Thursday, December 16, 2004

 

Irina the Great!

One of my favorite blogs is SueAndNotU. The eponymous Susan, proprietress, keeps, among her other blogposts, a running commentary on her experiences with a coworker, Irina, a Russian emigre. It's very funny.

The Continuing Adventures of Irina the Great

Our Boss: Irina. You still haven't included an emergency contact number for the staff phone list. What's your husband's number?

Irina: We-e-ll. I was thinking maybe I will give number for my father.

Our Boss: Not Sasha?

Irina: The poor man has such worries already, I don't want to bother him with such things.

Our Boss: Okay fine. What's your father's number?

Irina: But my father, you know, he doesn't speak such good English.

Our Boss: Irina. I just need a number. Just give me someone. If there's a biological weapons attack and we need to get in touch with someone, who do you want it to be?

Irina: We-e-ll...what time were you planning on for this?
Or:
Adventures with Irina

Ah, the inimitable Russian Soul.

Me: It's always very hard for me to say goodbye to people in Russian, because I always want to say something like "Have a good day" or "Have a good time." But you don't say that.

Irina [hands spreading in exasperation]: Syuzan. Should I remind you? We do not have good time.
SueAndNotU is always good for a chuckle. Having lived in Russia myself, where I had numerous Russian friends, I love hearing about Susan and Irina's attempts to understand each other.
Comments:
If you're fond of Russians and the way they express themselves, you would enjoy a recent piece by a regular Moscow Times columnist, Michele Berdy. She's a translator who's their answer to William Safire. Though I don't pretend to speak Russian I've picked enough smatterings over the years to appreciate her articles, and even if you don't know the particular word or expression she's writing about, it's always illuminating about Russian manners (and the lack thereof) and attitudes.

This column is on all the different ways nichevo is used. It's in the Dec 17 edition, so unfortunately it goes into the paid archives in a few hours.

chez Nadezhda
 
Great article! Thanks!
 
Nichevo!
 
Or should that be ...nichevo...
 
Post a Comment

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Comments: "
If you're fond of Russians and the way they express themselves, you would enjoy a recent piece by a regular Moscow Times columnist, Michele Berdy. She's a translator who's their answer to William Safire. Though I don't pretend to speak Russian I've picked enough smatterings over the years to appreciate her articles, and even if you don't know the particular word or expression she's writing about, it's always illuminating about Russian manners (and the lack thereof) and attitudes.

This column is on all the different ways nichevo is used. It's in the Dec 17 edition, so unfortunately it goes into the paid archives in a few hours.

chez Nadezhda
 
" "
Great article! Thanks!
 
" "
Nichevo!
 
" "
Or should that be ...nichevo...
 
" Post a Comment

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