In the Russian language there are several words that are used to convey the degree of familiarity you have with someone. Here are some of them:
Chuzhoy (чужой) – A stranger
Znakomiy (знакомый) – An acquaintance
Blizkiy Znakomiy (близкий знакомый) – A close acquaintance
Priyatel (приятель) – A close acquaintance
Droog (друг) – Friend
Tovarisch (товарищ) – Friend, business associate, slang, a bit old-school.
Blizkiy Drug (близкий друг) – Close friend
Svoy Chelovek (свой человек) – “Our person” -the closest degree
Now, the richness of the Russian language allows us to see how one must climb the ladder of familiarity in order to be a true friend. This takes time. Don’t give up. It’s worth the climb.
Originally published on June 21st, 2014