Attempting to communicate your vegetarian or vegan preferences in Russian

SPEAKING WITH A TRAVEL AGENT

No, I don't want to go to Russia - Нет, я не хочу в Россию - Net, ya ne khochu v Rossiyu

I regret to say, after 16 years here, that I find very few reasons to recommend travelling here. Expensive. Ugly. Profoundly unfriendly unless you are well connected.

IN A RESTAURANT

I am a vegetarian - Я вегетарианец; я вегетарианка - Ya vegetarianets (for men); ya vegetarianka (for women)

I don't eat animals - Я не ем животных - Ya ne yem zhivotnykh.

Don't expect to be understood. You will often here no even when there are lots of vegetarian items on the menu. Russian restaurants don't like non-standard clients.

GETTING OBNOXIOUS

Take it away and give it a decent burial - Заберите это и достойно похороните - Zaberite i dostoyno pokhoronite

My travel agent made my preferences clear - Мой туристический агент  ясно указал мои предпочтения - Moy turisticheskiy agent yasno ukazal moi predpochteniya

May I see the manager please? Yes, right now - Могу я увидеть управляющего? Да, прямо сейчас - Mogu ya uvidet upravlyayushego? Da, pryemo seichas.

I'm calling my travel agent! - Я звоню моему туристическому агенту - Ya svonyu svoyemu agenty

I'm calling my lawyer! - Я звоню юристу! - Ya zvonyu svoyemu yuristu!

No, these phrases will not necessarily produce the expected effect unless you are in an expensive western-managed establishment.

BEGGING

Perhaps you have salads - Может быть у вас есть салаты? - Mozhet byt u vas yest salaty?

Toasts? - Гренки? - Grenki?

Vegetables? - Овощи - Ovoshi?

Nuts? - Орехи - Orekhi?

Potato chips? - Картофельные чипсы? - Kartofelnyye chipsy?

OK, fried eggs will do. Just don't add any sausage. - Хрошо. Яичница. Без колбасы. - Khorosho, yaichnitsa. Bez kolbasy.

THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION

Shoot me - Пристрелите меня - Pristrelite menya


May 14, 2010