Russian language: greetings and a bit of history

by russlife


In the picture you can see Kostenki, famous for:

“According to a Jan. 1, 2010 BBC news article, by BBC News science reporter, Paul Rincon, “DNA analyzed from early European,” scientists have studied and extracted DNA from the remains of a 30,000 year old European cave man who hunted wild mammoths in the region of Kostenki, Russia about five to ten thousand years before the last ice age began. The prehistoric man is known as the Markina Gora skeleton.”

Were his compatriots the first Russian emigrants to Europe? 🙂 You can read more about it here:

And more interesting facts about Russian language, as I promised. Today I’m speaking about how we greet each other. In short, there are two basic ways to greet officially (you say it to elderly people, unknown people, specially respected people) and unofficially (to all the rest).

1) Здравствуйте – pronounced like zdrav-stvooi-te (I’m not sure about transliterating so you’d better listen to the google translate pronunciation). Zdrav means health, so this formal greeting means ‘I wish you a healthy living’.

2) Привет – privet. This word comes from the verb privechat with the meaning of showing good, hospitable attitude to someone. So while greeting someone with privet, you at the same time say you’re glad to see this person.

But most people don’t even think about the meanings, as they have been using these everyday words since they learned to speak. I actually enjoy looking at my language with the help of my blog, for it helps me feel the taste of simple language secrets more deeply.