August 11, 2009 | Russian

Sex Organ Soundalikes

The Russian word for "important" sounds like a female sex organ.

In my Pimsleur lessons, I am being asked repeatedly to say “important meeting” in Russian. And I am having terrible trouble with the phrase. The Russian word for “important” sounds like “vagina” to me, with the phrase for “important meeting” sounding roughly like this: VAJ nie uh fstree AY cha.

Awkward. Especially since I keep putting the stress on the second syllable, as it is in the English word “vagina.” The whole thing sounds very, well, unbusinesslike.

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