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Dermo!: The Real Russian Tolstoy Never Used (Russian Edition) (Russian) Paperback – August 1, 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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  • Dirty Russian: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!" (Dirty Everyday Slang)
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  • Russian Grammar (Quickstudy: Academic)
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

From the Back Cover

Not even Tolstoy would dare use the eyebrow-raising Russian you'll find in this wickedly humorous language guide by one of Russia's bestselling novelists today. Whether you're traveling to Russia for the first time or you are a student of the language, this indispensable book is your entree to the real and new Russian that has never been taught. You'll be armored with triple-decker curses and insults, endearments and expressions for situations ranging from high-level business meetings to cocktail parties to sexual encounters. Filled with words, idioms, and vulgarisms you won't learn in a classroom, plus twenty hilarious line drawings and a complete index to vital expletives, Dermo! will provide you with the uncensored answers to the questions you always wanted to know...but no translator would ever tell you!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1st, 1st Printing edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: Russian
  • ISBN-10: 0452277450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452277458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although this book is not for the faint of heart, it is a wonderful guide to some of vulgarities in which Russians find so much joy and expressiveness. I am currently living in the southern Ukraine where Russian is the dominant language. I bought this book to help me unlock the slang and colloquialisms which I have been picking up piecemeal from my friends. For this purpose, Mr. Topol's book has been wonderful. He not only provides a list of expressions to improve your shadow vocabulary, but he also provides lively and informative background. This additional information puts the expressions in their cultural context and allows the reader to have a much deeper understanding of the meaning behind the language.
This book has been a joy to page through and I have gotten a kick out of sharing my new enlightenment with my Ukrainian friends. They are shocked when they discover it comes courtesy of one of Russia's best-selling novelists. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in expanding their understanding of Russian language and culture, and having a little fun while doing so.
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If this book was to be used only by scholars,(those guys who wouldn't cuss if their life depended on it) this book would undoubtedly deserve a 5 star rating.
However, MOST people who buy this book will probably want to cuss at somebody once in a while and since discretion is the better part of valor,(saying something the other guy doesn't understand) they will probably try a couple of Mr Topol's gems.
That will be fine with non-Russian folks, but try ANY of them with a Russian and you stand a good chance of being laughed at because you simply will not know which syllable to accent in your pronunciation. Think about it...If you say something really offensive to a Russian and pronounce it wrong, he'll probably be laughing like mad when he punches you out!!!!!!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Using obscenities in a foreign language is risky business -- don't do it. That said, this little book offers a humorous key to Russian vulgarisms. As long as you "look but don't touch," you'll do fine. (One flaw: the accent marks are not given for the Russian, leaving non-natives to guess. But that's not a problem, 'cause you're not going to talk like this, are you?)
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Format: Paperback
Right from the start, Topol just couldn't stop making me laugh. His reasoning behind writing the book is exactly why I wanted to read it-to break down that barrier that exists between classroom languages and the reality. Because I want to communicate with people my own age when I go to Russia, I know that theyre not going to speak all prim and proper-I know I don't speak English that way! While decency would prevent me from saying many things, also for fear of my own life, it's great to have the vocab as well as to teach it to English speaking friends so that together, you can pretend to compliment people in a language they don't understand. The only downside to the book is that to seriously learn it all takes a major effort and many of the words are quite difficult to get your tongue around, even if you do speak some Russian.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great source of the raunchy lingo you need to know but that your proper Russian friends won't teach you. And I do mean the real raunchy slang, the kind of cursing an American would get arrested for saying in public. Thanks to this little book, I can appreciate the extremely colorful and descriptive obscenities Russians, even total strangers to eachother, occasionally exchange on the street. The book is cleverly written with ribald poems and vulgar little cartoons. My only complaint is that the captions are written in annoying phonetic English transcription rather than Cyrillic.
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Format: Paperback
This is an entertaining, well-written little book, and it covers a wide range of colloquialisms, vulgarity, and obscenities. Much of the language is extremely crude and...vivid, but you shouldn't expect anything different if you're buying a book focused on everything you won't learn in a Western classroom. And to briefly address the negative reviews: Some of you guys are really insane; it's not that the book presents things that are inaccurate or untrue, but apparently several people here are in denial that Russia has some nasty insults and slang. In English, there are plenty of nasty, rude, disgusting, vulgar, etc. words and phrases. They aren't used in all situations, and some people don't use such words at all, but all English speakers KNOW these words. If you want to be fluent in Russian, one aspect is knowing what bad words and insults are. The author never suggests going around insulting people...he just gives you the information.

Anyways, the book has quite a large number of words and phrases, and also gives short but interesting introductions/backgrounds to the various topics. The only problem I have with the book is the poor transliteration and the lack of stress marks. For instance, the Russian o is an "ah" sound if it's unstressed, and although the book will give a transliteration, it doesn't show a stress mark, nor does it account for the change in pronunciation of the unstressed/stressed o's. I also noticed that sometimes e is written instead of ', which can be confusing for a learner.

Overall, the content is great (assuming you don't want to shelter yourself from anything that isn't polite and proper), but the book comes up short as far as pronunciation tools.
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