November 01, 2019

Baby, It's Cold Inside

Baby, It's Cold Inside

Every autumn, Russians stop worrying about the economy, international relations, looming ecological disasters or even their kids’ grades. They only have one question: Когда начнётся отопительный сезон!? (When are they going to turn on the heat?)

In English, turning up the temperature is pretty easy: you use the verb “heat” for everything from raising room temperatures to serving leftovers and even to getting overexcited. In Russian — not so easy.

The verb pair отапливать/отопить is what you use for heating structures, from the mighty to the flighty. Большинство жителей отапливают дома буржуйками. (Most of the residents heat their homes with pot-bellied stoves.) Началась посадка в самолёт — на этот раз он был отапливаемый. (Boarding began for the plane, which was heated this time).

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