Category: "Restaurants"

Ресторан, кафе, забегаловка

April 10th, 2009 — posted by Don

One of the words that Americans tend to misuse is ресторан restaurant. Ресторан is a place where you go with friends to spend an evening together. Entertainment is often provided. The meal stretches out over many hours. МакДоналдс не ресторан. McDonald's is not a restaurant. At the very kindest McDonald's is a кафе. Кафе is a place where you go to eat, but you don't intend on spending much time there. There is another word that even better catches the idea of what MacDonald's is: забегаловка. The root of the word is бег- which means run, and the за- prefix adds the idea of dropping in briefly, so a забегаловка is a place where you drop in for a quick bite to eat. It's sort of what we would call a fast-food place in the US, but a забегаловка may serve alcohol as well.

Back in 1986 there wasn't a single McDonald's in all of Russia, but now every Russian knows them. Interestingly enough, even though the name of the restaurant is officially МакДоналдс, that's not how Russians usually pronounce it. Usually they pronounce it МакДональд, softening the ell and leaving out the ess, or they pronounce it МакДональдс, softening the ell and keeping the ess. And sometimes the thirty-something crowd of Russians is overshadowed by the muse of verbal efficiency and simply call it Мак-Дак.¹

Extra points to anyone who can tell me how they translate McDonald's slogan “I'm loving it” into Russian.


¹ The Мак-Дак name might also be a jokey adaptation that originated among Russians who saw Скрудж МакДак Scrooge McDuck in Утиные истории Duck Tales, which was broadcast on Russian TV in the early nineties.

В ресторане

October 7th, 2008 — posted by Olga

Last year my family went to a restaurant for my birthday. Upon arrival we picked a table. A waitress approached us immediately. We said to her «Принесите, пожалуйста, меню» “Bring the menu, please”. I had trouble picking a dish on the menu because everything looked very good so I said to the waitress «Что вы посоветуете?» meaning “What do you recommend?” I eventually ordered a tasty pasta dish with grilled chicken, cheese, and pasta sauce. «Обожаю сыр и курицу!» “I love cheesе and chicken!” Next, the waitress said «Что вы будете пить?» “What will you have to drink?” and everyone ordered their drinks.

Before we started eating, my family offered a toast to me by saying «За твоё здоровье и благополучие!» “To your health and happiness!” All of us enjoyed our dinner while sharing family stories and past experiances. At the end of the night my mom said to everyone «Всё было очень вкусно» “Everything was delicious” especially the salad which had fresh garlic croutons. We made our way to the exit after paying the bill and came home happy and tired.