In this questionnaire, we plan to interview Lexiophiles bloggers to get tips on how to learn their native language. Instead of offering run of the mill advice, we tried a different approach, more unconventional, which might even help people NOT be labeled as a tourist in the first 2 minutes!
• Hum or sing along with these three songs in the subway:
[Please name us three songs everyone knows in your native language]
Kalinka-malinka‘, Katjusha‘, Oj, moroz-moroz‘ are the three ones everyone knows.
• Get by with firing off any of these five swear words:
[Please tell us the five unavoidable curse-words that are commonly used in your country and what they mean]
‘Bljatj’ (a very nice interjection that you can put nearly in every context, it makes the utterance really expressive), ‘huj’ (directly translated into English as ‘penis’) and ‘pizda’ (female genital organs) can be both declined in thousand ways and are a very productive source of word formation- out of it you can build virtually everything from noun to adverb), ‘ebatj’ (a verb comparable to ‘to fuck’ that obtains different shades of meanings depending on whether you are ‘sending somebody to hell’, or just expressing your dissatisfaction), ‘durak’ ( a very simple and harmless word meaning ‘a fool’).
• Get the phone number (or a great laugh) with this pick-up line:
[Please share your favorite pick-up line with us]
‘Nomer telefonchika ne podskazhete?‘
Note that the diminutive form of ‘telephone’ and the polite form of the verb are necessary to succeed.
• Cheer to this word with your new local friends at the bar:
[Please tell us what the word for “cheers” is in your language]
There is no ONE word for this. People keep silence while drinking and hold speeches on special occasions. Otherwise, there is no use thinking about words: ‘Don’t think-drink!’
• And for our tip on feeling like a local – how to order a Big Mac menu in your language:
[Please write how you would order a super-size Big Mac menu in your language]
I personally can’t eat them but those who do can try: ‘Prinesite, pozhalujsta, menju!’ or ‘Mozhno menju?’
• The one thing you should do every day to feel truly local:
[Please describe a truly local thing/tick people in your country do]
Put a very gloomy and concentrated expression on your face and never smile without a reason to the people you run into.
• Have we forgotten anything? What is in your opinion the most unusual way to learn your language?
[Any ideas, comments, suggestions that we missed.]
Unusual – no idea! Perhaps, to learn Russian from a non-native speaker. In this case, you are most likely to fail in passing off for a local!