Советские Анекдоты [Soviet Jokes] Posted by Natalie on Sep 26, 2011 in Culture, Russian life, Soviet Union
«Дорогие друзья» [Dear friends], it is with great pleasure that I inform you that I am in an advanced Russian class this year. We have been reading «советские анекдоты» [Soviet jokes] in class and I want to share a few of them with you, as they are often quite funny.
«–Цензурируется ли переписка советских граждан?
–Нет, но письма антисоветского содержания адресатам не доставлются.»
[–Is Soviet correspondence censored?
–No, but letters with anti-Soviet content are never delivered.]
«–На какие категории подразделяются советские диссиденты?
–На сидентов, досидентов, отсидентов, пересидентов, ожидантов и вновьсидентов.»
[–Into what categories are Soviet dissidents broken down?
–Those who are sitting (i.e. in jail), those who are almost done sitting, those who are just out from sitting, those who sitting longer than their sentence, those who are waiting to sit, and those who are sitting again.]
This is quite a clever joke, but I did not understand it until my professor explained it to us. It plays with the idea of Russian prefixes and the verb «сидеть», which can mean to be in jail.
«–Что такое СССР?
–Спальная, столовая, сортир, работа.»
[–What does USSR stand for?
–Bedroom, dining room, toilet, work.]
My favorite version of this joke has «Смерть Сталина спасёт Россию» [Stalin’s death will save Russia] as the punch line. Also, if I’m not mistaken, «сортир» is not a polite word, so you probably should not go around using it!
«–Нужна ли в русском языке буква “М”?
–Не нужна. Мяса нет, маргарина нет, молока нет. Маленкова нет, Молотова тоже нет. Остался один Микоян и тот не русский.»
[-Do we need the letter “M” in Russian?
-No. There’s no meat, margarine, or milk. There’s no Malenkov, or Molotov either. Only Mikoyan remains, and he’s not Russian.]
This is my favorite joke. It’s from the 1950s, so it plays on the chronic food shortages in the Soviet Union, as well as de-Stalinization. (Malenkov and Molotov were Stalin allies, as was Mikoyan. However, Mikoyan fared better under de-Stalinization because he backed Khrushchev’s efforts. Also, Mikoyan was Armenian, hence the comment on him not being Russian.)
Do you have a favorite joke in Russian? Do you want me to post more Soviet jokes later this week? Let me know in the comments!
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