Category: "Internet"


March 30th, 2009 — posted by Don

The Russian word for blog is блог. What exactly is a blog? describes it like this:

Блог — это веб-сайт, основное содержимое которого — регулярно добавляемые записи, изображения или мультимедиа. Для блогов характерны недлинные записи временной значимости, отсортированные в обратном хронологическом порядке (последняя запись сверху). A blog is a web-site whose main content [consists of] regularly added notes, images, or multimedia. Blogs are characterized by brief entries of current interest that are sorted in reverse chronological order (most recent entry at the top).

Юлия Третьякова, a blogger apparently from Томск, recently discussed the most popular blogs in Russia. Here's her list along with the reasons that people read them:

Почему читают: Чтобы быть в курсе. «Журнал Другого» - это не «Вести», новости, которые здесь публикуются, интересно читать и приятно рассказать друзьям и знакомым, если закончатся темы для беседы. Why people read it: to be up to date. “Another guy's journal” is not “The Evening News.” The news published here is interesting to read and fun to tell to your friends when you run out of things to talk about.

Почему читают: Потому что недобитые интеллигенты. Любят хорошую литературу, музыку и умные фильмы. Читать Гришковца - значит, быть в тренде, однако, это, пожалуй, как раз тот случай, когда мода может быть полезной. Why people read it: because they are aspiring to be part of the intelligentsia. They like good literature, music, and smart movies. Reading Grishkovets means that you are trendy, although perhaps on this occasion trendy might be useful as well.


Почему читают: Потому что модно. Лебедев - один из немногих провокаторов, которые действительно имеют фантазию. Он высокого о себе мнения, но наглость, с которой он это преподносит, заставляет иметь столь же высокое мнение о нем и других людей. Why people read it: because it's fashionable. Lebedev is one of the few provocateurs that actually have an imagination. He has a high opinion of himself, but the gumption with which he presents it forces other people to share that opinion.

Почему читают: Потому что это Носик. Рунет без него - уже не сеть, а так…совокупность сайтов. Носик знает все о русском интернете - что было, что есть и что будет. Скромный пророк от русской сети. Why people read it: because it's [Anton] Nosik. Without him the Russian internet wouldn't be a net… just a bunch of sites. Nosik knows everything about the Russian internet: past, present and future. He's the modest prophet of the Russian web.

Почему читают: Потому что интересно. Тут, как и с Гришковцом, слог писателя чуется за версту. Приключение Екатерины и ее сына - Фасольки - в этом ужасном мире просто нереально любопытно читать. Why people read it: because it's interesting. Here, just like with Grishkovets, you can sense the writer's art a mile off. The adventures of Ekaterina and her son Fasolka in this terrible world are just unbelievably interesting to read.

Почему читают: Потому что любят поесть. А есть после статьи кулинара можно не всякую котлету. Еще можно узнать, что поступили в продажу вкусные кексы. Куда поступили? Ну, конечно, в магазин дизайнера Лебедева (см. выше). Why people read it: because they love to eat. But you can't eat just any ol’ burger after reading an article by a culinary expert. You can also find out that tasty cakes have just gone on the market. And where are they being sold? At designer Lebedev's store, of course (see above).

Почему читают: Потому что любят энциклопедии. Если блог Другого (см. выше) - это интересные новости, то блог Чернышева - это интересные факты. Тут вам и древние цитаты, и старые загадки, и неожиданные картины. Why people read it: because they love encyclopedias. If “Another guy's journal” has interesting news, then Chernyshev's blog has interesting facts. Here you will find both ancient quotes and old riddles and unexpected pictures.

Почему читают: Потому что интересно как «там». Там - это Япония, Испания, Франция, Израиль, Турция, Канада, США, Корея и Тайланд. Причем этот блог - не о путешествии, а о жизни в этих странах. Что, согласитесь большая разница. Why people read it: because you wonder what it's like “over there.” Over there means Japan, Spain, France, Israel, Turkey, Canada, the USA, Korea and Thailand. This blog is not about traveling, but rather about life in those countries. That's a big difference, you'll have to agree.

ЗЫ, винт, смайлик, собака

January 21st, 2009 — posted by Don

One of the great things about the internet is that it's really easy to access Russian language materials nowadays. One of the most amazing sites is I'm not quite sure why, but livejournal quickly became a major center of Russian blogging. When you start look at these blogs and forums, you will encounter various words and phrases that are either unique to the internet or have a curious history buried in technology. For instance someone might write «У меня сдох винт». You look up винт and discover it's primary meaning is screw. My screw died? That doesn't make much sense. And then someone tells you that винт is computer jargon for hard disk. Ah, now you understand. But why the heck would the word for screw come to mean hard drive? A hard drive doesn't look like a screw. Sure, you can turn a screw, and a hard drive turns, but that's really stretching it. It turns out that there is a good reason. One of the early hard drives, the IBM 3340, was nicknamed "the Winchester," which in Russian gets transliterated Винчестер, which got shortened to винт.

One of things you'll see quite often when you start reading Russian-language forums and blogs is ЗЫ. Once again you go to the dictionary, and this time you don't find a blessed thing. You notice that the ЗЫ is usually toward the end of an entry or comment. You notice that it is often followed by a comma or a colon. So what's the scoop? Here's the explanation. Let's say you are typing at a computer, and the computer has a standard QWERTY keyboard. And let's say you are typing in the standard Russian keyboard mapping that comes with MS Windows. The letter З is on the P key, and the letter Ы is on the S key. PS = postscript! That's right. The Russians are basically writing PS, but they aren't being anal-retentive enough to switch their keyboard to English just to write those two letters. You can see an example of this here (mirror).

There are lots of other fun vocabulary bits in Russian internetspeak. For instance a smiley :) is called смайлик, and the @ symbol is called a собака. Okay, readers, let's hear your guesses where the Russian word for that last item comes from. If you want to have a bit of fun, read the Russian Wikipedia entry on Компьютерный сленг internet slang. It's great!


October 20th, 2008 — posted by Don

The Russian word for website is сайт as in «Мы с Зоей познакомились на сайте знакомств, и через шесть месяцев мы поженимся!» "Zoya and I met on a dating site, and in six months we are getting married!" There are several ways you can tell someone to go to your new web site:

Перейдите на мой новый сайт
Зайдите на мой новый сайт
Загляните на мой новый сайт
Откройте мой новый сайт

A slightly more formal way, say in an advertisement, uses the verb посещать/посетить: «Посетите нашу домашнюю страницу» “Visit our home page.” Of course, sometimes you want to warn people away from a site, so you might say «Не открывайте этот сайт, иначе компьютер заразится шпионскими программами» “Don't go to that site or the computer will get infected with spyware.”

В интернете

September 11th, 2008 — posted by Don

The other day I committed a linguistic sin in an e-mail and wrote that I had read something на вебе "on the web." I was immediately shot down like a clay pigeon at an NRA convention. "We don't say на вебе." Actually, you do say it sometimes: I first encountered it in an e-mail sent by a Russian. Still, just because one person said it doesn't mean it's a good idea for me to repeat it. I should double-check myself. I googled the various phrases that had been suggested and came up with the following stats (07 Sep 2008):

Search phrase Hits
в интернете 28,500,000
на интернете 155,000
в сети 22,100,000
на сети 20
в инете 7,300,000
на инете 31,600
в нете 1,970,000
на вебе 20,200

Conclusion? Very few people say на вебе. So few that I'd have to consider it “incorrect.” My bad. Henceforth I'll stick with «в интернете» or «в инете».

PS. There is also a bit of unsurety among some Russians whether they should say в сети в сети. I'm not touching that one.