January 5th, 2010

Russian words for family members

Very simple: I just need some English words translated to Russian for one of my characters. I've tried Googling, but most of what's available in the area of translation and dictionaries are in Cyrillic, and...I can't really use that. (I also don't trust most internet language sites, due to inaccuracies.) Along with the words below, I'd also like to know if there's an endearing term a mother or grandmother might use for a young son/grandson. The boy's name is Brandon (he has an American father, so that's where that came from), he's about nine years old and very intelligent, living with both maternal grandparents and his mother. They live in Moscow and this takes place in present times (2004, exactly), if that helps. I've looked in the tags as well, and couldn't find what I'm after.

What I need:

Grandfather (and familiar variations)
Grandmother (I know "babushka", but that seems formal--are there other variations a young child is likely to use?)
Hello (I've been told there are many variations on this, based on to whom a person is speaking and how familiar they are. Specifically, I need a greeting in person to an unfamiliar person, a greeting in person to a familiar person, and a greeting in answering the telephone)

I also need:

"Don't tell your grandfather."

Thanks for any help. I'll probably need some more in the future :)

Edit: I think I've got what I need now! Thanks, guys :D
nick cave

Contacting the dead in 1910s England

Setting: London, UK, 1916-1925

Situation: My MC (a young, educated, unmarried woman from the upper middle classes) is attempting to contact a dead writer in the hope that his spirit will help her complete his unfinished stories.

Googled: Any and every variation on Edwardian/postwar mediums/psychics, contacting the dead, automatic writing.

The problem: I can find a lot about the general existence of mediums in the 1900s, but none of it is particularly detailed: what would these visits involve? How large a group would be present for a single seance? Could I have my MC and the medium in a one-on-one session, or would that be unrealistic? How accurate is the stereotypical image of people holding hands around a rocking table? How much would a trip to a medium cost?

Relatedly, I've read that mediums/psychics became extremely popular after WWI and that their activities were the topic of serious scientific study - would there be any kind of social stigma attached to visiting a medium, beyond generally thinking the MC was superstitious and a bit of a flake? 

Any help would be appreciated beyond belief


Lifethreatening infection/septicaemia/MRSA/something nasty after shrapnel injuries.

Setting: A roughly modern fantasy world. If it makes a difference, these events are taking place in a hot, dry climate, though the character is near a major river delta when he's first wounded.

I’ve searched:  “blood poisoning, shrapnel” “septicaemia, shrapnel” “MRSA wound” “infected wounds” and every variation I can think of, and I’ve consulted Little Details before. My research has helped, but I just want to be sure I'm getting this right.

This is a follow-up to this post,on giving a character a potentially fatal infection from a wound, while still keeping him functional for a time.   Back then, when this part of the story was still in the planning stages, I thought I wanted the situation to play out over a much longer period of time; now, it’s more like ten days or so.  And while I always meant the kitteh character’s life to be in danger, I used to think there was no need to have him actually at death’s door when I  swooped in with the healing phlebotinum. I now cannot fathom this: of COURSE he should be at death’s door!

I think the contracted time-scale actually helps with plausibility.  But another change may be more of a problem - back then, I imagined that the kitteh character, who is a fugitive, would receive no professional medical attention at all. Now he  actually has two rounds of access to medical treatment – once when he’s just been injured, and later, in another country, when he’s very ill indeed. Despite this, I need him to not get better.

So I thought “Well, I’ll just write what I want to happen, using the information I have (from the last post), and finish the story, and polish it up later.” and polishing it up is the stage I’m at now.

The character is a fugitive in his early 30s, This may be relevant in that we may assume their bugs are at different stages of resistance to antibiotics, or something – but I’d prefer to have this feel like something that could happen in the real world.  I described him as otherwise healthy before, but if necessary he could be physically run down – he’s been living a gruelling sort of life.
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