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How to Spot a Russian...


Over the weekend, I was sitting at my apartment pool, relaxing in the hot sun when I was disturbed by very loud voices. Immediately I could tell that it was some of the Russian residents living in my building. For me, it's easy to spot Russians in the crowd, perhaps because I spend so much time communicating with them in my personal life and in this blog. They most often talk in a very loud tone, which sounds aggressive to my English trained ears. Why is this? This is not only at my apartment, but also a perception based on numerous personal encounters with Russians in the USA, on airplanes and throughout Russia. It's not an insult, just an observation. :) The topic of the conversation can be extremely friendly, with a loved one or friend, yet still sound like an argument to me because I barely understand any Russian words when they are spoken by natives.

Other signs that the person at my pool is Russian - older women almost always wear bikinis, despite their physical shape or appearance. Very old, overweight females stuff themselves into these types of bathing suits, and it's fine. About someone else's appearance, I have no opinion or say, and if they're comfortable in this type of clothing, more power to these ladies! :) However, it's not so common for old women in the States to wear bikinis, I very rarely see it. Similarly, Russian and European men at my pool almost always wear Speedos, or tightly constricted swimming trunks. It doesn't matter that they have huge bellies, I suppose it's just a cultural difference in swimwear attire. Something like this...Read more...Collapse )


( 826 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:43 am (UTC)
Totally agree ) This swimwear is a huge cultural thing. The tradition itself roots to the Soviet Union in which no other swimwear were available. From my perspective, it is a good example of how the whole society got framed just because it get used to it.

Russian language is much more content rich than English - Russians do not need to use tones to express feelings or attitude as Americans do, they just simply use different words. That's why Russian language sounds so harsh for a native english-speaking ear - no tones = no emotions = aggressive.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:09 pm (UTC)
This is also the reason why the Russian language is very difficult to learn! There are too many words for the same things, different variations depending on gender, etc. :)
(no subject) - umab_c_pex - Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:50 am (UTC)
"older women almost always wear bikinis" - and russians think - this is German tourists! :)

Compatriots recognizable by speech generally. In the Baltic states, for example - from the first time will not understand the local to you or visitor ..
Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, many people told me about German grannies in bikinis. :) But I don't encounter them very often in the States.
(no subject) - weary_cynic - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:50 am (UTC)
For example, in Italy people are confused Russians with Americans very often. :)
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:09 pm (UTC)
Really? :) This is funny. I can't imagine it, because American and Russian cultures are so different.
(no subject) - turtaniat - Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:52 am (UTC)
агличане собрались
Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:53 am (UTC)
Не понятно, не по нашему написанно.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:54 am (UTC)
Ха-ха! Speedos are the way more convenient and healthy than typical "american" long shorts/boxers. Walking on a windy beach in wet clothes? No thanx. Speedos dries very fast.

A man in Speedo looking at man in long boxers :)
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
100% true and agreed!
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:01 am (UTC)
I also saw a lot of pictures of American women fat in a very short clothes. That's even worse!
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, it happens sometimes. :)
(no subject) - modest_so_zvezd - Jul. 23rd, 2015 05:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 12:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - modest_s0_zvesd - Jul. 23rd, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 23rd, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:01 am (UTC)
I am not sure about loud voices. By contrary, I found that average American speaks louder than an average Russian, at least my American colleagues do: loud and very self-confident, no shyness, no modesty.
As for bikini/Speedo fasion - I guess it is true)
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:11 pm (UTC)
I think it's just the Russian language itself which sounds loud and harsh to an English trained ear. :) The tones, inflections, etc. in speech are quite different than in English, where we don't really stress syllables as much.
(no subject) - nitki_igolki - Jul. 22nd, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nitki_igolki - Jul. 22nd, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nitki_igolki - Jul. 22nd, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:06 am (UTC)
Ненавижу посты, где русских хотят как-то выделить от остального мира. Гнилой сепаратизм от русофобов я считаю.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:22 am (UTC)
Если уж пишешь на английском, потрудись сначала его выучить.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:25 am (UTC)
Когда рашкованец учит натурального американца английскому — это гомерически смешно!
(no subject) - ereseres - Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - igor_vsev - Jul. 22nd, 2015 09:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - levy_walk - Jul. 22nd, 2015 10:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ereseres - Jul. 22nd, 2015 10:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - levy_walk - Jul. 22nd, 2015 10:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:23 am (UTC)
It's very easy to identify our compatriots being abroad. Mostly we have special impressions. Our faces shows anxiety and stress. We are always ready to solve problems. Of course not all of russians are like that. And I met the same expressions in the streets of Hungary for example. But probability that serious face without smile is your compatriot is very high.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:26 am (UTC)
Когда есть фигура, то можно и так. Главное, чтобы плавки были не дедовские.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:30 am (UTC)
Унылый говновброс.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:32 am (UTC)
I saw this entry in Top-1 position this night! Congrats!))
Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:12 pm (UTC)
I have no idea how it got there!?! I purposefully did not create a provocative title to try to avoid trolls, and I didn't even promote the post. Very strange. :) I think it's the first time one of my English language posts has ever been in Top-1 position. I'm surprised the LJ editors put it there.
(no subject) - popados - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - popados - Jul. 22nd, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:33 am (UTC)
I'm from Russia, most of teenagers and young guys nowadays wear shorts or something like surfers shorts. But in USSR it was normal to wear speedos. Moreover for old men to wear swimming shorts is the same as for me to wear trousers for swimming )). That is just a tradition. From the other side, it's not good to bring such kind of traditions to another country.
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