5 Questions for Russian Speakers

with 4 Comments

Russian vocabulary + a famous face… can you help me figure these out?

#1. What’s the difference between оливки and маслины? Are they simply green olives vs black olives?

#2. What’s the difference between адвокат and юрист?

#3. Why is this doctor so popular? I see him on a lot of signs and I think I saw him on a book cover once.

#4. What on earth is this thing?

#5. This hashtag is part of the signage for Black Star Burger… but why the doubled letters (чч, щщ)? Does it imply something? Does it just seem cool?

Заранее спасибо за ответы! 😀

4 Responses

  1. Brett
    | Reply

    Good questions!
    I’m going to watch with interest at the qualified, informed answers.
    I’ll guess that Ногти для столбов is some kind of footwear (or armwear?) for rock climbing? Also could be for climbing columns, like telephone poles by the looks.
    Маслины sound like they’re in oil?
    It’s a bit like черешня и вишня. I think the former are black cherries and the latter red cherries.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Привет Brett! 😀 I’m so happy to see you keeping up with your Russian! Do you run into many Russian speakers where you live now? One of my former students is studying in Australia… she loves it there.

      It’s interesting how Russian is so specific about certain fruit, like the черешня и вишня you mentioned and клубника vs земляника.

  2. Lyttenburgh
    | Reply

    Although I’m not an Armenian Radio, but as you’ve been asking, here’s my answers

    1) “Оливки” vs “Маслины”. There is a difference between the two, more of a technical variety.

    – Маслины – fruits from the olive tree, which reached the peak ripeness.
    – Оливки – not 100% ripe fruits from the olive tree.

    Therefore, «оливки» are green-ish, have more solid, robust structure, but contain less oil. BTW, «маслины» are jet-black only due to the special treatment they undergo before the canning, so the colour alone can not serve as a reliable distinguishing feature.

    Relevant unimportant fact: in the criminal Russian slang, “маслина” became the synonym for a “bullet” (compare this to the English slang term for a bullet – “slug”).

    2) “Адвокат” vs “Юрист”. That’s easy – both of them got through the law school (rus. “получили юридическое образование”), but only “адвокат” then chose to jump through several hoops in order to get a special “upgrade”. This “upgrade” is required for any “юрист” to participate as the official legal councilor in any criminal case (as opposed to the mere civilian one). So, a notary is a “юрист”, but not an “адвокат”.

    3) No idea. And I really hope I will never have a reason to find out why! 🙂

    4) “Когти для столбов”. Exactly what it says on the label:


    I mean, the world is chokefull of people who absolutely NEED to climb various cable supporting poles in urban areas… and who are not from the utilities services, who get their “кошки” for free. Or, I dunno, you’re a budding ornithologist, who ABSOLUTELY want to see how’s a nest of some forest birdy is doing this time of the year.



    No idea. “Black Start Burger” has an excess of money to waste on lame ads?

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Wow, thank you very much, Lyttenburgh! Your answers make those points super clear. 🙂 🙂 I’ll be waiting for your Russian vocab book to be released one of these days!

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