by Olga  

The Russian word for monkey is обезьяна. Monkeys are very intelligent creatures and are often trained to perform in the Russian circus and can even help individuals with disabilities. Monkeys that are trained to perform at the circus are taught many tricks and are often dressed up in colorful and shiny costumes.

My grandmother told me the story of how her eye glasses were almost stolen once by a circus monkey. On my grandmother’s birthday, she decided to go to the circus with with my grandfather. When the circus show ended, the trainers came out and announced that individuals can buy an extra ticket to play with some of the trained monkeys after the show. My grandmother turned to my grandfather and said «Давай пойдем и поиграем с обезьянами после спектакля!» “Lets go and play with the monkeys after the show!” Once my grandmother walked into the room and saw all the monkeys bouncing off the walls, she said «Какие энэргичные обезьяны!» “What energetic monkeys!”

She approached one of the monkeys and began petting it. All of the sudden the monkey reached for her eye glasses and ran off with them. My grandmother began laughing when the monkey stopped and waved the glasses at her. Everyone around her began laughing loudly when the monkey put the glasses on himself. Everyone said «Какая смешная обезьяна!» “What a funny monkey!” My grandmother began chasing him and calling out «Oтдай мои очки!» “Give me back my eye glasses!” Eventually the monkey gave in and returned her glasses to her.

Don's additional notes: the word обезьяна includes both monkeys and apes, so it's a bit broader than “monkey” in English. I rather suspect that most readers won't know the difference between monkeys and apes. Hm. Now I'm curious. If you read this post, please add a comment to it saying something like, "Yes, I know the difference" or "No, I don't know the difference."


Comment from: samigina [Visitor]

I know the difference. There are apes– the “great” and the “lesser"– and there are “new world” and “old world” monkeys!

11/17/08 @ 18:24
Comment from: Whistler [Visitor]

Я знаю разница.

11/14/08 @ 09:51
Comment from: Martin [Visitor]

I would also like to add that many languages do not at all distinguish between ‘ape’ and ‘monkey’ as english does. For instance in german there is only ‘der Affe’ and in czech ‘opice’. I believe that both these words have common ancester with english ‘ape’.

11/14/08 @ 08:37
Comment from: Martin [Visitor]

I disagree with Olga. According to
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/monkeys-vs-apes.htm is Laura mostly right. And this explanation seems much likely to me.

11/14/08 @ 08:31
Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]


11/14/08 @ 07:44
Comment from: Laura [Visitor]

Off the top of my head, I would say apes are gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos and monkeys are everything else, but I could be totally wrong!

11/14/08 @ 06:17
Comment from: Olga [Visitor]

I absolutely know the difference between old world apes and new world monkeys. I have actually been learning about this all semester in my human evolution class. Besides possibly originating on different continents (or both originating in Africa and New World Monkeys migrating over), apes and monkeys vary by dentition, among other things. In particular old world monkeys, or Cattarhines, have bilophodont molars, downward facing nostrils, and fused mandibular synthesis :P

11/14/08 @ 05:11

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