Attention Russian speakers, I need some help for Monster Hunter Alpha

Okay, I need some translation. I need the Russian word as it would be written with English characters.  (phonetically perhaps?) The internet translators aren’t very helpful when it tells me the translation = Backwards R-Squiglly line-upside down Q-Happy face, or whatever weird letters those folks use.

I need the following:

Beast

Animal (as in a wild animal)

Or something else along those lines if it happens to sound cool.

Shit.

The F Bomb.

Equivelent to whatever you’d say when you look up and realize you’re about to get hit by a snow plow, which may very well be one of the two above.

Whatever a really awful insult is. Like you’d call somebody if you really really hated their guts. (this person doesn’t particularly like Earl Harbinger very much if you get my drift)

Thanks. The Japanese and German translations I got for Grimnoir off the Monster Hunter Nation were perfect. Russian should go well I hope. Next up, Swahili!

36 Responses

  1. The worst insult for the USSR was “Nyeh kultoorney.” “You are uncultured.”

    • I am not entirely sure where this started, but I am fairly certain it was not as offensive as is commonly thought. Might even be made up…

  2. If I remember from one of Clancy’s novels (Cardinal of the Kremlin, I think), one of the viler insults in Russian is supposed to be something like “Yob tvoyu maht,” which translates to “F*** your mother.”

    I’ll second the motion to ask Mr Oleg Volk.

    • The thing about that is that it’s also a friendly greeting in some groups, like “Harry, you old bastard. How are you?”. A friend who was a russian linguist for the Navy told me that you’d frequently hear pilots saying that to each other over the radio chatter.

  3. According to the Russians that came to my carry class, the worst insult they knew was “ee-dee nakhooy”.

    The literal translation is “Go sit on a dick.” I was told that, if I used this, I should have my gun drawn first, because it would get violent.

    Their insight was that there are no casual insults between friends in Russian. What you say is what you mean, in a formal sense.

    That’s all I’ve got, but http://www.insults.net/html/swear/russian.html has phonetic spellings of a lot of insults.

  4. When you’re ready for the Swahili my wife can help :D

  5. Beast – tvar’ (soft r in the end)
    Animal – zver’ (same soft r)

    Shit. – Govno (reasonable approximation of some uses of word shit, this is a rude word for feces. Can be used as a description of a quality of an object for example, or can describe a shitty situation)

    The F Bomb.

    Equivelent to whatever you’d say when you look up and realize you’re about to get hit by a snow plow, which may very well be one of the two above.

    specifically for this case – pizdets (derived from pizda – cunt, usually used when something bad happend or is about to happen)

    yob tvoyu mat’ – motherfucker (literally “fuck your mother” a very grave insult, can also be used to describe a bad situation, or something extremely unusual, or excitement. It all depends on context and intonation)

    blya or blyat’ – literally “bitch, whore”.

    • This is correct, but I have a couple of minor notes:

      Tvar’ does literally mean “creature”, but has an insulting connotation. Calling a person that is an insult, about equivalent to “bastard” and acceptable in female company.

      Govno (shit) is not used the same way it is used in English. If you stubbed your toe you would not say that. Also, if you are describing a person you would likely use a slightly different word – govnyuk.

      Pizdets has a variety called “bolshoi pizdets”, a big one. That is often abbreviated to BP (telling, ain’t it?) and is an equivalent to TEOTWAWKI. The abbreviation is in common use on Russian-speaking survival boards.

  6. Or you could deliberately use the wrong words, and enjoy the resulting controversy, which might jack up sales…..What? Deceptive? Certainly not. Just marketing.

  7. Echopa! supposedly meant “someone who has carnal relations with fowl” – surpassed only by a variant that meant “someone who has carnal relations with dead fowl”.

    Or, it could mean “Hey, @$$hole!”

  8. This may or may not be correct, but the story goes like this: The Black Book Band, a filk-rock group (no idea if they’re still together, last time I saw them was 1996. . .). they did a recording of Leslie Fish’s song “Suprise!” (http://crnano.typepad.com/crnblog/2004/01/surprise__1.html) , about the early Soviet Space Program. And they asked a friend for the worst possible epithet in Russian.

    He told them “ezhuppa”, supposedly meaning one who has sex with turkeys. He also supposedly mentioned that there was an even WORSE variant, “ezhuska”, meaning one who had sex with DEAD turkeys.

    At one point, so the story goes, the Band was doing a gig at some aerospace museum, and some Russians were there, and they sang the song. . The Russians in attendence went dead white. Apparentely, “ezhuppa” was pretty much the equivalent of using the n-word in Harlem. . .

    Anyway, Serge gave a great overall list of words and phrases. And from a mistake I made in second-semester Russian, I’ll just say that “having floor” means something COMPLETELY different in Russian. . .

    • “ezhuppa”, “ezhuska” – there are no such words in Russian. The closest sounding real word is “zhopa”, which means ass. No word for sex with turkeys, sorry to disappoint.

