Oddly enough, one of the most common questions I get about my novel Transient has nothing to do with the plot or characters. On a somewhat regular basis, I receive a message asking “What does [some Russian phrase] mean?” For anyone needing a non-spoiler explanation, the sociopolitical environment of Transient involves a heavy reliance on Russian for greetings and other common phrases. Think of it like the blended usage of Mandarin in Firefly and Serenity. And if you still have no idea what I’m talking out, then you are making bad life choices.

I recently stumbled upon a translation page for all the Mandarin curses used in Firefly and Serenity. It then occurred to me that a Russian reference for Transient would be useful to readers. And so, I decided to share the exact list I constructed to aid in writing the book. Some of them may or may not appear in the published version, but I used all them at one point or another. Keep in mind that these are phonetic translations, as the Russian alphabet uses different characters.

In alphabetical order:

  • Ahueyet (WTF)
  • Blyat (Shit : used as an exclamation)
  • Bolshoe spasibo (Thank you very much)
  • Bozhe moi (OMG)
  • Bychit (Behave like a bull)
  • Da (Yes)
  • Dasvidania (Good bye)
  • Dobriy dyen (Good day)
  • Dobriy vecher (Good evening)
  • Dobroye utro (Good morning)
  • Droog (Friend)
  • Harasho (I’m fine)
  • Hooy na ny (No fucking way)
  • Izvinite (Sorry)
  • Kak dyela? (How are you?)
  • Mudak (Asshole)
  • Neechevo srashnava (No harm)
  • Neeploha (Not so bad)
  • Nyet (No)
  • Nyezashta (That’s all right)
  • Ohooiet (Holy fuck)
  • Ooveedeemsya (See you)
  • Otva li (Fuck off)
  • Paka (Bye-bye : informal)
  • Pazhalusta (You’re welcome)
  • Pizdec (Shit : used as an exclamation)
  • Prahsteetye (Sorry)
  • Privyet (Hi : informal)
  • Proschaite (Farewell)
  • Schasleevava pootee (Have a nice trip)
  • Shto? (What?)
  • Spakoyni nochi (Good night)
  • Spasibo (Thank you)
  • Suka blyat (Whore bitch : used as an exclamation)
  • Ty che blyad? (What the fuck?)
  • Udachi (Good luck)
  • Yobani vrot (Fucked in the mouth : used as an exclamation)
  • Za druzhbu (To friendship : a toast)
  • Za zdorovye (To health : a toast)
  • Zatknis (Shut up)
  • Zdrastvootie (Hello)