Posts Tagged ‘good’

OK or Good in Russian

August 17th, 2009

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Power Phrases Lesson #22
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Kharahshow could just as easily be spelled ‘horror-show’, they sound so similar. The problem is that English is missing a sound here, altogether. It’s the sound of the Cyrillic letter ‘X’. The sound a Russian person will make when reading that is totally different than the sound an English speaker would make. For Russians, it’s the sound you make when — and I apologize for the image, but it’s very accurate — when you hock up a loogie, just before spitting. It probably has some fancy linguistic name like a friccative or something, but I call it the loogie sound. Most Russians will spell the word using the ‘X’ (when forced to use the English alphabet): Xopowo. That’s the version I’ll use the rest of the way.

Anyway, talk about your all-purpose word!

How was the flight? Xopowo.
How was the movie? Xopowo.
How’d you sleep? Xopowo.

What CAN’T be described as either good, ok, fine, all right, etc?

You can also use it to agree: “Hey, wanna go to the beach?” – “Xopowo!”

Or to agree reluctantly: “Wanna go to the ballet?” – Here you answer slowly, with pain, “Xopowoooo.”

The degree of goodness you convey is all in your tone. You can heap high praise on an artist’s work with a heartfelt ‘xopowo’, or be sarcastic as you “praise” your buddy for spilling your beer. Finnaly, it’s often the 2nd to last word in a conversation, as in this blog:

Xopowo? Poka!