      “having floor” – whoever told you that needs to re-take whatever semesters of Russian they took :)
      “Floor” in Russian is “pol”. The word “pol” in Russian also means “gender”. But it doesn’t mean the act of sex, only gender. So, saying “zanyatsya polom” in Russian would not be understood as “having sex” by anyone other than English speakers who didn’t do well in class. Most Russians would understand it as “cleaning the floor”.

      • Well, if your floor cleaning was sufficiently difficult it would approach the word for sex…

        As in this example:

        ***
        A tank with a broken tread is stuck in the mud. the crew is crawling around in the said mud, trying to pound out the broken pin and to fit a replacement.

        All of a sudden there is a twinking in the air and a fairy, wings and all, appears.

        -So, boys, whatcha doin’?
        -Aw, can’t you see? We’re just fscking with this thing…
        -You boys wanna fsck for real? I mean, really, really fsck?
        -You bet!
        -OK.

        The fairy waves the wand, and…

        the turret falls off the tank.

        :)

      • Well,. as to the “ezhuppa”. . . .it was fanlore. The Band told it as one of their standard stories.

        As to the second. . . I can only go by what my professor said, that I had made a dreadful mistake, and the grad student told me what I had said. Color me gulllible: I believed the grad student. It WAS, after all, First-semester Russian, and you’d figure the grad students knew all the dirty words. . .

      • Keith, I wasn’t there when your professor said it, so it’s difficult to judge what he said and what he meant. What I can say is that I did have some limited exposure to people teaching Russian in US colleges, and what I saw was that pretty much anyone non-Russian was struggling with intricacies of the language.
        Don’t be too upset, same can be said for almost any non-native English speaker teaching English in Russia. I wish I kept the list of all attempts to murder the English language by my professors and TAs :)

        Beware the grad students making puns – they think they know the dirty words and can combine them into jokes, while in reality they know just enough to make fools of themselves.

  9. “(this person doesn’t particularly like Earl Harbinger very much if you get my drift)”
    “realize you’re about to get hit by a snow plow”
    I suspect your Russian certainly gets the drift. >:)

  10. So you want to learn Swahili?

    Just repeat these three phrases out loud until they feel natural rolling off your tongue.

    I’ll spell them phonetically to make it easier.

    Ohh Waa

    Taa Fuu

    Lai Aam

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Well that’s what an old Scoutmaster told me anyway. ;-)

  11. Serge mostly nailed it.
    A couple of variations:
    Beast – Chudovische – this one has a more neutral meaning to it, where Tvar’ is strictly negative. Depends on the context in which you want to refer to beast.

    Shit – if you mean something like “Oh, shit!” expression, in Russian it’s more typically Blyad’ (whore) or “Nu yeb…” (from yeb tvoyu mat’). Coincidentally, either of these would be said on looking up at the oncoming snow plow. Pizdets is what would be more commonly said on looking up and seeing that the snow plow is about to hit someone else :)

    Insults:
    If this is situational, and you’re looking for an insulting way to tell someone to go away, or to refuse doing something for them:
    Poshel na huy – roughly equivalent to “go f#$k yourself”, more like “go get f#$ked”
    Ot’yebis’ – f#$k off

    Not situational – this depends on social circle of the person saying the insult. If this is someone from upper and upper-middle levels of society, Yeb tvoyu mat’ would be a terrible insult. On lower levels, this phrase is often used just as a filler in a regular phrase and carries no insult. Depending on context too, though. Calling someone Pidar (obscene word for gay) is generally considered a grave insult on any level, with possible exception of gay clubs. Calling someone Nedonosok (born prematurely) would be more of upper and upper-middle society levels insults.

    Hope this helps. It would be a lot easier to be able to review the dialogs where these are used – there may be better alternatives, depending on context. (how’s that for a subtle hint?)

    • Russian obscenity is a fine art. The language provides some marvelous mechanisms to connect and merge words, plus the imagery can be quite interesting.

      My favorite alternative to poshjol na huy lately has been “da ebis’ konjom” – “may get fscked by a horse”. :)

      • Well, carp. The comment software actually took what I used for brackets and assumed it was an HTML tag…

  12. Dammit. I think the blog ate a post. Well, here goes again.

    “Whatever a really awful insult is. Like you’d call somebody if you really really hated their guts.”

    “gondon shtopannyi” – literally, a darned (as in with thread) condom. Denotes someone extremely useless, as a thusly repaired contraceptive would be.

    “uiobische bolotnoe” – literally, “some fscking thing from a marsh”, meaning it smells bad, is ugly, has questionable parentage and choice of living quarters.

    “huesos” – c*cksucker, in a very literal sense. Likely to earn a beating if said to someone.

    “pidor gnoinyi” – literally, a homosexual (in an extremely offensive sense) suffering from anal gonorrhea. This is also likely to earn a beating.

    There are many more. As Igolkin said, it would really help to know the situation/dialog. Possibilities are endless.

