• Yelena McCafferty

Where brands connect

Updated: Feb 21

It’s no longer striking to see Russian brands borrowing foreign words to stand out among competitors on Moscow’s cosmopolitan horizon. Take Стейк Хаус Бутчер, for example; true to its name it is indeed a steak house with an appealing name Butcher to reflect its speciality. Incidentally, I did pay a visit there on my most recent trip to Russia and the food didn't disappoint.

Бутчер translates into Russian as Butcher

The restaurant nextdoor to it, however, went a different way of looking Western by using Latin characters to write its name – Probka (on Tsvetnoy). If you translate it into Russian, it can mean a cork or a traffic jam; it’s one of those inspiring brands which make customers wonder, keep them guessing and make jokes about it perhaps.

Owners say the Russian name Probka comes from a wine cork.

I also came across a few brands which use a mixture of Russian and Latin characters. One of them is a restaurant called Бараshка. A name, which can be translated as Baa-lamb, makes a clever use of sh instead of ш.

You don't need to translate brands into Russian to look Western.

Another butcher’s shop, Farш, pursues the opposite strategy: rather than write Farsh (in Russian – mince) all in Latin characters, the last letter is in Russian – ш (pronounced as sh).

This name translates into Russian as mince.

Have you seen an interesting Russian brand? Add a comment!

[Tip: if you are a Russian brand with an interesting name/story and wish to be featured in our blog, please email us enquiry@talkrussian.com or call: +44 (0) 207 0436940.]


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