Friday, December 22, 2006

Lesson 14 - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

• ❑ Opening Word

Ну, здравствуйте, мои дорогие слушатели = Well, hello, my dear listeners!
Как вы поживаете? = 'How are you?'

'Как вы поживаете' is basically the same as 'Как дела'. The difference is in the use. I'd never say 'Как дела' to a person I just met, or to someone who's a lot older than I am. 'Как дела' is reserved for close friends, family and children. The use of 'Как поживаете' in turn is more appropriate when addressing people much older than you, groups of people, someone you don't know very well, or simply to show respect.

So, как вы поживаете? У меня всё хорошо. (I am doing fine). Are you ready for another spoonful of Russian today?

• ❑ Lesson#14 - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

It would be more than appropriate to teach you a few Christmas and New Year-related phrases.

Many of you probably know that Russians have always been big on celebrating the New Year's rather than Christmas. After the 1917 Revolution, Christmas was banned throughout Russia, along with other religious celebrations. In 1992 the Christmas celebration was revived and announced to be an official state holiday. Note that the Orthodox Christmas falls after the Western Christmas on the 7th of January! Together with the Russians the Orthodox Christmas is celebrated by Romanians and Serbs, while the Greeks adopted the Western Christmas.

Did you know that the New Year holiday has been celebrated in Russia for more than 300 years? It's Peter the Great who established the New Year celebration on the 1st of January. In his documents the evergreen trees were considered the main decoration for the holiday. That will explain my choice for today's song later.

But let us turn to Russian Christmas and New Year vocabulary.

Now, during the time right before the New Year holiday people say 'С Наступающим Новым Годом' literally 'With forthcoming New Year'. But I'd translate is as 'Happy Holidays'!

Natalia: Джулия, с Наступающим Новым Годом! (S Nas-too-pah-you-schim Novym Godum)
Julia: И тебя тоже, мам.(Ee te-byah toh-zhah, mum) = ('You, too, Mom.')

When the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, it's safe to yell out: 'С Новым Годом!' You can hear people saying 'С Новым Годом' well into February. Especially to the ones they haven't seen since the previous year:)

'Merry Christmas' will be 'С Рождеством Христовым' (S Rozh-deh-stvom Khris-to-vym). I do not remember the particulars of the Russian Christmas celebration, since I left Russia in 1995. But I did some research on the subject and compiled some facts that I hope you'll find interesting. You can find the text file 'Russian Christmas' in my 'downloads' section.

Once again, if you want to wish someone a Merry Christmas, say 'С Рождеством Христовым!' And if you want to wish a Happy New Year, say 'С Новым Годом!' But all through the holiday season 'С праздником' (S prahz-knee-kom) will be always appropriate and timely.

'С праздником, дорогие товарищи! :))))))) Well, maybe not that official... 'товарищи' means 'comrades'.
'С праздником, друзья!' ---- 'Happy holidays, friends!' Now, that's more like it.


• ❑ Song

"В лесу родилась ёлочка"

("A Little Fir Tree's Born") performed by a children's choir.
This is the most popular Russian New Year's song. Every Russian knows it. It's something that no winter holiday can do without. The author of the lyrics is a school teacher, who was also a librarian: Raisa Adamovna Kudashova. The song was born in 1903 and since then it brings joy and excitement to Russian kids just like that little fir tree from the song......

"В лесу родилась елочка"

В лесу родилась елочка,

В лесу она росла,

Зимой и летом стройная,

Зеленая была.

Зимой и летом стройная,

Зеленая была.

Метель ей пела песенку: 

"Спи, елочка, бай-бай!"

Мороз снежком укутывал:

"Смотри, не замерзай!"

Мороз снежком укутывал:

"Смотри, не замерзай!"

Трусишка - зайка серенький

Под елочкой скакал.

Порою волк, сердитый волк,

Рысцою пробегал.

Порою волк, сердитый волк,

Рысцою пробегал.

Чу! Снег по лесу частому

Под полозом скрипит;

Лошадка мохноногая

Торопится, бежит.

Лошадка мохноногая

Торопится, бежит.

Везет лошадка дровеньки,

А в дровнях старичок,

Срубил он нашу елочку

Под самый корешок.

Срубил он нашу елочку

Под самый корешок.

Теперь ты здесь нарядная,

На праздник к нам пришла,

И много, много радости

Детишкам принесла.

И много, много радости

Детишкам принесла
------------------------------------------------------

(the English Translation)

In the woods a spruce was born,

It was growing in the wood

In summer and winter

it was straight and green.



The blizzard sang it a lullaby:

Sleep dear spruce, sleep tight!

The frost put snow around it
 saying:
Don't freeze!



The timid grey rabbit

hopped under the tree,

From time to time

The angry wolf just trotted by.



Hush, listen! Deep in the woods

Snow scratches under a sleigh.

A heavy horse 

Runs smoothly.



The sleigh carries firewood,

and in it was an old man

He chopped it down

at the very roots.



And here it is,
all dressed up,

it's come to us for the holiday

And lots and lots of happiness

it brought to the children.

And here is the same song performed by my 10 year-old Emily:




• ❑ Closing Word

Вот и всё. That's it.

А я прощаюсь с вами и говорю вам 'Счастливого Рождества и с Наступающим Новым Годом!'
(I am saying 'good-bye' and 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!')

Увидимся в следующем году!
('See you next year!')

8 comments:

Jim said...

I stumbled across your website and thought it was very nice to have the holiday sayings in Russian. I wanted to surprise some of my Russian friends with some of your holiday sayings. However, as someone who has never practiced Russian before, it was somewhat hard to follow the "Christmas/Holiday" podcast. The holiday words were difficult. With new words and new expressions, maybe you should have the English phonetics next to them like in your "family chart" since many people don't read Russian. Besides the above comment, GREAT WEBSITE!

Pavel said...

Привет,

Случайно набрел на ваш подкаст. Думаю порекомендую его друзьям.

Один на мой взгляд минус - слишком громкая музыка на фоне, трудно сосредоточиться.

Zuska said...

Hi, I'm a Romanian girl learning Russian because my boyfriend is Russian... I got to this site because I started with the cursive writing, I think what you did is great :) I have one comment about celebrating Christmas: in Romania we celebrate it on December 25th, not on January 7.

Zuska said...

Hi, I'm a Romanian girl learning Russian because my boyfriend is Russian... I got to this site because I started with the cursive writing, I think what you did is great :) I have one comment about celebrating Christmas: in Romania we celebrate it on December 25th, not on January 7.

Mikhail Smirnov {Ensemble Barynya} said...

very nice website
Thank you for mentioning ensemble Barynya
Mikhail Smirnov
Ensemble Barynya
New York
http://www.barynya.com

Anonymous said...

Cool! The author's name is Raisa, so is my aunt's name! podcast vash och krutttt)))))


`Vika

Natalia said...

Xa-xa, Вика:) Спасибо.

Magdalena said...

Hey, I just discovered your blog and must admit it's really interesting! I am Polish myself and have always wanted to learn my Neighbour's language (especially that my parents are both fluent Russian speakers!)

If it comes to translation, however, I think the best way to do it is not at home with Google Translator as your faithful helper; or even asking 'that Russian guy from IT' in your company to help you with the texts. Make sure to always use a trusted company to help you with your Russian translation. It's the only way to ensure the blend of quality and price for your documents.