Category: "Treatments"


by Don  

I'm back in Russia and I have a new language partner, Alan.¹ The first day we got together, we ended up walking 13 km around Kazan; call it 8 miles. Now mind you, I've hardly gotten any exercise at all this last year. So what happens when you have hardly walked at all and suddenly you walk mucho? You get blisters. The Russian word for blister is мозоль.


Of course you often find this word in contexts about walking.

Я вчера ходил столько, что стёр ноги до мозолей. I walked so much yesterday that I got blisters on my feet.
Я вчера ходил столько, что натёр ноги до мозолей.
В Париже моя сестра находила мозоли на ногах. My sister walked until she got blisters in Paris.

So why do these things pop up?

Мозоли образуются от сильного трения кожи. Blisters are caused by excessive friction on the skin.

I was actually embarrassed to get blisters, but it looks like I'm in good company.

После пятидневных полевых учений, в программу которых входил десятимильный забег через лес с рюкзаком и винтовкой, Принц Гарри обратился в медпункт академии для лечения мозолей на ногах. Увидев, насколько сильно натер себе ноги молодой принц, врачи решили выдать ему специальное разрешение не носить армейские ботинки до тех пор, пока не заживут мозоли. (adapted from this source) After a five days of field training that included a ten-mile run through the forest with backpack and and rifle, Prince Harry went to the academy's first-aid station to get treatment for blisters on his feet. Having seen the extent to which the prince had abraded his feet, the doctors decided to give him special permission not to wear army boots until the blisters heal.

Nowadays what is the standard advice if you get a blister?

Если мозоль созрела, не протыкайте ее (за исключением случая острой боли). Вскрыв мозоль, вы рискуете занести инфекцию. (adapted from this source) If the blister has already formed, don't lance it (except in cases of sharp pain). When you slit open a blister, you risk introducting an infection.

That's sort of the standard advice from both Russian and American sources. I consider it hogwash. Let's say you take a needle and sterilize it and the surface of your skin decently with alcohol. If you lance dead skin, your skin is not likely to be infected. When the liquid squeezes out, most likely infection isn't going to be sucked in. In any case, that's what I've done, and I promise to post here if I get infected.

One last comment. If you look up the word blister in the dictionary, you are likely to find it translated as волдырь. Dictionaries really need to give better guidance on this issue. If a blister forms from exposure to intense heat or cold or caustic chemicals or insect bites, then the Russians usually call that a волдырь. One that forms on your foot from friction is a мозоль. But a мозоль can also just be a plain old callus on your foot as well. If you need to distinguish the two in Russian, you can call a callus «кожная мозоль» and a blister «мокрая мозоль».

¹ No, that is not a Russian name, but if the singer Prince (not Prince Harry) can change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, then why can't a Russian/Tatar kid go by Alan?


by Tatiana  

Weakness, cough and stuffed nose - we all have experienced these symptoms of the common cold. It ruins your plans and makes it so hard to get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, I feel very closely connected to today’s word right now. XX( I cannot wait to get over it!

In Russian, the common cold is called простуда. It is a noun of feminine gender.

— Ты не знаешь, что с Мишей случилось? Он опять не пришёл на урок.
— Наверное борется с очередной простудой.
“Do you know what happened to Misha? He was once again absent in class.”
“He is probably fighting another cold.”
Из-за моей простуды я уже четвёртый день не встаю с постели. Because of my cold I haven't got out of bed for four days now.
Что вы мне можете рассказать о своей простуде? Какие у вас симптомы? What can you tell me about your cold? What are your symptoms?

The adjective formed from простуда is простуженный.

— Как же ты лекцию читать будешь таким простуженным голосом?
— Ничего страшного, не в первый раз.
“How are you going to lecture with such a husky voice?”
“No big deal. It won’t be the first time.”

There are different methods of treating a cold. I can think of a few now that I remember from my childhood. I think the worst one had to do with garlic and onions. First, naturally, you had to eat a lot of garlic and then hold your head above a pot with fresh cut onions and breathe it in. After that the cold would most likely still be there for a few days, but all self-respecting people and/or vampires would choose to stay away... &#59;D

Here's a cute cartoon that shows other methods we treat the common cold with.


by Don  

The Russian verb “to drink” is пить/выпить. It conjugates like this:

to drink
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive пить выпить
Past пил
Present пью
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду пить
будешь пить
будет пить
будем пить
будете пить
будут пить
Imperative пей(те) выпей(те)

The drinker appears in the nominative case, and the thing drunk shows up in the accusative case:

Пей тёплое молоко перед сном. Ты будешь лучше спать. Drink warm milk before going to sleep. You'll sleep better.
Врачи советуют пить восемь стаканов воды каждый день. Doctors recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day.

Just as in English, if you use drink without any particular object, it implies drinking alcoholic beverages:

— Ты пьёшь?
— Нет, не пью.
“Do you drink?”
“No, I don't.”
— Твой брат не пьёт?
— Нет, не пьёт. Поэтому он такой здоровый. И поэтому девушки от него без ума.
“Doesn't your brother drink?”
“No, he doesn't. That's why he is so healthy. And that's why the girls are so crazy about him.”

In English we talk about “taking medicine,” whereas in Russian you usually take about “drinking medicine.” The implication is that the medicine is swallowed «с водой» “with water.”

Не люблю пить лекарства. I don't like to take medicine.
Даша выпила две таблетки аспирина, и головная боль прошла. Dasha took two aspirin, and her headache went away.


by Olga  

The Russian word for shot is укол. Medical shots are given all over the world to prevent disease and when I was a little child, my parents took me to the doctor to get my immunization shots. I dreaded the days when my parents took me to the doctor врач. I was very scared of needles and every time I walked into the doctor’s office, the smell of it alone was enough to make me nauseated. The doctor told me «сейчас мы будем делать тебе укол» “now we will give you a shot”. I told the physician «Я боюсь делать укол» “I’m scared to get a shot!” but she did not seem to take my worries into account. Despite the painful process, I sat still and quietly while the doctor did her work because I knew that I would be rewarded with a compliment and a present afterwards by my mother.