Monday, February 11, 2008

Importing English: Signs on the Street

Hello from Rostov-on-Don. Care to join me for an afternoon stroll through the city center? Here are photos taken Sunday afternoon, shots of some Russian-English cognates, words pulled directly into one language from another. We've done this before together and it was fun. So let's get going...


On the sign above, Сити is lifted from English and its pronunciation approximates City. Translation: City Footwear. Oops, poor sign dropped a letter. Well, we know what it means. And besides that off to the left is posted another sign, that white one, that says the same thing. Footwear is like that though, isn't it. Sometimes things fall off. Such as heels. Oh boy have you ever had that happen?


If you drool just reading the sign, it's no wonder. It says Juice and that's exactly how it would be pronounced in Russian. This sign is in cursive font, so that's why the first letter is д rather than Д. In print it would be Джус. They have drinks and stuff there.


How about taking a Jaguar on a test drive? On the back door above, the last two words are test drive, тэст драйв, pronounced very close to the English. At the bottom, the same words are under the Jaguar emblem, but written in cursive. And so you see that the Russian letter T (formed same as in English), in cursive is written т. (Got that?) =)


Here is a ATM. At the top of the blue section, банкомат is bank-o-mat. At the bottom, you see something familiar, the number 24. I'm sooo glad that numbers are written basically the same. I mean, what if the idea of two were represented, say, by a star? Or four by a. . . smiley face? Oh my, oh my I shudder to think about translating number symbols. This says 24 hours , referring to the bankomat.


Well here's something quite familiar! Western Union doesn't even try to look Russian. Those folks who transfer funds, the things they get away with. Well, this says money transfers.


So thank you for join me on a little walk through town. Actually, these shots were taken along one street within three city blocks. So there's lots more! And...as always, a standing invitation to Sveta in Moscow - who blogs with her husband at Windows to Russia - to correct me on any of this! (And Sveta don't even try to persuade me that Test Drive comes from Greek rather than English! =)

1 comment:

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Hi, Eileen!

Thank you for link. No I will not argue with you about these words they come to us straight from English :).

I still am not sure what they mean about cafe "Джус" because they write they are a hookah cafe... They even don't serve fresh-juices but alcohol cocktails. Strange place, I think I would not like to eat out there! (Sure you would not either!)

Best wishes,
Svet