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Russian words of French origin and vice.versa
From Moscow, Cameron Sawyer writes: "The Napoleonic Wars gave the French the word bistro as a reminder of the rude, conquering Russian officers who demanded quick service in French cafes. Bystro means quick in Russian. Russian, in turn, got sheramiz avat , meaning to beg. Hardly any Russian today knows it, but this word comes from the French phrase cher ami . The starving, freezing French soldiers, retreating in disarray after the defeat at Borodino, would knock at the doors of Russian farmhouses and implore the farmers for food, crying: cher ami!".
It would be interesting to know how the farmers treated these dear friends. Napoleon's invasion of Russia was a classical example of a military expedition which began gloriously but ended in disaster. Hitler did not learn the lesson. Have military planners generally?
Ronald Hilton - 10.27.03