Lost in Translation

I’ll only post a couple more entries about my time in Russia, but I did want to share a few of my favorite memories of problems I encountered with mixing English and Russian.  Let me know your favorite ; )

1 ) Kids or Tea?

Nikita: “Do you want kids?”
Me: “Umm, well not right now…wait, what did you say?”
Nikita: “Do you want chi?”
Me: “OH!  Tea.  No. Not right now.”

2 ) English is Hard

Nikita was reading a book Katie got me just to show me he could read English outloud.  He almost got through a whole paragraph perfectly until he got to the word “Judged.”  He read it “jood-ged” and I just about died laughing (as did he when I said the correct pronunciation).

3 ) It’s a Rooster!

::Pasha and I walking past a cage of chickens and roosters at the Moscow Zoo::
Pasha: ::points to Rooster and declares:: “Cock.”
Me: “Well, yes, but we don’t really use that word because of its other meaning.  It’s kind of bad.”
Pasha: “What else does it mean?”
Me: “Yeah, Cock is fine. Nevermind.”

Rooster at Moscow Zoo

Rooster at the Moscow Zoo

4 ) Rihanna Translated

::Rihanna’s S & M video comes on in St. Petersburg::
Me (to Nikita): “Yay American music! Even if it’s a little crazy.”
Nikita: ::Blank stare::
Me: “Do you know what the song is about?”
Nikita: “No.”
Me: “Oh. Well, kind of what s going on in the video. ” ::Proceeds to mime being handcuffed because that is the only thing I could think of in the moment besides pointing at the screen::

5 ) Signa…what?

Nikita: Kelly, what’s name of this? ::Points at alarm on iPhone::
Me: “Alarm.”
Nikita: “Uh-Larm.”
Me: “Yes.  What’s it in Russian?’
Nikita: “Signalizatsiya.”
Me:    O_o ……”I’m going to go with alarm.”

6 ) McDonalds = McDonalds

::Russian waitress asks to take my order at McDonalds::
Me: “Um, Nikita, can you help me?  I want ::points to Chicken McNuggets meal::
Nikita (to waitress): “Chicken McNuggets.”
Me:   -_-      “Okay, I could have done that.”

7 ) Keeping Busy

::Talking with Alexi (a friend of Pasha’s who could speak English pretty well) about cars::
Me: “Most American’s drive an automatic car.”
Alexi: “I don’t like it.  It’s too boring.  You always need something to keep your hand busy.”
Me, Pasha, and Alexi: ::Dead silence for a few seconds, and then we all burst out laughing at what that statement implied::

8 ) Machinas!

::Watching Transformers in Russian and they happen to say the word “machina”::
Me: “Machina!  That means car!  They said car!”
::Nikita starts laughing::
Polina (in a teacher to a preschooler tone): “Very good Kelly.”
Me (proudly): “I understand like every 100oth word in this movie!”

9 ) Not Microbiology

::Nikita trying to explain a class he is taking in dental school::
Nikita: “We look at cells and use a microscope.”
Me: “Oh! Microbiology.”
Nikita: “No. That’s a different class.”
::Nikita shows me the textbook used for the class and then we translate it on Google to see that it’s the equivalent of Histology in English.::
Me: “OH.  Histology…Yeah, I don’t know that word in English either.”

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2 Comments to “Lost in Translation”

  1. I like #6 the best. haha “Chicken McNuggets”

  2. I go through this with my husband on a daily basis. He tries to understand Portuguese, and gets really mad at me because some of the words have 2 or 3 different meaning depending on how you use them. And I still have problems pronoucing some words in english too. You trying saying “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” really fast! *lol*

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