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I am looking for a valid translation of the word meeting. According to Wikipedia,

In a meeting, two or more people come together to discuss one or more topics, often in a formal setting.

This is indeed the meaning I assume. However if I just switch to the Russian version of this Wikipedia article, I get собрание which one doesn't normally apply to a business meeting.

Since I only worked in international companies, I am not used to saying anything but simply митинг, which is of course wrong—the Russian word implies a political/social event content with numerous participants. One would not call a one-to-one meeting a митинг.

So what is the word I should use when telling my Russian-speaking wife that I have a meeting at 6 pm and will therefore be late?

7

I would use "встреча" in your particular case.

У меня сегодня встреча - I've got a meeting today

Я опаздываю на встречу - I'm getting late for a meeting

That's a commonly used word which means just when people meet to discuss something or just to chat. It is usually used for formal meetings, but can also mean a personal meeting, for example, "встреча с другом" (meeting a friend). But as a noun, it never means a rendez-vous. However, as reflexive verb (встречаться) it often means "to date".

  • You wouldn't want to use встреча when explaining meeting to your wife (!) as it also means "to date". – fukanchik Apr 8 '16 at 22:00
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    @fukanchik, I tend to disagree. A standard Russian term for a date is свидание. Встрачаться с кем-то indeed means to date someone. But I have never heard the word встреча in the meaning you mention—unless one wants to obscure things. – texnic Apr 9 '16 at 8:13
  • consider: Я встречаюсь с этой девушкой => I am dating this girl – fukanchik Apr 9 '16 at 22:14
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    It should be "деловая встреча " at least to refer to business. – V.V. Apr 11 '16 at 4:15
  • @fukanchik the word date has many meanings as well, does your wife often misunderstand it? – J-mster Apr 13 '16 at 6:48
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A short everyday meeting to discuss some pressing matters in a face-to-face talk would be планёрка.

A more serious meeting, like the one to define a middle-term strategy, would be совещание.

A formal meeting, with minutes and a chair and stuff like that, would be собрание or заседание.

A meeting between people who don't work together (like a sales meeting or a social meeting) which does't involve strict protocol and lots of participants would be деловая встреча (or just встреча).

  • As usual :) Thanks. I'll accept the answer by @Guest though because he is just starting and also because he answered my specific question rather than enlightening us on the whole topic :) – texnic Apr 9 '16 at 8:16
  • @texnic, Guest is unregistered so the points go to waste. And surely it is valuable to explain the subtleties and nuances. – ghostarbeiter Apr 10 '16 at 8:47
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  1. Летучка - an extraordinary meeting (usually a short one)
  2. Планёрка - casual "everyday" meeting (usually in the morning)
  3. Собрание - a meeting of the whole team (usually about some common questions)
  4. Совещание - a meeting at the boss's office
  5. Вызов на ковёр (common joke) - when your boss wants to rebuke to talk to you particularly at his office

So what is the word I should use when telling my Russian-speaking wife that I have a meeting at 6 pm and will therefore be late?

A funny story about business meetings:

Мальчик: Сегодня учительница читала сказку, которая начиналась так: «В некотором царстве, в некотором государстве…» Почему это?
Отец: Потому что все сказки начинаются так.
Мать: Не все! Некоторые сказки начинаются со слов: «Сегодня вечером у нас важное совещание».

Boy: Today my teacher read a fairytale which begins with the words: "Once upon a time". Why so?
Father: All fairytales begin this way.
Mother: Not all. Some tales begin with the words: "This evening we have an important business meeting".

  • Совещание - a meeting at the boss's office. - I disagree. It can also mean regular team meeting and has nothing to do with the presence of the boss. – InitK Apr 8 '16 at 18:45
  • @InitK Then I'd rather say "производственное совещание". But it's quite rare anyway. – Matt Apr 8 '16 at 19:13
  • +1 for the story. My wife really liked it ))) – texnic Apr 9 '16 at 8:10
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It's better to use word "совещание" instead of "собрание". "Cовещание" presumes discussion and exchange of opinions, while"собрание" could be more like "assembly" (when everyone is gathered to listen to some presentation).

СОВЕЩАНИЕ, -я; ср. 1. к Совещаться. После короткого совещания было решено ехать в обход. Устроили с., как действовать дальше. 2. Заседание с целью совместного обсуждения чего-л. Всероссийское, международное с. Выступить на совещании. В совещании участвовать. К совещанию готовиться.

"заседание" can also be used, but it sounds too formal to my ear.

2

In IT sphere, since we work for Europe and USA, we often do online meetings with our foreign colleagues and as sad as it sounds, we call it "митинг".

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I am a native Russian, a physicist. The answer is, of course, "совещание", especially if more than 2 people participate. Планёрка, летучка are 2 outdated words introduced in the early 20th century, by now they are all but extinct. The word 'митинг' has been introduced, in order to indicate a political gathering, in the Russian language in the years of WW1 and revolution of 1917. Now, the language keeps changing. The infamous 'митинг' has returned as a "business meeting" in the last 15 years, along with many words borrowed from the English language (like "босс").

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планёрка, совещание, Летучка, Собрание are all very Soviet sounding and outdated, which is why modern Russian business people don't like to use them.

'митинг' is NOT just for political / social context at all, and applies perfectly well to business meeting. I hear this used more often than all the above, which sound very archaic now. And as many Russians take their business language from English anyway, there is nothing wrong with it.

We hear Russians saying "Business Lunch" all the time, so the addition of "Business" ( ie Business meeting) wouldn't sound strange at all, if you wanted to make it clear it was about business.

However, with the social and political regression taking place in Russia at the moment, it's quite possible that the old Soviet terms might come back into use, as Putin's TV channels continue to brainwash their population that all that is Western is bad. In which case, you may attend your планёрка, совещание, Летучка, Собрание, with pleasure.

  • Agree. In our company we call meeting митинг. – naXa Apr 9 '16 at 23:38

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