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Thread: what does чем маешся mean?

  1. #1
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    what does чем маешся mean?

    Someone sent it to me in a message as a question. He/She said "ты из России,чем маешся?" I looked for an English translation for маешся and can't find it.

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    This means Чем ты занимаешься? -- Literally, "With what are you busying yourself?" -- which is the normal Russian way of asking "Whatcha doin'?" or "What are you up to?", etc.

    So, чем 'маешся is a super-slangy way of saying it, just as when English speakers say "Ahmanna-Gitzm lunch" instead of "I am going to get some lunch."

    It's best to respond honestly -- "я иностранец" (m.) or "я иностранка" (f.). A few Russians will respond rudely to this and make jokes about stupid foreigners, but MOST Russians will be very helpful and will address you in standard, grammatically proper Russian, instead of using slang that's confusing to beginners.

    ЗЫ: I'm curious to know how many Russians have heard "Ahmanna-Gitzm" from English speakers!
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

  3. #3
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    So, чем 'маешся is a super-slangy way of saying it, just as when English speakers say "Ahmanna-Gitzm lunch" instead of "I am going to get some lunch."
    There is a verb "маяться" (the word маятник probably comes from it) and expression "дурью маяться" (to do nothing).

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Маешься is present second person single of маяться, which means literally "to suffer of some boring activity".

    P.S. Don't listen to Throbert, his imagination is too irrepressible.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    D'oh!

    But at least I learned a new word from this embarrassing experience: маяться

    On second thought, make that TWO new words: also маятник, which means "pendulum." Actually, I'm sure I've learned that word before, but then forgot it, because I rarely have an occasion to talk about pendulums in any language...

    (According to wikipedia, Edgar Allen Poe's famous short story "The Pit and the Pendulum" is called in Russian "Колодец и маятник" -- колодец being, usually, a "well" from which you get water.)

    Anyway, the meaning of the noun маятник makes the verb маяться easier to remember -- if you can imagine being so bored that you're watching a pendulum for entertainment!
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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