Author Topic: Privacy in Russia  (Read 7734 times)

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Privacy in Russia
« on: July 17, 2011, 07:46:02 PM »
It is no surprise that the word “privacy” is one of the most difficult words to translate.
Let's talk about the concept of privacy in Russian culture, and the word "privacy" in Russian.

Standards of privacy often concerned.

[b]Touching[/b] is very important and NOT acceptable in formal settings especially between the members of the opposite sex and would be probably viewed as unwarranted familiarity. If you accedentally touched someone, you must appologise. As a rule, handshakes are more typical for men than for women (not at all usually) though presently more and more business and professional women follow the suit of shaking hands. In general, even women in professional settings are treated more gallantly than in the West where women might take it as a sign of gender discrimination. In Russia, if a lady is getting off the bus, it is impolite not to offer a hand but usually to the ones you know or wish to know.  )

There is no word for 'privacy' in Russian language; therefore the notion of social space is much closer in Russia.

Until very recently, Russian had no single word for privacy. At the present time the word "[b]privatnost'[/b]" is used primarily in legal language, and not in everyday conversation. The adjective "private" could always be translated either as "chastnyi" (applied most often to business, property, or to an individual operating on his or her own, outside of an organization), or "lichnyi," "personal."

"Lichnyi" is common in conversational Russian, for example "Stay out of this, it's my personal (lichnyi) business!" In the nineteenth century, the word "privatnyj," a calque from French, was used to contrast with the word "kazennyi" meaning "belonging to the state." In contemporary conversational Russian, a complaint about the lack of privacy—say, in a dormitory, where you can't invite guests so that nobody knows about it—can sound like this "I have no private/personal (lichnyi) life." At the same time the five-volume History of Private Life (1987-91; in French as Historie de la vie privée; 1985-87) by Airès and Duby, devoted to the evolution of privacy as a cultural phenomenon, is called in Russian "A History of Private (chastnyi) Life."

In the Russian language of the Soviet period these two words were in opposition: "chastnyi" was pejorative, in contrast to "social/communal," while "lichnyi" (personal) was neutral. So, for example, in the Soviet period "personal property" was permissible, while "private property," when not altogether illegal, was subject to severe restrictions. "Private ownership of means of production" was illegal. To the extent that apartments, cars, or dachas were items of private use by their owners they were classified as "lichnyi" property; were they to be used for profit, they would likely transfer to the illegal category of "chastnyi" property. Means of production in a socialist society had to be owned communally (by the state).


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Privet! Privacy in Russia
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 09:41:42 PM »
When I first was learning Russian and received an email titled Privet!  I thought it was a sensitive private message.  Private!

I never received a message titled "Lichnyi!"  :)

« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 09:43:58 PM by Admiral_Kolchak »