing, growing language. you should celebrate the fact that i am contributing to its growth with my new pronunciations! before we can go and fuck i want you to understand that all languages, except dead ones of course, are like living organisms. have you ever heard the term "mongrel language?" no, well, let me explain. wait. where are you going? toilet? why are you taking your coat? ok. i'll just wait for you here."

  3. #277

    Ku. Ku; ku. Ku. Ku? Ku!

    Anytime anyone on this list posts a long, thoughtful post the gods of the internet must be duly thanked.

    In any case, Stravinsky posts with rose colored glasses, and his and my posts on this topic reflect two extremes of reactions to Russia: the romanticized gone-native Lawrence of Arabia reaction and the harshly and too overly pessimistic / realistic reaction.

    Besides, as we all know, vodka and kolbasa makes EVERYONE good friends, at least for the evening, though I would have included salo in the menu. Can't imagine the particular crowd referred to here drinking vodka without salo. The test for any readers here is to simply visit and experience Russia and form their own conclusions about its people, though for most I think it's the girls and getting laid that's of primary interest. As in the how to get laid in the most expedient way possible during my 3 day stay in Moscow variety, not in the I'm living and / or working in Russia as an expat variety.

    Which is why I recommend that you are much better off, in short visits, letting a Russian girl practice her English on you than trying to win her over with the Russian phrasebook you were skimming on the plane. English fluency is a handy card to play in Russia, because Russians understand it is a very useful language to know. Most Russian girls are studying Russian in school and having an opportunity to practice with a Native Speaker can be a welcome opportunity for them. Instead of a guy on the make you can be transformed into English practicum. It's an opening.

    And regarding humor, which we both agree is easy to find in Russia, our disagreement is on what humor and laughter means. I opt for the definition it can mean many things, often many at the same time, and not just one thing, all the time.

    Regarding Stalin. Well, actually Stravinsky, many Russians did (and still do) make fun of Stalin for being Georgian and for the way he spoke Russian. Much of this was even published as satire during his lifetime, though without naming Stalin of course. He was also quite content to share vodka and kolbasa with you in the evening and have you or your wife shot or sent off to a gulag the next day. Vodka and kolbasa are what they are, but one thing they definitely ain't is a measure of friendship. I'm sure you know the story of Molotov and his great "friendship" with Stalin and what Stalin did to Polina Zhemchuzhina. In fact what Stalin did to all of his great friends wives after his own wife committed "suicide."

    In Kin-dza-dza you can experience a light-hearted and comedic treatment of the Georgian stereotype. It's the film example of what you are arguing. That Russia is just one giant happy ethnic and linguistic melting pot where they celebrate their diversity and all gather together at night to drink and eat and hold hands and sing. And if they are critical of the way some of them act and speak Russian. Well, it's just criticism amongst one big giant happy family.

    [QUOTE=Stravinsky; 1561580]Interesting, sometimes I wonder if you and I talking about the same country? Maybe this is a tale of two cities: Moscow vs. Piter. Piter is, after all, a Russian city. Or perhaps this is a class difference; sounds like you hang with the intelligentsia, while I have always felt more comfortable among the vodka and kolbasa crowd. In any event, my empirical evidence is exactly the opposite of yours.

  4. #276

    и я щас тебе все объясню

    Quote Originally Posted by Skwiskwis  [View Original Post]
    You want to empirically test this? In any social situation with Russians, introduce the Ukrainians speaking Russian or Belorussians speaking Russian topic. Watch the evening take a hilarious, if arrogant, turn. Russians LOVE making fun of the way Ukrainians and Belorussians speak Russian: their accents, all. And it ain't just fun. It's Russian superiority vis a vis "others" inferiority. Now, given that Ukrainians and Belorussians speak Russian fluently, and Russians can certainly understand them, just imagine what Russians think of Europeans and Americans who butcher Russian?
    Interesting, sometimes I wonder if you and I talking about the same country? Maybe this is a tale of two cities: Moscow vs. Piter. Piter is, after all, a Russian city. Or perhaps this is a class difference; sounds like you hang with the intelligentsia, while I have always felt more comfortable among the vodka and kolbasa crowd. In any event, my empirical evidence is exactly the opposite of yours.

