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I see a constant mistake on Facebook and in comments to posts, when Russians are trying to refer to something as delicious or tasty. They use the term "yAmmy," when the correct word is "yUmmy." I'm not sure if this is a teaching error from Soviet times, but I'm offering a rare English lesson because this mistake is so widespread. A "yam" is a vegetable, similar to a sweet potato.

yam

Also, many people ask me the correct way to refer to black people in the U.S. I simply call them "black," although African-American is also commonly used. NEVER use the word "nigger." This seems to be an acceptable term in Russia, but in the U.S. it's very offensive and derogatory. Also, you will look like a fool if you call them "Negroes." This term is outdated.

Never call a woman a "cunt" - it's the most disgusting insult for the female gender. Way worse than "bitch." Btw, did you know the word "beaver" is a slang term for vagina? I think the explanation is obvious. :) What's the most offensive term for a guy? Not sure, maybe "dickface," "jerkoff", "tool", "donkey," or the classic catchall word - "asshole."

TOOL

If you ever have questions about the English language, or common slang terms, just ask me in comments or send me a message. I'm happy to help. The best way to learn is to communicate with natives, not a teacher in a classroom. I appreciate that everyone makes the effort to communicate with me in English here, and most of you do an excellent job. Don't be scared to write in the language. If I don't understand, I will always ask for clarification. Or, readers will be happy to correct you. Some of them think they speak better English than me. ;)


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( 166 comments — Leave a comment )
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fesma94
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
I simply call them "black" (c) you
Once you go black, you never go back (c) internet ))))))
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
Ha! Yes, it's a common phrase, for both men and women. I went black, and came back. I'm open to all colors. :))
(no subject) - dorli87 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorli87 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorli87 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dorli87 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inamora - Oct. 12th, 2015 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - twin_tay - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nemesid - Oct. 12th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 13th, 2015 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
red_perez
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
Lol, you started from the "sweet potato" and finished on ....
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think sweet potatoes are common in Russia? And everyone loves to talk about sex and relationships, so the other slang terms are more useful. :)
(no subject) - red_perez - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjol1nir - Oct. 12th, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
alexanderr
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
one of my Russian friends used to mix up
"up to you" and "up yours". he genuinely thought
that "up yours" is just a shorter version
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:11 pm (UTC)
Omg, very funny! :))
f_l_o_e
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
I love to use the word nigger. Almost like drink beer.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
Drink a lot of beer in a crowded bar, shout "nigger" and see what happens in the U.S. I warned you. :)

Edited at 2015-10-12 03:13 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - f_l_o_e - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mi5ter_fi5ter - Oct. 14th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 14th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
kremlin_curant
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:11 pm (UTC)
Beaver is obviously a vagina?
My goodness. I have no idea what is common.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:12 pm (UTC)
This is a slang word, and I hang around with mostly men. They are perverts, and commonly use this word to annoy me.
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - golemming - Oct. 13th, 2015 05:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - red_perez - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - f_l_o_e - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sibir_muzhyk - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - e_g_o_r_i_u_s - Oct. 15th, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
f_l_o_e
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
On photo: four days on rollercoaster non-stop. )
tandem_bike
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:14 pm (UTC)
eeeeh:-)
better English than I? not me? :-p

actually this is a case of "usage becomes grammar". "better than me" is accepted colloquially. but in court you better use "better than I" :-)

Edited at 2015-10-12 03:14 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
Re: eeeeh:-)
The second sounds completely unnatural and I would not even use it in court. :) Both versions are acceptable. However, it's a very common error for Americans - the distinction of using "me" or "I." I see it all the time in legal writing. The easiest way is to remove the other party from the sentence.

"Are you going to the meeting with Eric and I?"

Remove Eric. You would not say "are you going to the meeting with I?" So, the correct version is "Are you going to the meeting with Eric and me?" Here's a fun article on the topic: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/than-i-versus-than-me
yes, the eric and I is a common error. - tandem_bike - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
The language is made by people. - xpo_xpo_xpo - Oct. 16th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: The language is made by people. - tandem_bike - Oct. 16th, 2015 03:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Народ творит язык. - xpo_xpo_xpo - Oct. 16th, 2015 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Народ творит язык. - tandem_bike - Oct. 16th, 2015 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
maksipes
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:24 pm (UTC)
My phone always says me - "Battery getting low". Is it right? I thought "Battery IS getting low" is the correct way to say it. Who is wrong - my phone or I?
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
"Battery IS getting low" - this is the correct version. But we're accustomed to using shorter phrases in today's culture, which aren't always grammatically correct. I guess your phone knows this. :)
(no subject) - maksipes - Oct. 12th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
agathpher
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
kidding aside the reason that it is easy for the Russians to mix up yammy and yummy is there is only one sound for 'a' in Russian.

When children start learning English at school they are not really explained that "but" and "bat" sound distinctly differently. The same goes for a long and short ei peek/pick is the same word for them. Add to this the absence of "th" and you'll have the three major problems with native Russian speakers trying to learn English ;)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, just as it's confusing for an American learning the Cyrillic alphabet, when there are letters that look the same, but have a different sound - like "Р" and "H", which sound like "r" and "n" in English. :)) Also, these Cyrillic letters are strange for me and I still don't understand the difference - ш (sha) and щ (shcha)!
(no subject) - agathpher - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - iklin - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 13th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
fesma94
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
I simply call them "black" (c) you
Once you go black, you never go back (c) internet ))))))
aavenger
Oct. 12th, 2015 03:54 pm (UTC)
I think that something like "Hedgehog. Killed by an axe in its back. About a week ago." would be way more offensive :)))

And yAmmy seems to be easily explained as to me: something tasty in Russian is often referred as "nYam-nYam" (nomnomnom style) :)))
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
"nYam-nYam" - I've never heard this Russian expression! How do you write it in Cyrillic?
(no subject) - aavenger - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - notabler - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
cfagnum
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:02 pm (UTC)
I'm used to pronounce "can't" in a british manner as they taught me at school. But it created some problems when I came to America - some people misunderstood it as "cunt" :)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
Do most people in Russia learn British English rather than the American version?
(no subject) - cfagnum - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a000796 - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pro100_petrov - Oct. 12th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
sibir_muzhyk
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:12 pm (UTC)
Russian word "книга" sounds rough for black ears. :-)

peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:37 pm (UTC)
This is actually a word I know - "book." :)) It's one of the first terms we learned in my Russian language classes. Btw, "Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Show..." never heard of it! Do you like American comedians? My favorite is Chris Rock.

Edited at 2015-10-12 04:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - iklin - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sibir_muzhyk - Oct. 13th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
zhang_fei
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:15 pm (UTC)
"Faggot" is the most offensive word to call a guy, no matter where you are from and what language you speak.
sibir_muzhyk
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
do you mean "gay"?
(no subject) - zhang_fei - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zhang_fei - Oct. 12th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - buddhistmind - Oct. 13th, 2015 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 13th, 2015 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - buddhistmind - Oct. 13th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 13th, 2015 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - buddhistmind - Oct. 14th, 2015 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Yeah, we say: - xpo_xpo_xpo - Oct. 16th, 2015 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
justadreamer
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
O! Thank you very much. The question — as you have called Halloween pumpkin? Have she any special name?
peacetraveler22
Oct. 12th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
We call it a pumpkin, or sometimes a "jack-o-lantern." I just carved one with my nephew this weekend for Halloween. :)
(no subject) - justadreamer - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 12th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mi5ter_fi5ter - Oct. 14th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
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