Russian Word of the Day: Ядовитый/ядeрный

November 8, 2012

So this week we’ve been talking about memorable mistakes I’ve made when speaking Russian (heaven knows I make too many to count) that made for amusing exchanges.

So when I was in Ukraine last summer my friend was asking me about my state that I live in.  I was talking about how it’s very dry where I live.  He was very interested in the wildlife where I live so I was talking about how we have a lot of оленей (deer), медведей (bears) and пантер (cougars) in the mountains.

He then asked if we had клещи (ticks).  I said, “Нет, у нас нет таких.  Но у нас много ядерных пауков”. I thought I was saying, “No, we don’t have ticks. But we have a lot of POISONOUS spiders”.  But I was saying, “We have a lot of nuclear spiders.”

My friend laughed at my mix-up and said, “Аааа ты имеешь в виду ЯДОВИТЫЕ пауки. Наверно ядерные пауки только есть в Чернобле.” (Ahhh, you mean POISONOUS spiders. Probably they only have nuclear spiders in Chernobl.)

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