Saturday 7 November 2015

Сколько стоит эта колбаса?

Сколько стоит эта колбаса?
We were at friends for an informal dinner at the end of the working week last night. I was perusing their bookcase and pulled out a book – The Penguin Russian Course, A Complete Course for Beginners. Published in 1958, this could have been the essential guide for those wanting to master the Russian language during the era of the Cold War.

I randomly opened it to page 131, and at the top of the page was the following:

Translate into Russian:

  1. How much does this sausage cost? One rouble a kilo? That’s too expensive. Give me some ham please.
Rather than read the whole book, I went to the translate function on the PC. The answer is:
Сколько стоит эта колбаса? Один рубль Кило? Это слишком дорого. Дайте мне, пожалуйста, некоторые ветчины.
Guess this goes to show that sausages really are a universal food. It is great to see that in the late 1950s Penguin recognised the value of using snarlers as a tool to teach the Russian language.

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