    I think Jake is right, within any language that spans the globe there are bound to be regional differences, be it English, Spanish, Russian or French. There really isn't anything specific to take away about the Russian character from the simple fact that different dialects are a source of amusement to one another, and the mother tongue will always feel superior.

    Or, if you want the conversation to take a serious and racist turn, introduce the topic of Caucuses peoples and the way they "barely" speak Russian at all. How do Russians know the inferiority of them? Look at how poorly they speak Russian.
    Yes, Russians like to make fun of the "chorni" types. But I think every nationality has its chorni types. Again, this is nothing specific to the Russian character. After all, Stalin was Georgian and he became the absolute ruler of the Soviet Union. I doubt if anyone made fun of him, at least no who lived to tell about it.

    Russians are Ethnocentric in an extreme way. More so than the French, though about the same as Parisians, in my opinion (don't get me started on the way the French make fun of Canadian and Louisiana French speakers). And if we generally agree on this, that Russians are ethnocentric, then we must also understand that Ethnocentrism begins and ends with language and the superiority and PURITY of one's own language over others. To put it another way, the mispronunciation of Russian words by Belorussians and Ukrainians and foreigners OFFENDS Russians. It angers them.

    Russian for them is SACRED. It is the language of great art and literature, and, similar to the French, if you can't speak it well, don't speak it at all. They have many different words and expressions, every educated Russian knows and can quote from Pushkin, they have and use about a million profane words, and their conversations are rich and complex and full of linguistic subtleties. They can tell your class and educational level in a nanosecond based on the way you speak. And yeah, learn to say "hi" and "goodbye" in Russian and they will smile and be amused, and inwardly snicker at the fact that you can't even pronounce "privet" correctly.

    Moreover, any Russian who speaks any English at all would rather butcher English and try and communicate and learn English from you, than have you butcher Russian.
    I'm sorry, but these statements are so patently ludicrous that it's difficult to form an intelligent response to them. These kinds of broad generalizations reveal more about you and your acquaintances than they do about Russia and Russians.

    Every culture must be ethnocentric, to a certain extent. If it were not, then it wouldn't exist. Russia has one of the most diverse ethnic populations in the world, aside from the U.S., and they have lived together for hundreds of years. You need to get out of Piter and see the real Russia. Travel to Odessa, sit down at a table with a Tatar, a Jew, a Christian and a bottle of vodka (the Tatar will probably be drinking tea, of course) and enjoy the show while they make fun of each other. The fact that they can laugh at each other, and themselves, is their salvation.

    I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have heard a Russian quote Pushkin, in normal conversation. Of course they know Pushkin and Turgenev and Dostoevsky, they suffered through all of them in school, just as I suffered through Fitzgerald, Hawthorne and Faulkner. But, if you are hanging out with people who spout Pushkin off the top of their head in everyday conversation, then you are operating in a whole 'nother di-mension.

    The next time your friends pontificate on the purity of the Russian language, you might want to remind them that if they had been alive 200 years ago, when Pushkin was devoting his life to creating modern Russian literature, they would not have spoken Russian. They would have spoken French, or maybe German and would have at least understood English. They would have been quoting Goethe or Byron and considered the Russian language to be beneath them--a language to be spoken only by bureaucrats, shop clerks and the poor--people who did not have the money, or the social status, to be as wonderful as they imagined themselves to be.

    We can be thankful that there is no one to police the Russian language. There is no institution in Russia that corresponds to the Academie Francaise. Russian is like English, it's a mongrel language, it takes from everywhere and that's the wonderful thing about it--it's a living language. It grows and changes and evolves with the times and the people. It is not the domain of a small coterie of closet intellectuals.

    This is precisely why Russians have so many different words and expressions in their language and use about a million profane words, and have conversations that are rich and complex and full of linguistic subtleties.

    BTW--If you are having trouble with привет, wait 'til you get to мягкий

    Now, of course, I mean really, if your alone and visiting Russia and working / living in Russia you do what you do. And if trying to find someplace means speaking bad Russian then by all means do so. And if the girl you are with is complementing you on your Russian and your Russian friends and colleagues are complementing you, then that's the game yes? We play them and they play us and as long as we all end the day satisfied what's the harm?
    What comes through in your posts is that you seem to have fallen in with a crowd of intellectual types who enjoy belittling people for their attempts to communicate in Russian and you resent this, which is only natural. This is always the way with ineffectual people, they raise themselves up by putting others down. The answer to your problem is not to stop learning and speaking Russian, or to advise others to do the same. If you are tired of being berated by your effete, intellectual, jingoistic friends in Piter, then the answer is simple--you need to find some new friends.

