A few key phrases that we did learn to butcher, I mean, to say were: Hello (privyet - means "hi") & good bye (easy version - paka paka); please (pazhalsta) & thank you (spasiba); yes (da) & no (nyet) (we know this one very well now, thanks to our oh so sweet toddler!); and so forth.
Below are a few of the other words we learned to recognize & say. After the picture will be the Russian (transliterated) word, then the word in English, then the word according to the Johnsons! After being in a foreign country for so long, not understanding much around us, we got a bit silly and made up little things to keep us occupied! Plus - it's just kinda fun & making things up to go along with the words really helped us to learn better.
Johnsons: Alpha Pi Teka (the second letter in the word "Apteka" is a "p" and to me it looks like the "pi" symbol.) This became one of our "sororities"...like I said - we got a bit silly! The Alpha Pi Teka's are the sisters to the Kappa Alpha Boobs Epsilon's you'll meet a few pictures down. They're the "good" girls.
English: First word: Bar; Second word: Cafe
Johnsons: 1st - Bap; 2nd - kappa alpha boobs epsilon
Explanation: It's kinda fun to really butcher a language, even thou one knows the proper pronunciation sometimes. This was one of our faves...Bap! It's more fun to say "lets go to a bap tonite", than to a bar! Now the second "Kappa Alpha Boobs Epsilon", well, that was the "fraternity" that got it all started! When I was learning the Cyrillic alphabet, the way I learned the letter "f" was to call it a "stick with boobs", thus the fraternity had it's beginning. The guys in the Kappa Alpha Boobs Epsilon house, we decided, were the good guys; the jocks; the ones everyone wanted to hang out with (brothers to the Alpha Pi Teka's). (we had a lot of spare time on our hands while we were awaiting our little one!)
Johnsons: Bodka (gotta butcher this one...and it's best to say with a deep Russian accent)
English: Saint Petersburg
Johnsons: Cankt Peterburg (butchering, again, but this word was a must to learn, seeing as thou that was the city we spent the majority of our 3+ weeks as transplants)
Johnsons: Well...use your imagination as to how we said this one! :) (think back to "Peter" and "Mockba" bellies!)
English: Carl's Jr
Johnsons: Kris' burger joint (he said it tasted pretty much like any old US burger...I took his word for it!)
Johnsons: Enter (nothing too exciting about that one)
Johnsons: The Beta Chi Ode's (the last letter in the word is a "d" - to me it looks like a "house" and the Russian word for house is "dom", so we referred to the letter "d" as the "house".) (This was our second sorority, and the sisters to the fratboys of C T O Pi...yet to come. They were the more rowdy girls on campus.)
Johnsons: C T O Pi's (This was our 2nd fraternity - they are the guys you would drink & party with and most likely get into trouble with on campus)
Johnsons: Mc Households (see above re: the explanation of the letter "d"; McD's is a "household name", even in Russia, so it just makes sense!)
Johnsons: The Cypermapket (it's just more fun to say it that way!)
Johnsons: Megaphone...this was our cell phone service provider, so we thought it was fitting to have a picture of the advert.
Johnsons: Mockba (again, we enjoyed butchering the language!)
Russian: Akva Minerale (name brand of the water) (Boda = Water)
English: Bottled Water
Johnsons: Much needed staple to avoid both "Peter" and "Mockba" Bellies
Johnsons: Pectopah (literal translation...aka butchering)
A Few Pectopah's to note...
English: Starbuck's Coffee
Johnsons: Lifesaver; nectar of the Gods; yummy; etc
And last but not least, the place we all need to visit at least once a day...