The Russian language… The Russian language is poetic; it is probably one of the most beautiful languages in the world, the language of Pushkin and Tolstoy. But it is not only elevated language Russian is famous for; it has countless colloquialisms as well as slang words.
What I am talking about? I am talking about those words Russians so enjoy using every day! Do you know any of them? You want to recall some of them? Let’s get started!
Blini or pancakes are essential part of Russian cuisine and also the word the Russians use the most. No, it is not because the Russians eat pancakes every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is because the Russians use this word instead of traditional English “Damn!” or “Shoot!” Can you imagine “Oh Pancake!”
Internet terms are slowly conquering the world and Russian is not an exception. For example, the word “e-mail”. What it is like in Russian slang? You will never guess, it is “milo” or “soap”!
Another unusual use of the word “soap” is in the phrase “Kuda namilisya?” “Where are you soaping to go?” or “Where are you going?”
What is another common expression Russian teenagers use? The weirdest one that came to my mind is “Shnurki v stakane” or literally:“The laces are in the glass”, meaning “My parents are at home”.
“Chainik” or “teapot” is another popular Russian word widely used in completely different meaning. A teapot is not a vessel for steeping tea leaves in Russian slang. A teapot is someone who is “green”, inexperienced, a newbie. In some Russian speaking regions outside of Russia, like CIS when using the word “tea pot”, people also mean that someone is very smart or nerdy.
What else do Russian teenagers like to say? “I don’t care” or “Whatever”, right? In Russian, it is “Mne do lampochki”, or “To me it is up to the light bulb/drum”. It sounds ridiculous but it is true!
And what about their parents? What do they say when their kids are trying to lie? If you hear the phrase “Ne goni purgu” (“Don’t chase away the snowstorm”) it means “ Don’t lie”!
The Russians have many words concerning money. For example, “to earn money” you should say “rubit kapustu” or literally translating “to chop the cabbage”. How cabbage and money are related to each other? I have no idea!
The word “money” itself has a lot of slang brothers-“babki”, “bablo”, “babla”. The first one “babki” means “little grandmothers” and “to earn babki” is “to earn little grandmothers”! Don’t worry, in Russian it doesn’t sound so strange!
So, I’ve given plenty of examples as for why sometimes it is not a good idea to translate words and sentencesliterally. You might get into trouble! And by the way, when writing a letter to a Russian, don’t translate the “with regards” literally, it doesn’t exactly mean what you want to say!
PS. With regards: privetom, meaning “a freak”!