    Here, sit down, relax, take off your tight shoes, have a shot of vodichki and a whiff of this chorni khleb. You'll feel right as rain again in no time.

    The 'bad boy' works in Russia.
    BTW--You gave us a fair amount of detail about the tactics of the elitni who tried to seduce the krasavitsa, but you didn't say anything about what the bad boy said. Assuming he was a bad boy. Could be he was just the sensitive, artistic type--it's easy to mistake the two. Think Vysotsky--the bad boy with a soul. Russian women can't resist that stuff.

    What do you think he was saying to her, to win the heart of the krasavitsa? I'm betting he was quoting Pushkin.

  5. #275

    Talking dirty

    Professor Stravinsky, what are the preferred endearments to be used when talking dirty to a Russian girl?

    I have a prospect who wants to be treated rough, and called dirty names.

    She is most aroused when being called a "dirty little wh*re", but I have explained to her that she is actually a "sl*t", as no money changes hands.

    So I have these two words to whisper into her ear at tender moments, but wonder what the Russian equivalents are?

    Her English is not good, and while I think she has mastered these basics of vocabulary, at the height of passion I would like to speak directly to her deep Russian soul, in her native tongue.

    And what is the precise meaning of "dyeffki"? I have always understood it to mean "women of loose moral character", but does it actually refer to prostitutes? Would my Russian inamorata find being called "dyeffka" exciting? Or is it always an insult?

    A brief vocabulary of the relevant body parts would be welcomed also.

    Your attentive student,


  6. #274
    Quote Originally Posted by Gentleman Travel  [View Original Post]
    As for my passport, I'm not sure drunken gopniks always check before they pound the crap out of you.

    This article by Michele Berdy was just published in The Moscow Times. It's an interesting examination of the meaning of a Russian word that gets thrown around a lot here in the Russia forum and may be particularly relevant to what's happening in the Ukraine right now.

    Insulting slang words seem to go in and out of fashion — or maybe I go in and out of periods of noticing them. Lately it seems that the word гопник and its various derivatives are the new popular pejorative. I thought I knew what гопник meant but did some research to clarify, just in case. It turns out that the word is more interesting than I imagined, and I understood it less than I thought.

    The first interesting bit is the word itself and its evocative variations. The singular form is
    гопник, гопа or гопарь. You can use the plural forms — гопники, гопы, гопари — or one of the collective nouns, which describe гопники as a kind of undifferentiated mass of redneck humanity: гопота, гопотень, гопьё, all of which have the stress on the last syllable.

    The second interesting bit is the hypothesized origin of the word. One possible source is the onomatopoetic
    гоп (a jump, blow or leap). This led to the notion of гоп-стоп (a mugging, i.e., jumping someone), гопстопник (mugger) and even гопство (street crime or violent persecution of someone). In this origin story, гопник and his linguistic friends are thugs, petty criminals or crooks.

    Another theory is that гопник came from the abbreviation
    ГОП, which before the 1917 Revolution stood for городское общество призора (municipal welfare society), a state organization that provided care and shelter to the homeless and poor. Later гоп was urban slang for a flophouse. This led to the notion of гопник as a bum, a homeless person or someone from the dregs of society.

    And the third interesting bit is how these two streams of meaning came together and then poured into mainstream Russian in the late 1980s.
    Гопники became identified with badly educated, lower-class, bigoted thug-like guys who are at the edges of the criminal world. Think poor "Duck*Dynasty" without the beards and religion.

    And the last interesting bit is how
    гопники have become a thing. There are sites dedicated to гопота lore. Гопники hang out in courtyards. They like to squat (стоять на корточках), which they call на кортах or на карташах. They eat sunflower seeds. They smoke and practice the martial arts. They are nationalistic. They call progressives педики, пидоры and петухи (all highly insulting terms for homosexuals), not necessarily because they think they are gay, but because gay is bad. Critical thinking and impulse control are not their forte. In short — your basic nightmare.

