Archive for March, 2013

Best Russian Candies Posted by on Mar 29, 2013

You might be getting ready to celebrate католическая Пасха (Catholic Easter) this Sunday in which case you are probably too busy to read a long-winded post. So let’s keep it short and sweet. Let’s talk about конфеты (candies). What are some of the Russian alternatives for the candies you usually buy around Easter holiday?…

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How to Curse like a Russian Posted by on Mar 22, 2013

Ok, the usual disclaimer goes here: if you are easily offended, do not read this post. Parental advisory recommended. Using any of these words in public is considered mild hooliganism and is punishable by law. The three whales of русский мат (Russian curse words) are the three rude words for a male sexual organ, female…

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Bumper-sticker wisdom in Russian Posted by on Mar 19, 2013

Are you getting tired of telling the driver behind you to Save the Pygmy Hippos? Or maybe you’re thinking that it’s time to scrape off that Re-Elect Carter 1980 bumper-sticker? Well, allow me to offer 10 Russian остроты (“aphorisms; witticisms; quips”) that’d be perfect for a custom-made bumper-sticker. Or a (нагрудный) значок (“pin-on lapel button”)…

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Three Whales and Other Russian Phrases for Counting to Ten Posted by on Mar 13, 2013

I am trying to figure out a way to talk about the три кита русского мата (the three whales of the Russian obscenity) without crossing the line yet without having to use so many *** that it makes the post unreadable. If you have any ideas on how to do this, let me know. In…

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How to Curse Like a Russian Kindergartner Posted by on Mar 7, 2013

Today, my friends, is the day to learn some Russian curse words. The signs are all here – the Chelyabinsk meteor, the asteroid flyby, the unbelievable видео с авторегистраторов (dashcam videos). These videos alone make you want to curse a blue streak. However, keeping in mind that just like the great and mighty Russian language…

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Humor that’s lost-and-found in translation Posted by on Mar 6, 2013

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned “elephant jokes” as an example of humor that translates well because most of the examples don’t depend on language-specific wordplay. So today, let’s consider some puns and quips that are difficult or impossible to translate into English because they hinge on Russian homonyms or on ambiguities of Russian grammar…

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