Russian Slang and Idioms. Lesson 17.

Posted on October 25th, 2010

Hi and welcome to Russian slang and idioms lesson 17!

По чайной ложке в час [pa CHAY-nay LOZH-kye v CHAS].
Чайная ложка means a teaspoon and час means one hour.  По чайной ложке в час means to do something very slowly, in very small quantities.
Here is an example:
Он продаёт по чайной ложке в час.
[ON pro-da-YOT pa CHAY-nay LOZH-kye v CHAS]
He makes very few sales.

В сердцах [v serd-TSAH].
Сердце as you may already know means heart. В сердцах means to say or do something in a fit of temper.
For example:
Он повысил свой голос в сердцах.
[ON pa-VEE-sil SVOY GO-las v SERD-tsah]
He raised his voice in a fit of temper.

Испорченный телефон [is-POR-chyen-neey tye-lye-FON].
You will love this one! Испорченный телефон is a game that kids play. It’s also known as Telephone or Chinese Whispers. The rules are very simple: all players sit next to each other to form a chain. Then the first player reads a word written on a piece of paper, noone else knows what the word is. Then the player whispers it to the next player, and so on… The last player announces the word to the whole group. And this is where the fun begins! More often then not the word is very different from what the first player of the chain read from the paper! And often sounds very funny comparing to the actual word. When adults play this game to make it more fun instead of one word they write a whole sentence or even a short story on the piece of paper that is shown to the first player.

You have probably understood the meaning of idiom Испорченный телефон by now. Yes, it means to pass on information that might not be very accurate.
For example:
Я решил уточнить детали, чтобы не получился испорченный телефон.
[YA rye-SHIL ootach-NIT’ di-TA-li shto-BEE ni pa-loo-CHIL-sya is-POR-chyen-neey tye-lye-FON]
I decided to confirm the details to avoid spreading inaccurate information.

Congratulations! You’ve just learned three new Russian idioms! Here goes the test:

1. What Russian idiom will you use to say that someone does something very slowly?
2. What does в сердцах mean?
3. How to play Испорченный телефон?

I’m sure you did well on the test! This is all for today. Please don’t forget to subscribe to for more free Russian4real lessons!
I’ll see you soon!



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