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Monasteries, eyeliner, and poverty Posted by on May 18, 2022

monastery

Today is a deep dive into one Russian verb. Recently one of my students and I were casually talking about ways to express in English that you “подвёл кого–то” (as in ‘to let someone down’) when it dawned on me that I don’t know why we use “подводить” in that sense in Russian. What I…

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Stars of the stage: Russian opera through several interpretations Posted by on May 11, 2022

Russian opera is and has been legendary for well over a century. In invite you to get acquainted with some legendary известные ру́сские о́перные исполни́тели through some of the roles they are most known for: А́нна Нетре́бко – «Русла́н и Людми́ла» Михаи́ла Гли́нки Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) was the first Russian composer to gain notoriety at…

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A very polite hedgehog Posted by on Apr 19, 2022

hedgehog

If you are новичок, this blog is for you. If you are an advanced student or a native Russian speaker, this blog is also for you. How? Simple. The answer is ёжик. Или точнее, очень вежливый ёжик. As Russians like to say “Повторение — мать учения“.. For those of you new to Russian language, use…

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Some Russian riddles to celebrate spring Posted by on Apr 15, 2022

Spring is finally here. After a long and snowy winter, seeing some цветы́ is a great relief, even if it is still a bit too cold and wet to actually enjoy being outside for a long period of time. However, the sad, gray landscape during this time starts to be dotted by tiny hints of…

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Russian malaphors? Posted by on Mar 28, 2022

puppy in hay

I have recently came across English malaphors – unique and often hilarious mix of idioms, aphorisms, or clichés. The one I saw was “Let’s burn that bridge when we get to it”. It is остроумно, and, as my mom noted, a poster that belongs in a divorce lawyer’s office. Of course, having chuckled at a…

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A bridge between cultures in a time of war? Posted by on Mar 25, 2022

The life of Серге́й Параджа́нов Sergei Parajanov, an infamous director who lived and worked in the Soviet Union, would have made a plot worthy of a movie in itself: ethnically Armenian, he was born in Tbilisi, now Georgia, in 1924, quit engineering school to study voice in the conservatory, then later, enchanted by the world…

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Cat Stepan is safe Posted by on Mar 18, 2022

ukraine

Even if you did not know who cat Stepan is before this blog, я уверена вы не останетесь равнодушным к этому полюбившемуся по всему миру котику из Украины. Here’s a little fanmade Youtube compilation of some of Stepan’s videos, in case you have missed them: Grammar note: “я уверена вы не останетесь равнодушным к этому…

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