I was going
to title this node, "How Russians Answer The Phone
," but I realized that my experience was far too limited
to really know how all -- or even most Russians answer the phone
I do, however, know more than my share of Moscow teenagers, and how they answer the phone in American households.
They answer the phone like this:
Moscow Teenager: Yes?
Nonplussed Caller:Uh... I might have the wrong number... I'm looking for so-and-so.
(So-and-so gets on line)
Nonplussed Caller, relieved:Oh, I thought I had dialed wrong.
Let me assure you that any attempt to teach the Moscow Teenager to answer the telephone with "Hello? / Who is this please? / One moment, I'll get her" will utterly fail.
I believe this to be more of a cultural difference than a language difference, because, even in Russian, Moscow Teenagers seem to get started on the phone with "Da?" (Yes) rather than "Zdraste" (informal Hello).