Russian billboards

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Welcome back to another edition of the Street Russian Project!

One part of the immersion method that works really well for me is reading everything around. I read the flyers people hand out on the streets, the back of kefir bottles, the junk mail in the mailbox, the graffiti on the sidewalk, EVERYTHING. There’s a lot you can learn about a place just by reading its advertisements and public service announcements.

While doing all this reading, I’ve been keeping an eye out for billboards and signs to share with you…

Здоровье и Законы / Health and Laws

Parents? Smoking causes infertility.” (Though there are still lots of smokers in Russia, the anti-smoking campaigns have increased in recent years.)
The choice is yours.”
Trying to keep the pun here: “Don’t float in fat, float in the pool!” (заплыть жиром = to get fat, заплыть = to swim into)
“Drunkenness is a crime.”
“Be honest, be strong! Know your HIV status!” (More than 39,000 people in Chelyabinsk are registered as HIV positive.)
“Selling drugs can bring lifetime imprisonment.”

Жизнь в России / Life in Russia

“It’s amazing in St. Petersburg.” Some of my students actually moved to St. Petersburg this year (and the other half just went to visit, haha).
So it’s not only English speakers guilty of this Я/R stuff 😉
“No draft, legal military ID. 49,000 RUB.” (There are ways that Russian men can avoid the mandatory military service.)
“I get paid on time. 146 RUB an hour.”
A Google ad in Moscow: “How can I choose a persimmon that doesn’t make my mouth dry?”
Spotted at a pelmeni restaurant: “Enough already! There’s no more ground beef!”

Did you learn anything new about Russia from any of these signs? Also, do you think reading is an important part of the immersion method? Or are speaking and listening more valuable?

PS: For more Street Russian Project posts, click here!

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