by Don  

The first word we Americans learn for friend in Russian is друг. The word has a consonant mutation in the plural:


This word is problematic when translating from Russian to English. Americans use the word ‘friend’ very loosely. It may be a close, personal friend, one with whom you share all your intimate secrets, or it may be someone you have known for five or ten years and never had a negative encounter with. That's not the case with Russians. Russians will only use друг to mean someone they know very well, someone who knows your likes and dislikes and knows better than to buy you white bread because you only like black bread. Anyone else you know is знакомый ‘acquaintance.’ I actually like the Russian distinction. It seems more meaningful than the American version.

— Я вчера познакомился с твоим другом в театре.
— С каким другом?
— С Петей, тем, кто работает в университете.
— Ах, Петя, да. Но он не друг, а просто знакомый.
“I met your friend yesterday at the theater.”
“What friend?”
“Petya, the one that works at the university.”
“Ah, Petya, yes. But he isn't a friend, just an acquaintance.”
— Сколько у тебя друзей?
— Да только один. Разве может быть у человека больше одного друга?
“How many friends do you have?”
“Only one. Can a person really have more than one friend?”
Все мои друзья говорят по-фински. Если ты не говоришь по-фински, ты не можешь быть моим другом. All my friends speak Finnish. If you don't speak Finnish, you can't be my friend.
— Почему все твои друзья татары?
— Татары не пьянствуют. Они более надёжные.
— Я не татарин, и я не пьянствую. Почему я не твой друг?
— На тебя и на трезвого положиться нельзя.
“Why are all your friends Tatars?”
“Tatars aren't drunkards. They are more dependable.”
“I'm not a Tatar, and I'm not a drinker. Why aren't I your friend?”
“Your not dependable even when you're sober. ”


Comment from: Vitaly Repin [Visitor]

Don’t forget about the word “приятель". It is something between “друг” and “знакомый".

12/22/11 @ 06:05
Comment from: Dan [Visitor]

Друг is not always mean friend.
Друг друга means each other, i.e.

Они убили друг друга - They killed each other

Of course, that doesn’t mean they were friends )

Also, sometimes друг means pal, buddy even when addressed to unfamiliar or little known person.

Эй, друг, закурить не найдётся? - Hey, pal, would you give a cigarette?

10/03/11 @ 10:47
Comment from: canapé design [Visitor]

Thank you,very helpful

10/02/11 @ 18:44

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