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The Elusive "Avos'"!

The other day my friend Annaliese and I for some reason were chatting about driving in different countries, and I mentioned that I would never sit behind the wheel in Russia. "Why," she asked? "Well, it's because in Russia, everyone can just easily do silly things like playing chicken with a car in the opposite lane because they rely on..." And then I stopped talking, realizing that I was unable to translate into English the word that I had on my mind. "They rely on avos'," I finished and was met with with a blank and funny stare of incomprehension. So, I went on a mission. On a linguistic mission.

It has always fascinated me how different languages often have words that simply cannot be translated into other languages because such a concept does not exist in other languages. Which means that we literally see the world around us differently! Anyhow, I did some research on "avos'" - in case you are still interested. "Avos'" is a noun which means "blind trust in mere luck", or "a hope and a trust in help from God or supernatural forces even though the reasons for success are few". For example "A student who hasn’t learned his subject still goes to the exam putting his hope in avos’. A criminal who is robbing a shop thinks, “Avos’ I won't get caught!”. A husband who has had a drink or two comes home, hoping that “avos’ the wife won’t notice”. Anglers walk on an ice-covered river in the spring, hoping that “avos’ the ice won’t break’."

So, there you go, such an elusive yet omnipresent "Avos'"!


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