1. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Cursing in Russian

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Bakkerbaard, May 5, 2020.

    This will probably contain some adult language, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

    So, does anyone speak Russian?
    I need a word to slip into otherwise English dialogue. Google comes up with some stuff, but I'm not sure how to use it right.

    Here's the situation our Russian is in:
    He opens the door to a small room where he finds two people he really, really did not want to see in there. In English, he would most definitely have said, "Ah, motherf*cker!". As an exclamation of frustration, not directed at anyone.

    I can google some suggestions which I either don't know how to use, or aren't powerful enough .
    Google Translate gives me some colourful options, but again, I don't know how it would be used in actual Russian.

    So, tl;dr
    What would you say in Russian if you found a surprise that was really going to ruin your day and maybe your career?
     
  2. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I believe @Wreybies speaks Russia, in case he doesn't see this thread on his own.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    paging @Wreybies

    I'd suggest Yob Tovyu Mat... literally it means 'go fuck your mother' but they use it as a general all round expletive, somewhat like we use motherfucker

    pizdets litterally means vulva, but the russians use it like "Godammit"
     
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  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The thing to remember with these kinds of epithets is that they rarely make much sense from one language to another. That is their nature. In my particular brand of Spanish (Caribbean), the granddaddy of all bad words is puñeta (poo-nye-tah). It derives from the word puño, which is a punch or a fist and invokes the idea of masturbation as its driving motor, so to speak. That feels silly in English, that particular source, but trust me on this one. If you have Puerto Rican or Dominican friends, feel free to corroborate.

    In Russian, the all-purpose epithet for jump scares and the kind of situation you mention would be Блядь! (Blyad!). If you saw that already in Google Translate, it is my personal opinion that you should drop the apostrophe on the end of the version spelled in Latin letters. It represents the soft sign (мягкий знак) and its only purpose at the end of the word is to keep the Д (D) at end from de-voicing into a T and your reader isn't going to know what to do with that apostrophe. We don't de-voice terminal consonants in English, so its representation will just confuse your reader. Some sources spell it with a T at the end in Russian. That spelling is a lot like listening to Jonah Hill say "fa sho". It's cringey. Don't do it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
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  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Should be yob tvoyu mat, not tovyu.

    There is another version of that phrase that has arguably more traction for being punchier in delivery and easier to say, Ё моё (yo mah-yo). It is similar in provenance to the way gosh darnit is a defanged replacement for god dammit, but in Russian, the process only mildly dulls the fangs, not removes them.

    You can hear Ensign Chekov use it (surprisingly) in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek.

     
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  6. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    Well, damn. That's exactly the one I stuck in as a placeholder. Excellent.
    Question answered. Thanks for your time.
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yep... whenever a Hispanic line cook is running behind we still say "mucho puneta." Mexicans seem to use it more than Guatemalans.
     
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  8. blue.rose

    blue.rose New Member

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    Pancake! I mean... Блин!
     
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A little off topic... but how to I type something in Cyrillic? I'm American with a standard laptop (also from America). Is there a way I can somehow write in Cyrillic using my laptop? This isn't for a story. It just made me think about emailing an old friend in that part of the world. Sure, I could do it in English, but I'm curious just to see how rusty I am. Plus, it always looks cool. ;)
     
  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    On a Mac you just add the keyboard, not too differently to how one adds a new keyboard on one's phone. Then you just toggle back and forth between the keyboards you wish to use. I use it all the time in my work-work. No idea on a PC. Macs and PCs handle things like keyboards and dictionaries very differently.

    Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 12.51.45 PM.png
     
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  11. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know how far along you are with this, but what Wreybies said should fly on PC as well. Including the toggling.
    Assuming you're on Win10, you go to Settings (I went through the start menu and then the cogwheel icon), then Time & Languages, select Languages on the left side and then you should be able to add a Preferred Language.
    I didn't go that far as I just wrestled my standard keyboard out of the dumb idea that deadkeys were a good idea and didn't want to potentially screw it up again, but I'm sure you probably didn't even need this explanation, so you'll manage. ;o)
     

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