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Author Topic: Language Question, this time Russian  (Read 1665 times) Average Rating: 0
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Donna Rose
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« on: September 16, 2004, 11:13:28 PM »

I know there are Russian people and speakers who post here, so I figured this was a good place to ask my question...

I am reading Chekhov and preparing a scene from Uncle Vanya for (acting) class, and in one of my translations the grandmother-widow is called "Matushka" by her son. Now my question is, does this mean for sure that her husband was a priest? Or does the word "Matushka" have a more general meaning (like "mother") which means her husband could have been any profession? Thanx for the help!

~*Donna Rose Smiley
« Last Edit: September 17, 2004, 12:27:11 AM by Donna Rose » Logged

hmmmm...
MsGuided
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2004, 11:42:08 PM »

I think I remember this as meaning "little mother" but as for its normal everyday use, I'd defer to Ania or other Russian-speakers.  Smiley
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Robert
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2004, 08:39:00 AM »

Kim hit it right on.

I took two classes in Russian literature with Dr. Vladimir Bilenken who is supposedly world renown in his studies of Chekov, Leskov, and Pushkin.

Matushka means "Little Mother" and he constantly refered to Matushka Rus in his lectures.

I think I still have my notes if you're interested...

Robert
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ania
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2004, 11:16:52 AM »

Matushka & Batushka are old-school endearments for parents.  I've heard fathers (both priests and parents) refered to as "bat'ka," which can be an endearment, or can be disrespectful.  
You will notice if you read a lot of Russian classic lit that parents are refered to as matushka & batushka.  It transfered over to priests, as religion was an integrated part of life, and people saw their priests as second fathers.
I personally have never called my parents batushka & matushka... though they are that in both senses of the word.  Neither have I ever called my grandparents that, although Dyeda is a priest.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2004, 11:17:59 AM by ania » Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2004, 11:19:39 AM »

Out of curiosity, what did you call your parents?
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ania
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2004, 11:21:58 AM »

Depends...  Mama & Papa, Mom & Dad... or when very annoyed... Maaahhh, Pahhh...  Usually when speaking to them, Mama & Papa.  
My paternal doner we (my sibs & I) sometimes refer to (fondly) as "staretz" (elder) or "bifshiy protodiakon" (former protodeacon) or "ierey" (priest) but never batushka.  But then, we're not your typical PKs.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2004, 11:24:44 AM by ania » Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
Donna Rose
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2004, 08:13:09 PM »

Ah, thanx for the info all! Smiley
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hmmmm...
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