I wish I could tell you that all these dumb mistakes that I’ve been telling you about this week happened long long ago when I was first learning Russian. But that would be a lie.
This is another one of those nasty mix-ups that comes when you use the wrong word stress. To say a little bit of water you emphasize -i-, водИчки.
Today’s mistake I made just last summer when I was staying with Pasha’s family in Kiev.
Let me first explain that I am a Mormon. Yes, a Mormon like Mitt Romney. And in accordance with our religion we don’t do drugs, we don’t smoke, we don’t drink alcohol or even coffee and tea. So Pasha’s family had known me for 7 years and knew that I DO NOT drink alcohol EVER.
So you can imagine their surprise when I came home one night and they stopped me in the doorway and asked, “Джейни, кушать будешь?” “Janey, do you want to eat?” I refused. But then added, “Ну, можно стакан ВОДички, пить сильно хочется”. They laughed. It’s a good thing I was among friends. Had I been among people who didn’t know me well and knew what I meant I may have ended up VERY drunk because I put the emphasis on the wrong syllable and was asking for a glass of vodka.