Admin/ 25 марта, 2021

Funny embarrassment with translation into Russian

There are a number of phrases that foreigners may find not only funny but strange.

The phrase «evening bell» (vecherniy zvon) sounds like the chair is warm — «warm chair». The word «mayonnaise» is correspondingly to my on ass («on your fifth point»). «Garlic» (chesnok) is similarly to chess knok. «Pipe» (tryba) is equally to the true bar («real bar»). And finally «dumpling» (pelmen) is the same as pale man («pale man»).

There are also Russian words that in different countries are swear words.  For Poles the word «match» (spichka) sounds like a filthy language. In Greece the word «ear» (kolos) is an obscene term for buttocks. The Russian word «pool» (bassein) in France should never be pronounced next to a French woman. In that case she might think that you are hinting at the ugly shape of her breasts. In Vietnam, you need to immediately forget about the vernacular «what?» (che), because in this country this word is equivalent to the curse word «bastard».

Funny embarrassment with translation into Russian
Funny embarrassment with translation into Russian

The most famous example from this area is associated with the name of the car «Zhiguli».

It is consonant with gigolo (in Russian: a young man, kept by an elderly woman). Because of that, this car has a second name for the European market — «Lada». Another equally famous example is from the movie «Mechanical Orange»: good (khorosho) > horror show.

For the Chinese, the Russian word toastmaster (tamada) sounds like a rude curse. If the Russians are shocked by the way the Spaniards call the cat (pis-pis is consonant with the words spoken to Russian children in order to stimulate their urination), then the Arabs may recall a case when a Soviet general at an official reception, having seen a cat, decided to call her in Russian (“ Kis-kis «is consonant with the male genital organ).

Also, funny example. An English learner may ask a classmate to translate the innocuous phrase «blue water» into English. «Blevota» (which is consonant with Russian vomit) makes him feel a gloating laugh.

At Portugal, such a lingo-shocking phrase would be: «In July overeat pancakes» (In Julio pidaras ohuelos = very bad Russian words). In Arabic: «My brother’s family is the best in the country» [Usrat akhuy atebifi biladi = again very bad RW]. In Chinese: «Dirty gray fox returns to the dorm step by step» ([Hui lyu lyu huli ibu ibu huy sushi = haha the same]).

Therefore, be careful with converting thoughts into words 🙂

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