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LJ Idol Week 1 - Favourites. Poll deadline: 15 hours from now

Some time ago I was reading an online article about Russian traditions and social practices the Americans find funny. The discrepancy between the (rather factual and true) items on the list, the pictures chosen to illustrate them and also the overall wrongness of the thing (because hey, we do these things, but they are not funny. No, really, they are not) made me laugh out loud. And then my mother came in and asked what I was laughing at and I could not explain at all. A lot of jokes are like this.

And these are the stories that appealed to me this week on Idol. Poll.

  1. baxaphobia: http://baxaphobia.livejournal.com/350594.html
  2. kandigurl: http://kandigurl.livejournal.com/577571.html
  3. x_disturbed_x: http://x-disturbed-x.livejournal.com/336043.html TW for implied abuse in the second conversation, I suppose
  4. mari4212: http://mari4212.livejournal.com/362684.html
  5. fourzoas: http://fourzoas.livejournal.com/185550.html
  6. tattoosnteacups: http://tattoosnteacups.livejournal.com/2513.html
  7. beautyofgrey: http://beautyofgrey.livejournal.com/890611.html
  8. talon: http://talonkarrde88.livejournal.com/41667.html
  9. alifetolove: http://alifetolove.livejournal.com/999.html

Недавно я нашла в интернете список вещей, которые приняты у нас в России, и которые смешны американцам. Вещи на удивление правдоподобные, сопровождающие их картинки не лежали близко, к тому же, ну да, делаем это, это, и это, что смешного-то. Всё вместе очень смешно. Но попробуй объясни, что именно. Так вот и с темой этой недели.




( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2014 02:28 pm (UTC)
I'm interested in that article XD. Do you happen to have a link of it??
Mar. 20th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
I am sorry, but no.

I read that one, and something like "things Russian majors get excited about that no one else gets" (also fun, but less in-depth) about the same time, but I did not bookmark them (because I know very few people who would "get it") and I can't come up with a proper search
Mar. 20th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's ok. I hate it when I want to reread or show someone an article or a video and I can't seem to find the link again through google. Darn you internets!
Mar. 21st, 2014 01:12 pm (UTC)
Most of these didn't surprise me too much as I'm familiar with them. Some were interesting such as the plastic bags one. Someone mentioned in the comments that it's because plastic bags weren't readily available until relatively recently? It's also amusing to read the comments and see Russians/Russo-Americans argue about how true/not true that list is XD. Most of them agree it's fairly accurate. Many Americans collect plastic bags, I think... at least I do. I end up recycling them now that recycling plastic bags is possible. But they really are always handy to have around the house. I use some of them for smaller garbage bags, and occasionally other purposes.

I think that the #1 item on the list is really what stuns a lot of Americans, especially American women. Back in middle school, I had a classmate come over and interview my parents on their immigrant experiences, cultural differences and whatnot. My mom said that one of the most interesting cultural differences, and one that she ultimately favored was just how dressed up Russian women were just to go to outside and how "sporty" American women dressed over here. She said she always wore heels over there... always and she was happy she didn't have to here. So then I asked her what about during the winter when you have to trudge through all that snow? And she said that in those times, she wore heel boots. I don't know the term for that, boots with heels essentially.

I've actually never worn heels in my life. I'm not sure I'd survive in Russia! lol. Not to mention I'd be an even bigger freak of nature as I'm nearly 5'11 (~180 cm) WITHOUT heels. I remember when I was working with some Russian-language students for a play in undergrad and one of them was preparing for a study abroad in Russia, another American girl's biggest piece of advice was that she NEEDED heels, and to make sure she packed at least one pair. I guess you aren't allowed to the clubs in Moscow if you aren't in heels??

Speaking of which... I have a lot of respect for Russian language majors. It's kind of amusing to listen to them attempt to pronounce it, as there are many sounds that are not present in English, but it's not really an easy language at all to learn. While the reading/writing is basically phonetic, the grammar makes most peoples' heads spin.
Mar. 21st, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
I did not read the comments, actually, but I enjoyed the list.

Yes, the plastic bags were collected because they were rare, you couldn't just walk into a grocery store and buy a pack (like now), you could only re-use those you bought something in. And those bags were not like today's, bags, either! They were sicker and more reliable and they did serve longer... Only if you overused them they became stinky and sticky, even after being washed, again, lol. I still remember how mother and granny used to fill the bathtub with water and wash out tens of bags at once. We don't quite collect them now (and never wash them, but throw the dirty ones away), but we have a bag for small bags in the kitchen, and a bag with larger ones in the corridor (handy to pack clothes in when you go somewhere, and also as garbage bags, like you do).

Frankly, #1 weirds me out as well. Now, I wouldn't go to a store in my PJs (though I might lead the dog out in them, if it's just for a minute late at night in winter when I can wear a coat on top, sans bra even), but I wouldn't dress up either. I would wear older baggy clothes and sometimes just put my hair in a messy bun without brushing it out if it's the WE. I do not understand women who always wear make up, or always feel the compulsive need to dress up. (And do not even get me started on stiletto shoes in winter! I avoid looking at such women because their potential danger makes me dizzy. Their funeral.) Even though... I might still be dressed sharper than a regular shop-goer in the U.S.

Come on, I never wear heels higher than 2.5 inches either. I need them comfortable and stable, and normally it's just 1-1.5 inches, and that only because me feet tire faster in sneakers and I like regular shoes more.

I don't go clubbing, ever :) so I can not tell.

