When you browse photo catalogs of Russian women, sometimes you see the words that don't fit into ladies' profiles. Find out about unexpected meanings of the terms that can cause huge misunderstandings between you and a Russian lady...

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Besides encountering most of the phrases in your "Russian Women Glossary", there are two more that I have seen several times...

"French fault" for "French wines" (Russian: vina); "kidneys" for "buds/flowers" (Russian: pochka)

While the last one tends to make the sentence sound absurd, the first time 
I saw the misreading of "vina" left me wondering for a minute!

It might not be a bad idea to suggest that men seeking a Russian wife 
invest the 5 dollars in a Russian/English dictionary early in the process. 
Some misunderstandings can be avoided easily by translating strange words 
back into Russian and looking for synonyms.

G. S.

Dear Elena:
I wanted to thank you for the web page you have assembled. I have spent  several hours reading it this weekend, and it has given me a much better  understanding of the Russian culture. I have found the section on  translations of various words and phrases to be especially helpful. In the  last week I received an email letter from a lady in St. Petersburg that upset  me. She was responding to a letter I had sent regarding a weekend when my parents had visited me. I now have a better understanding of how the meaning was lost in our words. With both letters. I have also written her a letter to say that it has become obvious to me that we must be careful that we fully understand what the other person was trying to say, and not exactly how we interpret the words. I hope to visit St. Petersburg in June to meet Alla. I know that your web page has been very helpful in understanding Alla's letters, and it has also helped me understand how some of my words would be misunderstood by Alla.

Dallas, Texas

Thank you for the time you have dedicated to this site. I have always doubted the truthfulness in which many agencies portray the women they represent. The knowledge gained from the site will undoubtedly help in my endeavor to find the right woman for me.

K. Lawson - USA

Extremely interesting and informative. I was spellbound by all that you wrote. Everyone should read this. I am interested in finding a wife and companion from Russia or an adjoining country. What you wrote I have taken to heart and will use it to help me find the wife and companion that I long for. Thank you so much for your opinions and thoughts on the peoples of Russia. There should be no misunderstanding
about how you feel and what is expected from a potential mate. Thank you!!

D. S., Hotmail

Hi Elena,
I commented on your site the other day about how informative it was, well I just received my first RW e-mail and was dumb founded by the term "financially secure", I asked for her to explain, and I hope I didn't offend for that, your link should be on every foreign dating service of good quality. I found my answer here first. Just thought I'd let you know that. I will be back, for more info.

Dave C.

This glossary is great but when you travel to Russia, you anyway need a translator! Your trip will be MUCH easier if you have a 'talking translator' - an electronic device that has in its memory about 400,000 words, travel phrases, grammar book, Russian speech translation and accent correction. Make your trip easier - you have no idea how much help you can get from a tiny handheld device. I guarantee you'll be as amazed as I was.
Click here



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Russian Women Glossary

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I noticed that men often struggle with interpreting terms in Russian women's personal profiles. There are two major reasons for that:

  1. Women mean something different when they use a term

  2. Women use an incorrect term

Usually women do not know English well enough, and just pick up words out of dictionary; and having many variants often choose a wrong one. Another thing is that some words have a definite meaning in Russian, and women do not bother to check if they have the same meaning in English. Also, some expressions have a different meaning because of differences in cultures and life standards.

Below you will find explanations of the most common mistakes in terms used by Russian women in their profiles.

Term Reason Meaning
Active rest Literal translation from Russian Outdoor and indoor activities
Careful Incorrect use Caring
Close people Literal translation from Russian People I care about, people that are special to me
Communicable, communicative Using a Russian word Sociable
Communicating with people/ friends Incorrect use Socializing
Counterbalanced Incorrect use Even tempered
Create coziness and comfort at home Literal translation from Russian Home improvement projects, homemaking
Create a family Literal translation from Russian Get married
Russian word "family" does not mean parents and children; it can be only 2 - husband and wife.
Economist Different meanings in Russia and on the West Economist is a name of position in the accounting/finance/sales department. Also may be a qualification one receives after graduating faculty of economics (also commerce, accounting and finance).
Favorite man Incorrect use The man I love
Financially secure  Differences in life-style Has a stable income, enough to feed a family of 3.
High (higher, highest) education Literal translation from Russian College or University degree
High social position Differences in life-style Has a distinctive social status, i.e. works as a manager, or has his own business. But in Russia it works a bit different than on the West: you don't have to be a CEO or the like, or own a blue chip company to be considered having "high social position". Owning a small shop or guest house with 1 employee is fine. Being a lawyer, business consultant or middle manager will do, too. Being a track driver, farmer, computer programmer, teacher in school won't - even if you make a very good living.
Honor Incorrect use Confident, independent
Gay Incorrect use In some Russian dictionaries given as one of the versions of translating "cheerful", "fun loving"
Generous Differences in life-style This is not only about money but the feelings too; the correct equivalent would be "giving" or "supportive". 

