by Don  

In most Russian apartments the bathtub is located in a room next to, but separate from, the room that has the toilet. Since bathtub in Russian is ванна, the room that contains it is called a ванная. Ванная is a deadjectival noun; that is, it is an adjective in form, but a noun in meaning, so it declines like this:


Now, we are going to have a bit of a translation problem here. In the US the word bathroom means the room that contains the toilet. (It might be different in the UK...) I just asked a buddy of mine “What do you call a room in America that has a bathtub but not a toilet?” He looked at me with incredulity, as if I were an American manqué, and said “I don't know. I have never encountered the situation.” ‘Washroom’ doesn't work, because it, too, implies a toilet, as do john, head, wc, powder room, restroom and lavatory. So for the purposes of this blog entry I will call it the “bathtub room.” That sounds odd in American English, so if you are a Russian reading this blog, don't use the phrase yourself; just understand that we are making do. That said, here are some sample sentences:

— Почему Маша в ванной?
— Она принимает ванну. Ты, что, думаешь, что она не имеет право мыться?
“Why is Maria in the bathtub room?”
“She's taking a bath. What, you don't think she has the right to bathe?”
Войди в ванную и уберись там. Go into the bathtub room and straighten it up.
Когда я вышел из ванной, я увидел огромнейшего таракана и закричал, как девочка. When I stepped out of the bathtub room, I spotted the most enormous cockroach and I shrieked like a little girl.
— Кто вы по профессии?
— Я специалист по ремонту ванных.
“What do you do for a living?”
“I specialize in repairing and upgrading bathtub rooms.”


Comment from: Paul Baxter [Visitor]

One of the things I found interesting about this word when learning it from a vocabulary tape was the pronunciation of the double consonant. Learners should be aware that a double consonant is, in fact, longer than a single consonant in Russian. Probably close to what you would get in English in something like “I ran near the flagpole".

10/17/10 @ 05:57
Comment from: Edgar [Visitor]

The French also use two different, adjacent rooms for the two distinct functions. “WC” is the word for toilet there and is used to distinguish from the “salle de bains” or washroom. Interesting that the French, too, use such euphemisms as “I need to wash my hands” in polite company. Maybe this is a continental phenomenon?

10/14/10 @ 18:47
Comment from: Jen [Visitor]

I think the closest thing to a банная that we would have in America would be the kind of bathroom found at some nicer hotels. In this case, the toilet and the bathtub are still in the same room, but the sink and the vanity is in a separate room. I’m not so sure that helps at all with the translation, though.

10/14/10 @ 09:33

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