& quot; New York for life & quot ;. Russian Brooklyn.
On various aspects of life in New York without embellishing this difficult but insanely interesting reality: the Belarusian Alice Ksenevich, after living two years in this city, wrote a book about him. “I write about what they live, how they work, what they spend money for, how they find love and deal with depression in New York.” It seems to me that many Belarusians are interested in the theme of our “lives” in America. not continuous enthusiasm. ”
The woman of the valley, a widow with a twist and quite a status husband.
Photo: Alisa Ksenevich.
Russian Brooklyn is a kitsch, a bazaar, a second-price restaurant, old women with old-fashioned hairstyles, queuing up ahead, gopniki with cheeky, freckled faces, shod in Nike …
From the windows of Russian restaurants, the songs of Mikhail Shufutinsky and Irina Allegrova are heard. Pensioners gossip near the fruit trays, interlacing the speech with American interjections like “you know” and “Okay.” In cheap grocery stores, instead of panini and donuts, they sell borsch in plastic pails and chebureks. It seems that people here are stuck in a certain timelessness, and failing to enter the two-thousandth, to integrate into American society. It’s hard to believe that at a distance of 40 minutes from here – Manhattan, another world, the rhythm of life, another crowd.
More than a dozen Russian newspapers are published in Brooklyn. They cost a penny, spread through Russian stores. They look like they were about 15 years ago. The pages are overloaded with advertising by lawyers and gynecologists. Several turns are devoted to private announcements: “I’m looking for a job as a nurse”, “Selling linens from Russia” (in the US the problem is to find duvet covers, in bed linen sets there are only 2 sheets and pillowcases), “I’m looking for Rummey” and so on.
What I did not expect to see, this is the section with ads about dating. I really did not think that somewhere in the course of this!
Ads are consistent in a single style. Most likely, the editor worked here with the makings of a professional matchmaker. To believe that people themselves issue such pearls, it’s difficult for me:
“If you are a single man under 65, drive a car, know a computer, call a pleasant woman, for joy”
“I am a woman, I do not tear off an eye! Real beauty does not retire.” So I stayed alone, 66, I and the driver, I and the bull, I and the woman, and the man. I want to be a woman in 80! ”
“Poured Carmen, oriental beauty, 26. A girl in bloom, smart as an assistant to the president, a lady-smile, dreams of a serious case of transition from a black strip to a white one”
“The woman of the Valley with a magical energy is looking for a short, non-smoking friend with a car and a computer for joy, until the age of 60”
“Lovely, cozy, domestic, 62, she shines with a late love.” A wealthy widow, he hears all the smells of life, for leisure – a good friend ”
“Married, only on paper, 45, an American, rich and generous, gets acquainted with a woman for meetings and partings.Any level of English”
“She looks like a person who has a Business to which to put a life.” 32/166, Doctor: A Complete Set of Happiness Before You ”
“A businessman, 49, an American, all that he dreamed of, came true.I am interested in acquaintance with a beautiful woman of 35-42 years.If you want to have a good friend for leisure – call!”
“A guy of the highest standard, 30, a banker.” Handsome, talented, successful, New York is part of his life and his DNA. “She is quite a status husband.”
“Sunny man Fate is a mistake, lived the way it can not live.” 56/170, arranged, working, long ago without housing and material problems .State, bright, noisy, all with a twist … Decided to break the romance with loneliness. ”
The language of Russian Americans with its “tickets”, “buildings”, “peymentami”, “landlords”, “ishuransami”, “loyers” often becomes a reason for ridicule, although its carriers themselves may not realize that they are deprived of lexical reserve and ability to fully and correctly express their thoughts in their native language.
According to the authority in the world of psycholinguistics Valery Belyanin, intonation is the first thing that is lost in emigration. Then there are separate foreign language inclusions, it is easier to say a short phrase on a foreign language than on a native one. The principle of saving mental effort has not been canceled. Most people try to make their lives easier. Including simplifying thinking. In general, the native speaker loses about 5% of the information per year. Of course, everything is very relative and depends on the age of the person, his environment, memory, how much this language is necessary for him.
Children of Russian Americans admit: “We think like adults, but we talk like children.” And they themselves are sure that words like “macroevide,” “loyer,” “skediul” are Russian words, because they heard how their parents put those words into speech, or read in the ads of local newspapers.
When asked which language is their native language, they respond in different ways: “English”, “Russian”, “Russian and English”.
There is even a special term for the difficulties of transition from one language to another – bilingual schizophrenia. When the speaker does not know what language he speaks, he gets lost from one to the other.
English, taught to us at school, is very far from a living American speech.
Instead of “autumn” (fall) they say “fall”, instead of “wait” – “hold on”, instead of “please” use the speech speed “Would you …” and “Could you …”.
If Americans want to ask something again, they say “What’s that?”. The question “What?” is considered rude. The same is with imperatives. They do not say “go,” “do it,” “take it off.” They are interested in: “Do you wanna clean this coffee-machine?” (“Do not you want to clean this coffee machine?”). It is clear that responding to such requests can only be in the affirmative, especially if they come from restaurant managers, but with the illusion of choice and instructions to perform nicer.
Habitual phrases like “Close the door”, “Give the oil” to freedom-loving Americans sound like an order. Even their own children they ask: “Brush your teeth, please,” and not “March, brush your teeth and sleep!”. That’s how myths are born about powerful Russian women, rude Russian men and harsh Russian power.
We are not accustomed to asking for forgiveness and to thank as much as the Americans do. To test this in practice, take a ride in the metro during rush hour. Going to the exit, you will hear “Sorri!” Ten times, as if this is not you pushing people and stepping on their feet. Apologies are always bilateral, regardless of who is right and who is to blame.
Politeness, I think, can also explain the fact that Americans sound a couple of tones higher than Slavic women. Men have voices like voices, and women have thin, squeaky, shrill-spruce … I remember I was shocked when I met a former classmate in New York and heard her speak. At school she had a low, hoarse voice. Ten years later, the same girl spoke in a very loud and high voice.
The Slavs and Americans have fundamentally different intonation. They have much more voice modulations than we do, and they occur in a higher register. We Slavs for the Americans sound either very aggressively or apathetically-dissatisfied, our typical intonations are perceived in this way by the American ear.
In addition, if you think about, etiquette forms require such an unnatural voice. When we try to be nice, polite, hospitable, the intonation creeps up. Observe the girls at the time of their flirting with the opposite sex, and you will understand how the Americans sound!
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& quot; New York for life & quot ;. Russian Brooklyn.