Собака (часть вторая)

by Don  

One of the Russian words for dog is собака. It can be used for either a male or female dog:

— Ты любишь собак?
— А кто же их не любит?
“Do you like dogs?”
“Who doesn't like them?”
— Вы любите собак?
—Конечно, собак люблю… на горячее!
“Do you like dogs?”
“Of course I like dogs… for the main course!”
Я вчера не мог спать. Соседская собака лаяла всю ночь. I couldn't sleep last yesterday. The neighbor's dog barked all night.
Фу, собака опять описалась в спальне. Ugh, the dog peed in the bedroom again.

There is a curious phrase that uses the word собака to mean “a whole lot of”:

В Чехии веб-дизайнеров уже как собак нерезанных. There are more web designers in the Czech Republic than you can shake a stick at.

«Как собак нерезанных» literally means “like unslit dogs.” How could such a phrase come to mean “a whole lot of”? In years agone the stray dogs around Russian villages would slowly grow in numbers until they became dangerous. Every once in a while the villagers would get together and round up all the strays and slit their throats to bring them back to manageable levels. You can imagine that the phrase nowadays is mostly used in a negative sense. For a recent interesting blog entry about stray dogs in Russia, see Josefina's entry on the Russian blog at transparent.com.

My favorite recent quote involving собака is in a rant about the lousy job some Russian translators did in putting subtitles to an episode of House:

Переводчики компании tvsubtitles.net, вы идиоты, мерзавцы и невежественные кретины. Вас полторы дюжины, я не буду перечислять ваши имена. Вы перевели 15-ую серию, и вас надо четвертовать, а потом нашинковать оставшееся на мелкие кусочки и скормить собакам. Translators at tvsubtitles.net, you are idiots, scum, and ignorant cretins. There are a dozen and a half of you. I'm not going to name names. You translated episode 15, and you should be drawn and quartered, and then what's left should be shredded into tiny pieces and fed to the dogs.

There are quite a few other words related to dogs in Russian, and we'll discuss some of those over the next few days.

1 comment

Comment from: it-ogo [Visitor]

>Соседняя собака лаяла всю ночь.
Neighbor’s dog = соседская собака. Соседняя means adjacent. :P

Don responds: Спасибо! Текст поправлен.

05/21/09 @ 09:39

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