Friday, May 14, 2010

"Bumper Stickers" à la Russe

Russians don't "do" bumper stickers. They don't even exist. The few I have seen were brought back from other countries, and they are RARE. I can only imagine Russians' reactions to "My Child Was Student of the Month at --- School"; "University of ---"; or various political stickers when they travel in the USA... That must be some real culture shock!

This is why it was SO noticeable last week when messages started popping up on people's cars in anticipation of Victory Day. This was the most popular version:

It says, "Спасибо Деду за победу!," which translates as "Thanks, Grandpa, for the victory!" It rhymes in Russian: "Spasibo Dyedoo za pabyedoo."

Another message I saw a lot was simply, "На Берлин," which, thanks to one wonderful anonymous reader, I learned translates as, "To Berlin"—mimicking the phrase "на гору," which is "to the mountain"—with an understanding of significant difficulties, obstacles and hardships. Thanks so much for that correction, dear reader! I wondered about that one, since "в Берлин" would have been the more grammatical choice to mean "To Berlin!"

For once it came in handy that cars get filthy so quickly in Moscow! A lot of people wrote patriotic messages in the grime on theirs. Others used masking tape to spell out messages on their car windows.


Tina in CT said...

Wonder how they'd like all the stupid "Baby on Board" signs people put in their back window? The "strange" woman across the street still has one on her SUV and her daughter is 8.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed it too - the cars with a sigh "Baby-on-board" almost always have no babies in them. Strange.

Anonymous said...

Its not Triumph over Berlin. Its "To Berlin" - mimicking the phrase "на гору", which is "to the mountain" - with an understanding of significant difficulties, obstacles, and hardships.

Annie said...

Writing in the grime - now THAT'S my style!!

MoscowMom said...

Thanks for the correction about "На Берлин," Anonymous Reader! I really appreciate it!

Annie said...

Are you going to continue studying your Russian, Tamara? :) We all hope so!