18 September 2008

Learn to speak Russian and Armenian -- in one entry!

I was having a conversation with some friends recently about language learning and thought I'd post a little about it here.

Eastern Armenian is the official language here, but Russian is also widely spoken. Aside from the standard greetings, polite expressions, and culinary terms I learned before coming here, my vocabulary is increasing every day thanks to signs, billboards, and regular conversations with our nanny, housekeeper, driver, co-workers, etc. We have been focusing our studies on Russian since it will be more useful to us in our future travels, but the signage and everyday language we see and hear is a mix of both, so we're learning both unintentionally.

Anyway, here are some words and expressions to get familiar with (written phoenetically, of course -- the Armenian alphabet in particular is very intimidating) so that you can communicate with the locals when you come to visit! I've also included a few random words I've recently learned.

Russian
zdrahs'douseh = hello
kakhvee = How are you?
spazibah = thank you
bah-kah bah-kah = goodbye (even Nathan uses this one)
dah = yes
nyet = no
sohk = juice
ahptekah = pharmacy
moykah = car wash
soomah = total price

Armenian
bahrev = hello
Eench pesek? = How are you?
yes schnorhagal em = thank you (literally translates to "I am grateful." You can also just use the French "merci"...it's easier and everyone understands)
mek = one
sah eench arjee? = how much is it?
che = no
eench = what/which/how
kahtoo = cat
luys = light

Oh, and something funny...locals assume we are from England when they hear us speaking English. Never thought I'd be mistaken for a Brit!

1 comment:

Jhangora said...

Thanx a lot for the phrases.