Untranslatable Russian word

In English, more than a million words. However, sometimes there are difficulties with accurate translation of some Russian words, especially if they are associated with a sense of the mysterious Russian soul.

Untranslatable Russian word Untranslatable Russian word

1. Poshlost

The writer Vladimir Nabokov, teaching Slavic studies American students admitted that he could not translate this word that is understandable to every Russian man: "Open any magazine and you are sure to find an example of this: the family bought a radio (car, refrigerator, silver, it does not matter ), the mother claps her hands, overjoyed, children gathered around her with their mouths open; the baby and the dog pulled to the table, which have set up a brand new "idol" ... a little away victoriously stands father, proud breadwinner. "Vulgarity" such a scene is not from a false exaggeration merits of a particular object, and on the assumption that such a joy to be bought and that such purchase ennobles the purchaser. "

Harvard professor Svetlana Boym later added: "This word also means the triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and callousness."

Untranslatable Russian word

2. Nadryv

In the German "Wikipedia" is a whole article devoted to the word "tear". This is a key concept in the works of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The word means uncontrolled emotional outburst when a person produces an intimate, deeply hidden feelings.

Moreover, Dostoevsky anguish implies a situation in which the protagonist hopes to be able to find in your soul what may not even exist. That is why the anguish often expressed imaginary overly exaggerated and distorted feelings. One of the parts of the novel "The Brothers Karamazov" and is called "Tears".

Untranslatable Russian word

3. Khamstvo

Soviet writer Sergei Dovlatov described this phenomenon, of course any Russian, thus: "Rudeness - it is nothing like rudeness, arrogance and insolence, multiplied by impunity."

According to Dovlatov, rudeness just killing us. With this fight can not be, can only accept. "I lived in a crazy, wonderful, terrifying New York for ten years and surprised by the absence of vulgarity. Here you can happen anywhere, but you will not find rudeness. You can even rob, but no slam the door in your face, "- he added the writer.

Untranslatable Russian word

4. Stushevatsya

Some linguists believe that the word "efface" introduced Fyodor Dostoevsky, who first used it in his novel "The Double". This word means to be less visible, go to the second plan, to be embarrassed in awkward or unexpected circumstances, become meek.

Untranslatable Russian word

5. Toska

This Russian word can be defined as "emotional pain" or "melancholy", but it does not send all its depth. Vladimir Nabokov wrote that "not a single word in the English language can not convey all the nuances of melancholy. This distress without any particular reason, a vague anxiety, nostalgia, love experiences. "

Untranslatable Russian word

6. Bytie

This word comes from the Russian "to be" (to exist). The Russian-English dictionaries, this word translates philosophical category being (existence, life). However, being - it's not just life, but the existence of objective reality, which is independent of human consciousness (the cosmos, nature, matter).

Untranslatable Russian word

7. Bespredel

Eliot Borenstein, a professor of Slavic studies at New York University, explains that "chaos" literally means "without limitation." Translators often use "lawlessness." However in Russian to "lawlessness" is much broader and applies to human behavior, which violates not only the law, but also moral and social norms.

Untranslatable Russian word

8. Avos'

It is difficult to explain to people of other nationalities, what it means. The interesting thing is that many people believe that "perhaps" is the main feature of the Russian national. "Hope for the best" means to do something without planning, without any special effort, hoping for success.

Untranslatable Russian word

9. Yurodivy

Simpleton in ancient Rus were people who voluntarily renounced earthly pleasures in the name of Christ. These people looked crazy and led a strange life in order to gain inner harmony and eradicate sins. They were respected and considered to be people close to God. Their opinions and prophecies are taken into account, and sometimes they even feared.

10. Podvig

This word is often translated into English as "achievement", but it has a slightly different meaning. Feat - not just the result, but the goal. This is a brave and heroic act, the action in difficult circumstances. In Russian literature, often referred to military and civil exploits and feats even in science. Moreover, the word is synonymous with selfless actions - for example, "a feat in the name of love."