Благодарить (to thank) is one of the Russian language’s most beautiful words. If you take it apart, it is дарить благо (to give the gift of a blessing), which is, you must agree, a remarkable way to thank someone.
Another beautiful word is спасибо (thank you), which is a conflation of спаси Бог (may God save you), which is also, you must agree, another remarkable way to thank someone.
That said, if you look at Russian folklore, over the ages the people who lived on Russian lands were a bit jaded about thank you’s. On the one hand: Великое слово: спасибо. (Thank you is a majestic word.) On the other hand: Спасибо за пазуху не положишь. (“Thank you” can’t feed the family, literally “you can’t put ‘thanks’ in your pocket.”)
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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