Smoking chicken

Once at a bus stop in Russia a young man and I had started talking. Not a common occurence there - but he liked the fact that I was an American girl.He offered me a cigarette while we were waiting. Kurish?, do you smoke?, he asked me. I answered by saying 'No, I don't smoke'. Or so I thought I did. He looked puzzled and our conversation stopped after that. Later I realised that I said: Net, ya ne kuritsa, no, I'm not a chicken.

Editor's note: The correct phrase would have been Net, ya ne kurju, no, I don't smoke.

Sent by: Heather


Anonymous 2011-06-04

Great... The mistakes foreigners do in Russian teach me to be more careful about my English!:))

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Aleksandra 2011-04-08

"Kuritsa" (chicken) in Russian, is also slang word that means "brainless women"

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wang qiang, china 2011-03-31

This is very funny!

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Zmeya 2011-03-18

Have you ever heard about so called "smoking business"? This strange thing emerged in Russia in the 90s - the times of great changes. Russian small business, all these non-state enterprises, for example, small shops, "smoking shops", where personnel is paid for smoking. The employees come to their work and start to smoke, and they work this way all their workday. ..just kidding. Actually, most of people prefere to buy all they need in big stores or in supermarkets. So what else have small shops-assistants do? Sure, to smoke.

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cath 2011-02-14

Must be something about chickens - in peru my husband asked for a packet of gallinas (chicken) instead of galletas (biscuits)...

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Kranthi Kumar, KAKINADA 2011-01-17

I always fall foul of this one, I just can't hear the difference! I'm always saying to my Russian friends to not smoke near me, and quite often they just sit and stare at me.

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Samantha 2008-10-14

I always fall foul of this one, I just can't hear the difference! I'm always saying to my Russian friends to not smoke near me, and quite often they just sit and stare at me :(

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Anastasia 2008-01-26

I live in Russia and some years ago a guy from Canada joined our project team. He liked to read and learn Russian words. Once he asked me what was the purpose of writing u nas net kuryat, (which means 'we have no chickens') on one of the walls in our office. I could not understand anything and after several minutes of racking my brains I asked him to show me where he read it. You can imagine our laughter when I finally explained him that it was u nas ne kuryat (i.e. no smoking), not u nas net kuryat (i.e. we have no chickens). The difference is in ne/net and the stress in the word kuryat.

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Paula 2007-03-27

This is great - I did exactly the same thing when arriving to stay with my Russian hosts and informed them that I was a chicken! Having spent 14 hours travelling I just wanted to know where I could smoke and instead got myself a nickname for my whole stay! They called me English chicken for the whole six months I was there!

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