We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...



10.02.2008

Words to Know When Traveling to Russia

Kris and I by no means learned how to speak Russian before we embarked upon our whirlwind trip to the motherland. I studied the Cyrillic alphabet over and over before our first trip. I figured I may not be able to pronounce the words, but at least I would be able to transliterate them (take the letters from Russian and change them to English). Come to find out, a lot of the words in Russian are actually English words, just written in Cyrillic! It became a game for me; I got so excited when I was able to actually read a sign, and even more so when the word I was translating turned out to be an English word!


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.
Russian: Apteka
English: Apothecary/Pharmacy
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.


Russian: First word: Bar; Second word: Kafe
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!)
Russian: Vodka
English: Vodka
Johnsons: Bodka (gotta butcher this one...and it's best to say with a deep Russian accent)

Russian: Cankt Peterburg
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)
Russian: Kassa
English: Cashier
Johnsons: Well...use your imagination as to how we said this one! :) (think back to "Peter" and "Mockba" bellies!)



Russian: Carl's Jr
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!)


Russian: Vihod
English: Exit
Johnsons: Enter (nothing too exciting about that one)

Russian: Vhod
English: Entrance
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.)

Russian: STOP
English: STOP
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)
Russian: Makdonalds
English: McDonald's
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!)


Random Words to Know When Traveling to Russia:

Russian: Bank
English: Bank

Russian: Supermarket
English: Supermarket
Johnsons: The Cypermapket (it's just more fun to say it that way!)

Russian: Megafon
English: Megaphone
Johnsons: Megaphone...this was our cell phone service provider, so we thought it was fitting to have a picture of the advert.

Russian: Moskva
English: Moscow
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

Russian: Restoran
English: Restaurant
Johnsons: Pectopah (literal translation...aka butchering)

A Few Pectopah's to note...
Subway

Sbarro
TGI Friday's
Starbuks Kofe
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...

Russian:
Russian: Tualet
English: Toilet
Hope you all enjoyed our little lesson of the Russian Language! I'd have to say, reading signs here in the US is a much easier task, althou, not as fun!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you've got your Entrance and Exit mixed up.

Vihod = exit
Vhod = entrance

Cool blog!

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