by Tatiana  

We are all different in so many ways with different desires and aspirations. However, we have one sure thing in common: we all dream. Sometimes our dreams are all that gets us by on a grueling school or monotonous work day. It is the thought that we’ll get what we want, that the world will change for the better and that with that change we will finally be happy.

A dream in Russian is мечта. It is a noun of feminine gender. At first glance, this word is simple and unpretentious. However, there are some things about it that are not so typical. Sometimes in classic literature мечта is used as ghost or vision, which is uncertain and unclear by its nature, just like a dream itself.

The second interesting thing about this word is that it seems to be missing its genitive plural form in modern Russian.

GenмечтыNo such thing
in Russian.
Preмечте мечтах

The only way to say it would be мечт. Even though it was previously used, it sounds wrong and archaic nowadays. It could still be used in speech but more often than not in a playful-ironic sense. Therefore, instead, we usually use мечтаний. This word, мечтание essentially means the same but has the missing genitive plural form.

— Какая у тебя самая заветная мечта?
— Я не могу выбрать только одну - у меня много разных мечтаний!
“What is your most cherished dream?”
“I can’t pick just one – I have many different dreams.”
Тебе так посчастливилось встретить Влада, он просто мечта! You are so lucky to have met Vlad, he is just dreamy!
— Когда я была маленькой, у меня была мечта о красивой любви и бесконечном счастье...
— Да, а потом ты подросла и перестала верить в сказки!
“When I was little, I had a dream about beautiful love and endless happiness…”
“Yes, but then you grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales!”
Поехать в Венецию всегда было моей мечтой. Visiting Venice has always been a dream of mine.
После того, как я женился, мне пришлось забыть о своих мечтах о профессиональной музыкальной карьере. After I got married I to forget about my dream of a professional music career.

Here is silly cartoon about мечта.

I believe there are always ways to make things better. We always get what we want sooner or later, this way or the other… as long as we never stop dreaming!


Comment from: Tatiana [Visitor]


The whole phrase is extremely colloquial, “grammatically incorrect” and humorous. And it’s not only because of the form of the word “мечта” but also because there is no such a word as “сбыча". The correct way to say this would be “За то, чтобы мечты сбывались!”

10/20/10 @ 12:42
Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]  

Тост: За сбычу мечт!

Don responds: That is freakin’ awesome. I have long thought that it is totally unnatural not to have a genitive plural of мечта, and the form of the toast suggests to me that Russian minds will bit-by-bit reinterpret their grammar to allow it.

Now I’m curious: is this a toast that sounds normal to Russian ears, or does it sound somewhat humorous because of the form мечт?

10/17/10 @ 14:21

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