Category: "Marriage"

Совместная жизнь (жениться/пожениться)

by Don  

Russian has several verbs that mean "to get married." To deal with them properly we have to make some distinctions:

  • if we specify the couple that is getting married, then the most common verb pair is жениться/пожениться;
  • if we specify the man who is getting married, then the most common verb is жениться, which can be interpreted as either imperfective or perfective;
  • if we specify the woman who is getting married, then the most common verb pair is выходить/выйти used in conjunction with the adverb замуж; and
  • if we want to use the most colorless, boring, adminisтrative and bureaucratic way to discuss marriage, we say вступать/вступить в брак or заключать/заключить брак.

We'll discuss each one of those phrases separately, starting today with the pair that deals with couples. When we discuss couples or people in general getting married, the verb pair to use is жениться/пожениться:

Иосиф Виссарионович и Надежда Сергеевна поженились в 1919-ом году. Joseph Vissarionovich and Nadezhda Sergeevna got married in 1919.¹
В США люди типично женятся в двадцать шесть лет. In the USA people typically get married at the age of twenty-six.
Мы поженимся в июне. We'll get married in June.
Моя невеста хочет, чтобы мы женились в церкви, а я хочу, чтобы мы женились в пещере, населённой летучими мышами. My fiancée wants us to get married in a church, but I want us to get married in a cave inhabited by bats.

¹ You get an extra point if you are an American and recognize who these people are. Russians, of course, will recognize the first person right away.

Обручальное кольцо

by Olga  

The Russian word for engagement ring is обручальное кольцо. One of my Russian friends recently got married and told me the story of how her husband «сделал ей предложение» proposed to her. This unexpected surprise happened over winter break and Мила’s boyfriend Jake just came home from the war in Iraq. On a Saturday morning, he and Мила decided to go to the amusement park and were looking forward to riding one of the scariest roller coasters the park had to offer. (Roller coasters are called «амереканские горки» in Russian, which literally means “American mountains.” Weird, huh?)

They decided to sit in the very first seat and as the roller coaster began the long ride up the runway, Jake had the engagement ring tucked in the pocket of his jeans. As soon as they reached the top of the runway, Jake quickly pulled out the beautiful diamond ring and as he held it up in the air, he yelled out «Мила, ты будешь моей женой?» “Mila, will you be my wife?”. Before Мила had any time to answer, the roller coaster tilted over the edge, and they were off! I kept thinking that Jake was going to drop and loose the ring but fortunately he did not.

As the ride came to the end, Мила was so overwhelmed by emotion that she began to cry as everyone was exiting. One of the workers noticed Мила crying and thought that the ride scared her. He approached her and said «С вами всё в порядке?» “Are you alright?” She looked up at him and smiled as she showed him her new ring. Everyone began laughing and clapping as they said “Congratulations!” «Поздравляем!»

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