A Travellerspoint blog

Russian for Beginners

sunny 16 °C
View Through Siberia to China and Beyond on Hawkson's travel map.

Worried about language difficulties in Russia? No need. All you really require are a few tips on the cyrillic alphabet and a basic knowledge of international signs. For instance - you will find this very important sign everywhere except when you desperately need it...
And this is the word for cafe ...
So now we know that k is c and ф is f it is easy to figure out that this is a cafeteria...
However, in today's Russia it is just as easy to look for KFC, Burger King or T.G.I.Fridays - no translation necessary...
Now that you have mastered basic Russian we progress to road signs. Whilst most are exactly the same as at home the Russians have come up with a few teasers we can help you with. For example:
This sign means... "Right turn for Orange Trucks only".
While this cartouche warns... "Don't sit on the car you lout".
This directional symbol means... "Overhead Parking available".
... and, owing to the sheer ubiquity of this particular pictogram, you should have no difficulty in identifying it as meaning... "Corkscrew (or bottle opener) available 50 metres ahead".
This pavement sign is more obtuse and it advises... "Beware of Cracked Eggs."
While this one is obviously... "No Parking for Old Farts' cars".

Which only leaves us with this conundrum...
At first we wondered if it meant... "Heavy Showers expected on left at 11pm". But then we realised that it must mean, "Turn left for 2300 Car Washes."

So now you're fluent in the language and fully conversant with the road signs you will have no trouble deciphering the name and purpose of this
indigenous establishment...
But what on earth is this place doing in the middle of Yekaterinburg? Answer tomorrow when we tell you more about this fascinating city in the heart of the Ural mountains.

Posted by Hawkson 09:13 Archived in Russia Tagged travel train trans-siberian

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Ah, the medicinal value of Scotch whiskey has obviously reached the Russian boondocks. Wonder if they have Guinness on tap.

by R and B

you had me laughing out loud at those interpretations of the signs. what fun you are having...we will have a couple of more days of sunny warm weather and then some rain...I am reading some amazing poetry from some dead poets from Spain... JEan

by Jean

I'm so thankful you have given us this primer on Russian road signs. Now I feel confident to translate Doctor Scotch Pub - I feel certain it means Stumble in Clinic for Capitalist Tourists with Addiction Issues. Amazing how much meaning fits into the Russian word.

by Janet

Hilarious! One thing you might have overlooked is the convenient shower facilities/or for sobering up, straight from the down-spouts right outside the Doctor Scotch Pub, ingenious Russian plumbing, we could adapt this on Gabriola...
Thanks for the Russian sign-language lesson, a must have for every traveller

by gottfried

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.