You arein the middle of Moscow or any type of other Russiancityand desire to ask for directions. What will you call aperson in thestreet, the human you nothing know?

InEnglish, you have the right to say “Mister”, “Mrs”, “Miss”, “Sir” or“Madam”. In Russian that is frequently very challenging for the Russiansthemselves to findthe best word to contact a person.

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We havethe native Господин(Mister)and Госпожа(Ms/Mrs.). However those words are primarilyused in very formal cases orletters.

Whatother choices do we have? What various other words deserve to you use whentalking to another person?

1.ImpersonalForm of Addressing People.

I thinkit is the best method to attract the fist of a human youdon’t know. In this case, you must use a verb in animperative mood inthe 2ndperson:

e.g.,Извините<-ee-zv-ee-n-EE-te>–Excuse me.

2. "A Young Man/ Miss"

It isquite usual in Russia to call young people:

Молодойчеловек– “A young man”

Девушка – Miss

I findit is quite tricky, though. One is claimed to be able tojudge various other person’s age. Where is the boundary, a line, as soon as one cancallanother person “young”?

Ofcourse, if you are confident and also can say that this is a youngman or a girl then you deserve to go ahead and also call him or herМолодойчеловек(ayoungman)orДевушка(Miss)– entirely acceptable.

But asto older people, calling themМолодойчеловек(ayoungman)orДевушка(Miss)might offend them or, that knows, could flatter them.

3. Man and also Woman.

Мужчина – a man

Женщина – awoman

Thesewords are used really often by Russian people. It is a veryrude in my opinion, yet unfortunately, the is rather popular.

Can youimagine anybody saying something choose this in English: “Woman, wherein isthe brothers Museum?”

Howeverin the Russian language it would certainly be quite all ideal tosay: "Женщина,гдеКремль?" –– "Woman, where is the Kremlin?"

4. Citizen.

Гражданин– citizens (male)

Гражданка –citizen (female)

The wordhas a very certain application. Itappeared inthe language in ~ the time of Stalin’s repressions. Suddenlyovernightofficials: policemen (militia), post-office clerksetc. Startedcalling your “customers”Гражданин(citizen)andГражданка(citizen).The native are really formal and still provided by police and otherlegalauthorities, law-enforcement units, customs.

5. Господин(Mr.)andГоспожа(Mrs.).

As Ihave currently mentioned, those words are provided in formallanguage and are really rare in a conversation. It is more than likely the resultof ourRussian-Soviet history, and how the Russian language arisen andchanged.

The wordsГосподин (Mr.) andГоспожа (Mrs.) have atouch of superiority to them.

Господин(Mr.)originally comes from the word an interpretation “master, sovereign”.

6. Comrade



It wasso much less complicated in the Soviet times! One could callanother personТоварищ(comrade)and no to worry about being awkward, the same word could be supplied whentalkingto a guy or a woman, younger,older one – it didn’t matter.

Whenso-calledПерестройка (reorganisation,rebuilding)happened in the mid-late 1980s the wordТоварищ(comrade)suddenly became negative and was connected with the Communist ideologyandpropaganda.

Originallythe wordТоварищ(comrade)was provided only in relation to the members that the revolutionary communistparty. UnlikeГосподин(Mr.)andГоспожа(Mrs.),Товарищ(comrade)implies the equality between the people affiliated in a conversation.

It’s allvery confusing yet I guess little can it is in done, that’show the background and languagehave changed and evolved.

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Andthanks to every these historical changes Russian people stoppedbeing ComradesТоварищи(comrades)but have actually not becomeДамы(ladies)andГоспода(gentlemen)

Itis easyto rename towns and streets, provide them their old, pre-revolutionarynames, butit is quite difficult to readjust people’s mentality.