    Гопники tend to be found in urban settings: Прохожу вдоль вокзала, и тут же ко мне подкатывает какой-то поддатый гопник с недружелюбными намерениями (Here I am walking by the station, when a drunken bum with malicious intentions lurches toward me).

    In the 21st century,
    гопота became ликующая (jubilant). First this meant the cheering pro-Kremlin Наши (Us) crowds. Then it began to be used to describe any mass of Western-hating, uneducated thugs. Зал — полон "ликующей гопотой," которая после каждого проклятия в адрес Украины и Грузии радостно свистит, хлопает, машет флагами РФ (The hall was filled with cheering cretins who greeted every curse of Ukraine and Georgia with exultant whistles, clapping, and waving of Russian flags). In Ukraine, гопота often refers to the pro-Russian crowd: Кто же развешивал в Луганске российские флаги? Русская гопота (Who put up the Russian flags in Lugansk? A Russian mob).

    Гопота — a mob to be avoided.

  7. #273
    Context, Yummy, context!

    It sounds like you are writing to a girl's parents to introduce yourself and ask them to give you their daughter's address. You might want to try something a little more formal and respectful.

    Здравствуйте. Меня зовут (insert name here). *Я друг твоей дочери Анна. *Желаю ей посылать подарок, цветы. Но ето очень важно что этот подарок будеть сюрприз. У меня большая просьба к вам. Можете ли вы передавать мне ее адрес? Спасибо заранее за ваше помощь и запомни, пожалуйста, никакой слов*Анну.

  8. #272


    Hey Guys, Can anyone look at the following translation and tell me if it is understandable?

    Hello. I want to send flowers to your daughter Anna. I am a friend of hers. I want this to be a surprise. I need an address to send them to. Can you help me? Please do not tell her I asked.))

    Здравствуйте. Я хочу отправить цветы своей дочери Анны. Я ее друг. Я хочу, чтобы это было сюрпризом. Мне нужен адрес, чтобы отправить их. Можете ли вы мне помочь? Пожалуйста, не говорите ей, что я спросил.))


  9. #271
    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    What exactly did she say to you, in Russian?
    She said it in English, I think she tried a mirror translation or something.

    But it is not that important as I'm not sure if I will see her again. Just personal interest.

    Thanks anyway!

  10. #270
    Quote Originally Posted by Questner  [View Original Post]
    "spaghetti"."easily spotted petty lies" (forget your automatic translator, this thread is hilarious enough)

    Thanks! Now it makes sense even if I can't really remember what I was saying when she replied it.


  11. #269
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaboca  [View Original Post]
    What is the meaning: "I don't like spaghetti"?
    What exactly did she say to you, in Russian?

  12. #268
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaboca  [View Original Post]
    Hey Folks,

    What is the meaning: "I don't like spaghetti"? A girl told me and I think she wanted to be ironic but I'm not sure what she really wanted to express.


    "spaghetti"."easily spotted petty lies" (forget your automatic translator, this thread is hilarious enough)

  13. #267
    The google translation is dead on.

    Quote Originally Posted by YummyPL  [View Original Post]
    Can someone translate this for me?

    &1090; &1099; &1077; &1084; &1091; &1085; &1077; &1082; &1086; &1085; &1082; &1091; &1088; &1077; &1085; &1090; .

    &1087; &1086; &1090; &1086; &1084; &1091; &1095; &1090; &1086; , &1103; &1085; &1077; &1079; &1085; &1072; &1102; &1082; &1072; &1082; &1086; &1081; &1090; &1099; &1074; &1089; &1077; &1082; &1089; &1077; .

    Google says this:

    You're not his competitor.

    Because I do not know what you are in sex.

    Obviously the second line is what I am interested in.

  14. #266
    Quote Originally Posted by YummyPL  [View Original Post]
    Thanks Strav. I guess that is more my question. Is there an implied "yet" in her phrasing? I know it seems odd, but it is important o our conversation.
    No, there is no implied "yet" in her statement. I'm just filling in the blanks.

  15. #265


    Hey Folks,

    What is the meaning: "I don't like spaghetti"? A girl told me and I think she wanted to be ironic but I'm not sure what she really wanted to express.



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