As to your last point, I do not understand how one language is more difficult to learn (in depth) than the other. At least where non-hieroglyphic languages are concerned and where the culture is not radically different. Yes, it's admirable that someone is trying, but all the languages have difficult phonemes and other doozies. So, no, every language is "such a difficult one" in my opinion.
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
I'm not very feminine, I never wear makeup, and I've been known to go to the store in PJs XD. I remember reading some meme about people who go to the store in PJs. I can't find it now... something about being unsure if the person is awesome or has just given up on life. LOL. Yeah, honestly a 1 inch heel can worry me because I have the same bunion-prone wide feet my mom has. She had a lot of problems with bunions until she moved here and stopped wearing heels so much. I notice that my own bunion problems act up if I'm wearing shoes that aren't wide enough, and it can sometimes be hard finding wide-enough shoes for my big feet : ).

Yeah I studied a hieroglyphic language, Japanese, and I may argue that Russian is more difficult. In American schools, the only languages you can take (unless in rare circumstances) are French and Spanish. In College/University there are way more options, so that's usually when students here even start experimenting with other languages. Spanish is one of the easiest languages in the world. And you as a French learner, wouldn't you argue that French is far easier than Russian? In terms of pronunciation, grammar, and writing. Russian grammar is just insane. It's similar to German in some ways with the neutral tense, but at least when you're an American learning German, you don't have to learn Cyrillic and the pronunciation is far easier.

Edited at 2014-03-21 02:02 pm (UTC)
Mar. 21st, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
Speaking of PJs, I find this videa priceless in part because he might've been taken for a lunatic here doing what he does in the street and in the store (even though it's just a bathrobe).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dULOjT9GYdQ

As for Russian, I can not judge whether it is an easy language or not, because it's my mother tongue. I only know people struggle with the "Ы" sound and with the soft and hard "Л"'s, but I do not know how that is worse than the French half-vowels such as "oi" (in fois-gras), or the English clothes for example. It took me ages to even imitate either of them.

Of the three foreign languages I am acquainted with (English, French, and German, in order of best to worst) though... beginner English might be the easiest, because of the lack of genders and cases, but in depth? Oh really, with all the adjective order backwards, and the horrible nightmare that are the prepositions, and even the sequence of tenses?

I will have to agree with you about Cyrillic adding a new level of difficulty though, given that you don't encounter that alphabet unless you study higher maths or physics (and even then the letters mean little), whereas in Russia we now have to deal with Latin characters everywhere and start getting used to them very young. Yes, that's important.
So, okay, harder because of it, but still not insanely hard. :)
Mar. 21st, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
lol, I never used to like Bruno Mars until I saw the Leonard Nimoy version of The Lazy Song. My favorite part is what he did with the fanmail XD.

I find it interesting that native Russian speakers view English as an easy language. I really think it's because they're so used to their language being so hard. I've done ESL, and most students seem to complain that English is very tough because of irregular grammar. I really don't even think it's the Cyrillic and pronunciation that makes Russian challenging. I think it's the crazy grammar. You have feminine, masculine, and neutral tense (and neutral is hardly ever used, and when it is, it sounds like feminine), but unlike french or spanish where only the nouns apply the gender, all the parts of speech apply. So not only do you have to know how to conjugate the verbs, adjectives, and nouns based on gender, BUT you have to also must account for gender differences based on who is speaking. If you're a woman speaking, you conjugate your verbs using feminine tense. Same with if you're a male speaking. All this combined is just crazy to me, and I can't imagine how it is for Russian language students who have to deal with not only that, but also pronunciation AND Cyrillic on top of that. I think the Cyrillic may be the easiest actually in terms of learning the grammar, pronunciation, and Cyrillic/reading and writing. Oh and another thing is that you must write Russian using cursive, which is really annoying but I suppose it can be comparable to learning English lower case and upper case. It's not something I ever learned. Cursive here is basically extinct. I'm not sure if they even teach it in schools anymore.

Although pronunciation is very difficult for pretty much all native English speakers too. It's amusing when they ask me how to say things in Russian and my struggles to try to get their pronunciation as accurate as possible. If you just look at the number "three", most Americans cannot say that in Russian without a lot of practice because it takes some r-rolling they're not used to. Most of the time it come out sounding like "tree", so I tell them they have to roll their r a bit more. What's even more amusing is when they ask how to say hello. I like to tease them a little there.

Me: "It's здравствуйте"
Them: .... uh.....
Me: Well that is little formal, but what you usually say to strangers or people not close to you. If you just want to say hi, you say "привет"
Them: Oh that's easier! "private..?"
Me: No, Russian has a lot of "ye" sounds. It's more like "preeVYet"
Them: preevet
Me: Close enough!

I do think it's a matter of perspective. I doubt a native English speaker would have a lot of trouble with the "oi" sound because we use the "wah" sound a lot in English. I remember when I was doing the Russian play with some American students. My partner had a very difficult time pronouncing certain words I can't even remember now, and she had been studying Russian for several years AND studied abroad. This isn't something a native English speaker would experience pronouncing languages such as Japanese, French, or Spanish... and most other Indo-European languages lol. Slavic languages are quite tricky, but I know some other languages in Europe are more difficult, like the ones in Scandinavian countries. Although, you as a native Russian speaker may find them easy too :3.

Mar. 20th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the shout out! I'm honored to be among such a talented group! :)
Mar. 20th, 2014 03:16 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :)
Mar. 21st, 2014 05:28 am (UTC)
А я бы почитала о тех вещах, которые делают русские и над которыми смеются американцы. Может, запостишь перевод?
Mar. 21st, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC)
Да чего переводить-то?
Удивляются, что одноразовые пластиковые пакеты многоразово используем.
Удивляются, почему одеваемся не для удобства, а для понтов.
Не понимают, когда надо обращаться на "ты", а когда на "Вы".
Сталкиваются с трудностями в произношении "ы".
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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