Thursday, March 26, 2009

Street Russian (very brief primer)

There are two Russian languages: The romantic language of Tolstoy and practical Russian that you need to be able to communicate effectively with a Russian person on the streets of Tyumen, Moscow, St. Petersburg or anywhere.

It's important not to curse in the presence of a Russian who holds a higher social or business position than you do. To Russian bosses, four-letter words are all about power. The boss is the one who is allowed to curse.

Some of the more important words you need to know if you're trying to communicate and get your point across on the streets of Russia are these: blyad (whore), buy y shopu (dick up his ass), naekhat (throw somebody under a bus), razborka (settling a problem), sosi huy! (a refusal), Nuzhen kak zub v zhope! (literally it means "I need that like I need a tooth in my ass", meaning, I need that like a fish needs a bicycle or I need that like I need a hole in my head)

Understanding Russian profanity is critical to being able to communicate to the common taxi driver or to survive interactions. Perhaps Julia will want to add something here. 

Apologies for no Cyrillic keyboard.


Julia@SometimesLucid said...

HAHAHAHAHA - "huy! (a refusal)"

Huy is actually the CRASS version of "DICK"

My favorite one is "yup tvoe mat" - technically "fuck your mother" but really "mother fucker".

It is an intersting point you bring up - no one really swears to their elders. I can count on 2 hands the number of times I've sworn in Russian in front of my parents. It's just not done!

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

sorry - "sosi huy" = suck my dick

LL said...

I tried to be delicate and phrase a "refusal" in the proper way.

Some of my favorite russian epithets that don't translate well into English include:

"mat' tvoyu v tri kresta"
(literally, your mother and three crosses too)


"mat' tvoyu cherez sem' vorot s privistom!" (literally, your mother through seven gates while whistling.}

"U vas vsya spina belaya!" (literally, your back has white stuff all over it.

LL said...

Julia wrote: "yup tvoe mat"

Doesn't yob tvoyu mat mean "I fucked your mother" ??

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

LL - trasnliteration takes many forms. Yours is just as good, if not better than mine :)

"Ya eibal tboyu mat" means "I fucked your mother" what I wrote was more like telling you to go fuck your mother.

Yes, russian is a very complicated language.

By the way, you are right, there is no nice was to say having sex/making love in Russian unless alcohol is flowing.

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