by Timur  

The Russian word газировка is a slang term for газированная вода (carbonated water) and can be translated as soda. At one point it was almost synonymous with various soft carbonated drinks like Тархун, Буратино, Дюшес, Байкал, and so on... Now people tend to go by the brand’s name, especially when it comes to the popular Coke and Pepsi products.

In the Soviet days and even the early nineties, one could often spot special self-service soda fountains on city streets and public areas like airports, train stations, parks, farmer markets, and etc. The bulky, rectangular apparatuses were similar to the vending machines of today; you’d insert a kopeck or two and select the desired drink (sweet drinks cost more). There were no bottles or cans, every machine had a reusable стакан (glass) that was to be rinsed off with water in a special compartment and then used for the газировка. On a hot afternoon there could be a line of people standing next to the soda machine, each patiently waiting to quench his tormenting thirst. If lucky, you could hear one of these glasses shatter on the pavement and then find out that it was the last one, or better yet you could absorb some of your predecessor’s germs. For some reason I still miss those machines, although since then have been turned into scrap metal and become part of Soviet-era nostalgia. How awesome would it be to just have one in your kitchen right now?

Photo of Soviet-era soda machine
Image from wikipedia.org

This is an image of a typical Soviet-era self-service soda machine. It's one kopeck for plain carbonated water and three kopecks for the water to be mixed with sweet syrup.

Here are some example sentences with газировка:

Эта женщина меня случайно толкнула, и я пролил всю свою газировку на господина Мечниковa. That woman accidentally pushed me and I spilled all of my soda on mister Mechnikov.
Летом Mиша любит пить холодную газировку и есть мороженое. In the summertime, Misha likes to drink cold soda and eat ice-cream.
Hекоторые врачи говорят, что любая газировка очень вредна для здоровья. Some doctors say that any kind of soda is very bad for the health.
Aмериканцы пьют намного больше газировки, чем русские и немцы. Americans drink a lot more soda than Russians and Germans.

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