Site Feedback

Resolved questions
у тёщи на блинах

There's this restaurant in Saint Petersburg called "У тёщи на блинах" that all the travel shows visit out of habit. I have tried to translate the title but it doesn't make any sense at all. Could someone translate this for me literally word-by-word, because I've never seen this kind of construction before.


For learning: Russian
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:


    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Where? Где? У тещи- At a mother-in-law's place
    Where?Где? На блинах. The construction is the same as "at a birthday party"
    "на дне рождения".
    In Russian it makes sense, it means a place, a party (not a surface) where a mother-in-law serves the yummiest blini.
    For example,
    Where were you yesterday?-Где ты был вчера?
    У тещи на блинах.-I had blini at my mother-in-law's place.

    something like:
    сome to mother-in-law to eat pancakes.


    The construction У меня, у тебя etc. means not only I have, you have, etc., it means also my, mine, your, yours etc.
    So У тёщи на блинах means (my) mother-in-law's blini party. Compare У меня на работе проблемы. There are problems at my job. У тёщи на дне рождении было много гостей. There were a lot of guests on my mother-in-law's birthday party.

    There are a few left words: [в гостях] у тёщи на блинах. It means “visiting mother-in-law for pancakes”. Expression «на + a dish» is common for Russian:
    — Приходи ко мне на чай — come to me for tea.

    Construction «У + a person» is common too. As guys above mentioned it means “at someone's activity”, at my friend party, at my mother's birthday and so on. You can use both and full translation «на вечернинке моего друга», and truncate version «у моей мамы» if the reason of gathering is obvious and it's not a point. Thus now you know why there used shorter form for the title of the café. Because the reason of coming to mother-in-low it's not a great deal, more importantly is that she served you with pancakes :) I guess that café's main dish is pancakes.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.