Olga Khazan has an amusing account in The Atlantic of going to Russia and trying to use her very rusty native language. I enjoyed it, of course, but one section requires amendment, since she doesn’t seem to have quite understood what was going on:
We’re sitting in a cafe with my cousin, who has lived in Leningrad/Saint Petersburg her entire life. She is offering Rich more food. He says, “I’m full” in English, and I try to teach him the words for “I’m full” in Russian, because I enjoy feeling smarter than others.
“Sut,” I say—full—remembering a word from childhood refusals to eat more buckwheat kasha. There’s no English letter for the “u” sound there, but it resembles the noise you’d make if you experienced a tremendous blow to the stomach.
“Sit,” he says.
I look at my cousin, who is turning red. “Actually,” she tells me in Russian, “that word can mean something else.”
Apparently the word I had been broadcasting to the entire restaurant is prison slang for “pissing from fright.”
“Ya nayelsa,” my cousin tells Rich gently. I have eaten enough.
I’m pretty sure there’s no such slang meaning for сытый [sytyi] ‘satisfied, replete, full’ (of which the short form is сыт [syt]); what her cousin was trying to tell her was that she was saying it wrong, leaning on the initial /s/ so that it sounded like ссыт [ssyt], the third person singular of the (very vulgar, but not slang) verb ссать ‘to piss; to be very afraid.’ I’m pretty sure if you pronounce сыт correctly, you don’t have to worry about the people at nearby tables looking askance at you. But of course if I’m getting it wrong, I hope my Russian-speaking readers will correct me. (Thanks for the link, Bathrobe!)