Another language mystery solved!

with 2 Comments

I saw this plaque in Gagarin Park a few months ago and didn’t quite understand what it meant. Do you?


This morning, reading in Schaum’s Outlines Russian Grammar, I came across this-

In informal conversation and in many folk sayings and idiomatic expressions, the unstressed conjunction да is often used to mean и (and).

Ah ha! That cleared up part of the phrase but I still couldn’t quite put the whole thing together. Что такое совет да любовь? My husband took a look at the photo and got it right away: “It’s that thing people always say at weddings. You know, um, what’s that phrase?” I guess we need to go to more weddings. 😉

ProZ has some useful translations: I wish you both the best in life, may you live happily ever after, best wishes!

Once I started looking around, I found lots of expressions with да. Here’s a great list with other meanings for да.

These are my favorites:

Ай да молодец! = Great job! Way to go! Not to be confused with Айда! Let’s go!

Ай да Пушкинай да сукин сын! = This phrase has its own Wikipedia entry.

Да здравствует король = Long live the king!

Жили-были старик да старуха = There once was an old man and an old woman…

И сказал Бог: да будет свет! = And God said: let there be light!

And, of course, Совет да любовь = May you have a happy marriage!

Can you come up with another good expression for this list?


2 Responses

  1. Fabricio
    | Reply


    Congrats for your post and for your blog! In which Gagarin Park you saw this sign?

    All the best!

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Privet Fabricio!

      Thank you for your comment 🙂 It was in Chelyabinsk’s Gagarin Park.

      I’ve just visited your blog- it looks like you’ve done a lot of traveling in Russia, wow! What is your favorite city?

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