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How to Talk Like a Russian Diplomat

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Слышь: Yo! I'm talking to you!

Not every diplomat can become an overnight “хит интернета” (Internet hit) after just one speech at the United Nations. That honor goes to Vladimir Safronkov, deputy permanent representative from Russia, who publicly took to task Mathew Rycroft, the U.K. Ambassador to the U.N. last week.

The brouhaha was not because one delegate yelled at another delegate — that happens dozens of times every day. And it wasn’t because of the nature of Safronkov’s accusations —everyone has heard Russia’s version of the Syrian war a million times. No, the скандал (scandal) was over the way Safronkov spoke to his esteemed British colleague. Officially it was called достаточно жестко (sufficiently harsh). Unofficially it was called everything from грубое панибратство (crude over-familiarity) to приблатнённое хамство (obnoxious thug slang). In........

© The Moscow Times