Djcnor’s Weblog

I Wish I Understood Russian

Posted on: December 25, 2008

Understanding a language gives you more insite into the people that speak it. I understand a good deal of French, some German, enough Polish to manage day-to-day in Krakow, enough Polish that Russian sounds to me as if I should understand it. There are a good number of words that are close enough for me to understand them, but they are only words, not phrases or sentences.

I wish I understood Russian. If I could, I would translate a metaphoric desecription that I do not know the source of as broadly as I could among Russian speakers. The description was used during the cold war about the collections of nuclear weapons being held by the US and Russia. Now the club has become much larger.

Now the number of people (nations) standing knee-deep in gasoline hoarding matches (nuclear weapons) has become larger. And the rest of us are that much more in danger of one stupid or insane person lighting one of those matches.

I read in the Guardian today that Russia will be greatly increasing its production of strategic nuclear weapons. Oh goody. A new shipment of matches to be distributed to a larger group of nations.

This is insanity. Is the world’s economy not bad enough, that we need to prepare outselves to hand out still greater destruction, still more suffering?

I know the answer someone will write back: We can’t have them bullying the rest of the world the way they have Georgia, so we’ll just have to acquire more matches of our own. Or maybe raise the gasoline level another foot?

When will we learn to use the world’s resources for the benefit of the world’s people? To really mean it when we say:

God Bless Us, Every One!

In English, we use sex words and excrement words as curses. In Poland, the most used curse word was a disease, cholera. I understand that in other languages, the curse words have other literal meanings. The next time you feel the need to curse, consider using the word “bomb” or the words “nuclear weapon”. They’ll work in any language. Proclaim your identity as a member of the human race.


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Djcnor’s Weblog

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