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Things That Don’t Go Together in Russian Cuisine Posted by on Jun 10, 2019


I recently attended a conference in Italy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the advice the locals gave us on following the culinary conventions, such as no cappuccino after 11 AM. This inspired me to write this post, which will look at some food-related “taboos” in Russia. This is all in good humo{u}r, and, of course, not…

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10 Fun Facts for Russian Language Day Posted by on Jun 6, 2019

people sitting in an auditorium

June 6 marks Russian Language Day (День ру́сского языка́). This date was chosen because that’s when Alexander Pushkin (Алекса́ндр Пу́шкин) was born — a writer and poet credited with shaping contemporary Russian (совреме́нный ру́сский язы́к) by blending the “high” literary genres with the vernacular. To mark this occasion, let me share ten fun facts about…

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What Do You Call Young People in Russian? Posted by on Jun 3, 2019

three young women

There are several ways of referring to young people in Russian, some more informal than others. This post will help you learn some common ones and when each is normally used. Де́вушка This popular word refers to a young woman. Note that де́вушка should not be confused with де́вочка, girl. Unlike in English, where calling…

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Kolyma: Russian Documentary About Arctic Siberia and Stalin’s Repressions Posted by on May 28, 2019

Sergey Korolev's mugshot

Something that’s been widely discussed on the Russian Internet (руне́т) is a recent documentary (документа́льный фильм) by Yuri Dud’ called Kolyma — Birthplace of Our Fear (“Колыма́ — ро́дина на́шего стра́ха“). This film features footage from Northeastern Siberia and interviews with people whose families were affected by Stalinist repressions. The film was created by Yuri…

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Gotta Do What You Gotta Do, or Expressing Obligation in Russian Posted by on May 23, 2019

neon sign saying "you need coffee"

Most learners of Russian will remember the word до́лжен (have to) for talking about your obligations. It may be trickier to remember other expressions. Let’s review some ways of expressing obligation in Russian. Должна́ The following short adjectives mean “owe” or “have to”: должна́ (feminine) должно́ (neuter) до́лжен (masculine) должны́ (plural) These words are related…

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Russian News: Protests Against Church Construction in Yekateriburg Posted by on May 20, 2019

city view with an Orthodox church

You might have read in the news that residents of the city of Yekaterinburg are protesting the construction of a church in place of a park, and it’s even come to clashes with the police. Let’s look at some of the background and coverage of this situation. Where is this again? Yekaterinburg, Екатеринбу́рг in Russian…

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White Walkers and Horcruxes, or How to Talk About Fantasy in Russian Posted by on May 16, 2019

rail viaduct

Even if you are not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, it seems like these days you can barely avoid Game of Thrones spoilers or Lord of the Rings references. These genres and the associated subcultures have a following in Russian-speaking countries, too. This post will include some famous fantasy names—in Russian! Властели́н коле́ц—Lord…

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