If about money, it means the man does not use the word "expensive", not greedy. Russians are not used to admit that something is too expensive, or show that they cannot afford certain things. For example, in Russia it's considered to be bad manners to check a bill in restaurant, even if you suspect that you are purposefully over billed.

Also may be used as equivalent to a word "noble".

I want to find a man who is fond. Incorrect use I want to find a man who is loving.
I want to find a second (other) half. Literal translation from Russian I want to find a soul mate.
Intelligent  Different meaning of the term in Russian In Russian usually using to name a person who is well educated, well mannered, clever, considerate, gentle, decent and faithful. Russians will usually use the word "clever" to call what English speaking people call "intelligent". The word "intelligent" means that the person is a good person, not only clever and educated but it also describes the type of character.
Intercourse Incorrect use They give the word "intercourse" as the equivalent of the word "acquaintance" in some Russian dictionaries. It is a mistake that appeared with the change of the meaning of the word in the last decades, but keeps moving to future editions from older dictionaries.
Intercourse agency Incorrect use Dating agency
Lovely man Incorrect use Beloved man
Lusty Incorrect use In Russian dictionaries "lusty" is given as an equivalent for "affectionate" - a person who likes kisses and hugs
Machine Incorrect use Car
Manly Incorrect use Happy with the traditional role of man as the family's head, defender and provider, as opposite to feminine
Materially provided Literal translation from Russian Financially secure
Middle (medium) education Incorrect use May mean high school level; also it may be professional education that is considered in Russia on the same level. "Middle education" in Russia is mandatory (and available free of charge).
Native person Incorrect use Soul mate
Orderly Incorrect use Decent, faithful
Pedagog (pedagogical) Latin word used in Russian Teacher (educated as a teacher)
Proud Incorrect use Confident, independent
Provided Incorrect use Financially secure
Purposeful Incorrect use Goal oriented, achiever
Responsive Incorrect use Responsible
Real man Literal translation from Russian A man who is strong willed, resolute and is capable to be the family's provider and defender; who knows how to treat a woman. 
Romantic evenings with candles Literal translation from Russian Candle lit dinners
Roses Custom meaning Rose is the most adored and expensive flower in Russia. Red roses mean love - well, it's not an official meaning, just a feeling they bring. A bouquet must have 5, 7, 9 etc flowers. Even numbers are used for funerals only. Yellow flowers are not supposed to be given to a beloved person; they mean unfaithfulness.
Sexual Often: Incorrect using Sexy (Russian word "sexual" does not have that strong meaning)
Sensual Often: Incorrect using Affectionate, passionate
Shaping Using a Russian word Female body-building but not to build muscles - to shape the body in a feminine, attractive way. They have special programs for each body part, to bring it to the ideal shape.
Sporty Using a Russian word Athletic, physically fit
Strong Differences in interpretation Refers to personality not physical qualities: basically, it means strong willed
Strong family Literal translation from Russian Common Russian phrase that cannot be correctly translated to English; may be interpreted as "good", "quality" family, where everything is right and which can go through any life trouble.
Tactful Incorrect use Considerate
Temperamental Incorrect use Passionate
Tender Incorrect use Affectionate, gentle
Well-to-do Differences in life-style Belongs to a middle class or upper middle class.
Well balanced Incorrect use Even tempered, calm
Without bad habits Literal translation from Russian Non-smoker/non-drinker or social drinker; no illegal drugs
Without material problems Literal translation from Russian Financially secure
Womanly Incorrect use Feminine
When we learn to close (closer). Literal translation from Russian When we know each other better

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Russian-English phrase book - Your can write her in Russian! Copy and paste romantic phrases and surprise her with your attention.

Common Russian words and phrases - Russian dictionary for beginners.

Russian names - find out about different spellings and variations; and you can even see how her name looks in Russian!

Russian women FAQ - the most frequently asked questions about all aspects of relationships with ladies from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Why Russian Women? - If you decided to find yourself a Russian wife, you would be inundated with questions of the type "Why Russian Women?" from everybody you cared to share your idea with. Surprisingly, every Russian woman you are writing to will ask the same question: "Why do you want to find a wife in Russia?" After a while, you might start questioning your own sanity in doing the thing which everybody, including your dates in this Internet rendezvous, consider strange enough to request explanations. Here you will find some ready-to-use answers for your family, friends and Russian women you are writing to.

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