This Weekend It’s All About Her, in Russia

Posted on 04. Mar, 2015 by in Culture, language, Russian life

Despite all the political chaos that Russia seems to be afflicted with right now, most Russians will turn their attention away from politics this coming weekend. In Russia, March 8th  , which falls on a Sunday this year, is International Women’s Day. If you are not familiar with the origins of this holiday, I recommend searching for my post from last year.

This year, as an extension of this topic, I decided to come up with a list of expressions centered entirely around women. In Russia we have a saying “женщина любит ушами”. The literal translation of this saying is “a woman loves with her ears.” The saying implies that women like to hear compliments and nice things about themselves. 

We all have women in our lives who can use some nice words or compliments. If any of these women happen to be Russian, here is your chance to wow them with your new vocabulary!

Ты прекрасно выглядишь – You look wonderful

Ты выглядишь моложе своих лет – You look younger than you actually are

Тебе идет этот цвет – This color looks great on you

Мне нравится твоя прическа – I like your hairstyle 

У тебя прекрасное чувство вкуса – You have a great sense of style

Мне с тобой хорошо – I feel great when I am with you

У тебя заразительный смех – Your laughter is contagious 

Я готов провести с тобой вечность – I am ready to spend an eternity  with you

Я не могу на тебя насмотреться – I can’t stop looking at you

Я не могу отвести от тебя глаз – I can’t take my eyes off of you

У тебя очень загадочная улыбка – You have a very mysterious smile

Ты делаешь меня счастливым – You make me happy

Ты не перестаешь меня удивлять – You are full of surprises

У тебя прекрасное чувство юмора – You have a great sense of humor

Ты меня дополняешь – You complete me

С тобой легко разговаривать – You are easy to talk to

У нас с тобой много общего – We have a lot in common

Ты очень интересная личность – You are a very interesting person

After some practice, these should be pretty easy to put to good use :-).

Before you go, here is a short joke in Russian on the subject of… women :-).

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Всего хорошего!

High-Profile Political Assassinations in Russia

Posted on 02. Mar, 2015 by in News

The news of Boris Nemtsov’s (Бори́с Немцо́вnot BAWris NEMtsov) murder has shocked the Russian Internet. The former deputy premier was walking home from a Red Square restaurant when he was shot dead by an identified assailant.

The perpetrators are unknown, with theories ranging from the usual suspect — the current government (прави́тельство) — to external provocateurs (провока́торы) to disgruntled business partners (деловы́е партнёры). An opposition march (ше́ствие) that Nemtsov was helping organize was canceled, and a memorial march was held instead. I will let the readers make up their own minds about “whodunit” and invite you to look at some of the most famous political assassinations in Russia.

Alexander II

Emperor Alexander II of Russia is remembered domestically for freeing the serfs (отме́на крепостно́го пра́ва) and internationally for cracking down on Polish independence. Alexander II survived multiple assassination attempts before members of the Narodnaya Volya (Наро́дная во́ля) terrorist organization succeeded in carrying through a lethal bombing plot.

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky (Лев Тро́цкий) was the once-prominent member of the Bolshevik party and a statesman in the USSR’s first years. He was eventually ousted from power by his fellow partymen and expelled from the country. He ended up settling in Mexico, where he was assassinated on Stalin’s orders.

Anna Politkovskaya

Anna Politkovskaya (А́нна Политко́вская) was a journalist famous for criticizing Putin’s regime and the war in Chechnya. She gained fame for exposing government corruption in the 2000s and abuses by the military in Chechnya. Politkovskaya was found dead in the elevator of her apartment building, having been shot multiple times. The murder remains unsolved.

This list could, unfortunately, be expanded with many other names. Do any other stories come to mind?

Learning Russian through Music

Posted on 25. Feb, 2015 by in Culture, language, Russian song lyrics

When I was in the earlier stages of learning English, before I moved to the United States, finding easier ways to learn new words and phrases was pretty important. One of those ways was learning through music. When you hear a song you like, you can listen to it over and over again; at a certain point you start singing along; then before you know it you are ready to give it a go on your own. One of the most important things in this exercise is having the lyrics of the desired song. Fortunately, in this day and age lyrics are somewhat easy to find on the internet. With that in mind I decided to share some of my favorite songs with you and also give you some tips on how to look for Russian songs with lyrics on YouTube. I am not very big on Russian pop, so you will have to forgive me for lack of Russian pop references :-).

For example, here is what I put in to find one of my favorite songs (granted, I knew the name of the singer and the title but bear with me): Николай Носков это здорово текст

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Here is another one of my favorites (no lyrics though) but this independent video was shot years later by a student just because she wanted too :-). Группа Секрет Привет

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OK, maybe I will include one pop song, I do like it :-) This one is a remake of Алла Пугачева song which originally came out in 1978. Here is the original if you want to check it out.

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If you are trying to find lyrics for the song, put in the words текст (lyrics) or текст песни (song lyrics) after you type in the name of the song you are interested in.

If you don’t know what to look for, you can try looking by genre. In this case you can first put in the genre and some key words and then try to narrow it down by song. Here are a few choices:

русский рок - Russian rock

русская поп – Russian pop

русский рэп – Russian rap

русский металл – Russian metal

русский панк - Russian punk

русские народные песни – Russian folk songs

русский романс — Russian romance, a very distinctive genre of Russian music

русские шансон – Russian chanson, a pretty interesting genre if you don’t mind trying new things :-)

классическая музыка — classical music

лучшие (рок, рэп, поп, панк, и т.д.) группы России — best Russian (rock, rap, pop, punk, etc.) bands

русские песни – Russian songs

русская музыка – Russian songs

русские хиты Russian hits

альтернативная музыка – alternative music

новые песни – new songs

хиты - hits

попса – pop (colloquial)

лучшее - best

60-е - 60s

70-е - 70s

80-е - 80s

90-е - 90s

You can also put in a specific year (2012, 2014, etc.) I know, I know, Mrs. Obvious is my middle name :-).

If you are trying to find the official video for the song, put in клип or видео after the title.

Most newer songs have pretty good videos.

Here are some more of my favorites. Perhaps, some of you might like them too.

Song: Oсень with lyrics Band: ДДТ

Song: Не вешать нос from the movie Гардемарины Вперед Sorry, no text

Song: «А на последок я скажу…» from the movie “Cruel Romance,” a very Russian song in so many ways. Sorry, no text.

I encourage everyone to share their favorite Russian songs in the comment section. I believe it might help some readers navigate the deep waters of Russian music and perhaps find something new and exciting :-)

Всего хорошего!