    • LOL!!!
      Never believed I’d actually have nostalgic feelings for the creative brilliance of this aspect of the language.
      A few more, all usually responded to with a fist:

      Vyblyadok – son of a whore
      Zhertva aborta – abortion victim
      Polenom yebaniy – f#$ked with a log

      • Well, I am no true master, merely a journeyman, but I can put out a pretty good “bend” if properly inspired with alcohol. I have heard some people who could go for 15-20 minutes without stopping or repeating…

      • Well, lengthy tirades with lots of twists are one thing, and no one beats Russian construction workers at that – these guys can pretty much carry on all day without reverting to non-obscene language even once. Classic example:
        Nahuya dohuya nahuyarili? Nihuya, rashuyarim! (roughly translated as “Why the f#$k is this f#$ked up so f#$king much? F#$k that, we’ll sort it out,” but with every word being a derivative of the word “dick”)

        Personally, I find brief expressions with vivid visual imagery a lot more entertaining. Like “gondon shtopanniy” that you give as an example. My favorite example of those is prison slang expression of extreme starvation: “posledniy huy bez soli doedaem” (we’re almost done eating our last dick, without salt).

  13. Lots of great examples already.

    If your Russian is talking about Earl, then somewhere along the line the word “volk” – wolf – might come in handy…

    “Suka” – pronounced “soo-ka – also means “bitch.” And “sukin sin” translates as “son of a bitch.”

    Still snorking over “we’re almost done eating our last dick without salt…”

    • One that always made me giggle was “sukin hui” – c*ck of a bitch. That’s gotta be one interesting female canine…

  14. ROFLMAO! This thread is amking consider getting the Rosetta Stone system for Russian! But I somehow am guessing it leaves out the more colorful phraseology…

    • Jeff,
      For a decent (or rather indecent actually) introduction to more colorful aspects of Russian, I recommend the “Dictionary of Russian Obscenities” by David Alan Drummond. At $5.95, it’s a lot cheaper than Rosetta Stone :)

  15. As luck would have it, I actually have a friend from Belarus visiting the states this month.

    She says that the best word for “beast” would be “zvyed” and the best for “s***” is “sookah.”

    Just figured I’d toss in what I knew, although it looks like someone else beat me to the punch with sookah. Haven’t seen “beast,” though.

  16. a common insult in Russian is “Yob Tvayou Maht” which is roughly the equivalent of fuck your mother/mother fucker. Russians can actually get very elaborate with their profanity having a tiered system for curses. There is an entire book on the subject called “Dermo”. Yob Tvayou Maht, and Tvayou Maht alone should be fairly common for a Russian to say. Also, I hear in that in Soviet Russia the tvs watch you as opposed to you watching them. What a country!

  17. Interesting…swearing/cursing in Russian…while it’s been a while since I’ve used my skills, I’d suggest paying careful attention to the verb tense, conjugation, and the literal meaning of the phrase being used to make sure you get the correct meaning (native speakers know best!). There are some great suggestions and references already posted. Ones that I wish I had thought to check before my last trip over there:

    Dermo: The Real Russian Tolstoy Never Used (quite good)

    and

    Dirty Russian

    One more thing: the color “goloboi” (middle syllable emphasis) which is a light blue, similar to a baby blue, is a gay reference. Sometimes, gays are referred to by the term “goloboi” as well, or they used to, at least. It’s been a while since my last trip over. It is advisable to avoid that color if you’re male and not wanting to attract attention, especially if foreign.

  18. Serge and Starik have given you solid gold.

    Let’s not forget the old favorite “chyiort” though. For you no-speekee-the-Slavic types that’s the upside-down ‘h’, then an ‘e’ with two dots over it, a ‘p’ (which mamakes the ‘r’ sound in Russian) and a normal ‘t’.

    This is the throwaway, exclamation mark expletive of Russian. Not filthy at all (it means ‘devil’) it’s what you say when you drop a screwdriver, get bumped by the dog when you’re going downstairs…you get the idea. Think ‘dammit’ in English.

    If a Russian-speaking character were to be shocked to their socks by something, they’d breathe out “Yo maiyo…”. Basically “Fuck me” but not exactly. That would be a good ‘snowplow’ moment.

    A really archaic Russian (more Belorussian) term for werewolf is ‘vurdalak’. However a ‘vurdalak’ also has vampire-like attributes if you read Pushkin’s poem of the same name. If your notional Russian has a problem with Earl I could see him calling him “vurdalachik”, a diminutive form which means “little werewolf” and implies weakness, small stature, and all around sissiness. Fighting words.

  19. Just wanted to say thanks for keeping this thread up. I’m reading Alpha (actually listening to the Audio Book — great choice with Oliver Wyman, his narration of your work is fabulous) and googled “tvar” because I wanted some insight on Nikolai’s internal duologues. What a great surprise to find this thread and not only get the insight I was looking for, but also a really smart and absolutely hilarious discussion (like Wes S., I am still snorking over “we’re almost done eating our last dick, without salt”).

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