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Kamchatka: peninsula or desk?

There is an выражение (expression) in Russia that will please students from the задняя парта (back row) – Kamchatka.

The Geography Class

But let’s start with a bit of geography. You know that Полуостров Камчатка (Kamchatka Peninsula) is situated in the Russian Far East and one of the most beautiful places of Евразия (Eurasia). And one of the most удаленное место (remote place) too.

The Russian Class

But Камчатка is also the name given to the парта (back row desk) in the classroom. In Russia, like everywhere in the world, these seats are usually the favourite ones for the less старательный (diligent) and прилежный (assiduous) students.

And of course, a student who takes place at this desk, can be sure the teacher will address him with this reproach: “Ты опять сел на Камчатку?” (Again you sat in Kamchatka?).

Камчатка is also the name given to the student who sits on this place: “Эй, камчатка, повтори!(Hey, Kamchatka, repeat!)


The Grammar Class

You might wonder why we use the preposition “На” instead of “В” in the expression: “Сидеть на Камчатке(Sitting in Kamchatka).

Well, as a rule, names of страны (countries) are preceded by the preposition “В”, while names of острова (islands) and полуострова (peninsulas), горы (mountains) or реки (rivers) and озера (lakes) are preceded by the preposition “На”. For example отдыхать на озере Байкал (to have a holiday on the lake Baikal).

And you, are you a камчатка reading this post while “сидеть на камчатке?