So this week we’ve been talking about memorable mistakes I’ve made when speaking Russian (heaven knows I make too many to count) that made for amusing exchanges.
So when I was in Ukraine last summer my friend was asking me about my state that I live in. I was talking about how it’s very dry where I live. He was very interested in the wildlife where I live so I was talking about how we have a lot of оленей (deer), медведей (bears) and пантер (cougars) in the mountains.
He then asked if we had клещи (ticks). I said, “Нет, у нас нет таких. Но у нас много ядерных пауков”. I thought I was saying, “No, we don’t have ticks. But we have a lot of POISONOUS spiders”. But I was saying, “We have a lot of nuclear spiders.”
My friend laughed at my mix-up and said, “Аааа ты имеешь в виду ЯДОВИТЫЕ пауки. Наверно ядерные пауки только есть в Чернобле.” (Ahhh, you mean POISONOUS spiders. Probably they only have nuclear spiders in Chernobl.)