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Spelling and Abbreviating Bulky Words in Russian Posted by on Mar 14, 2019

mason jar with Russian label

Thanks to their numerous prefixes, suffixes, and endings, Russian words can be pretty long. In addition, the “morphology principle of spelling” (морфологи́ческий при́нцип правописа́ния) dictates that we spell Russian word roots consistently, even if they are pronounced differently in related words. Think of го́род (city) vs. города́ (cities). If they were spelled phonetically, they would…

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3 March Political Anniversaries in Russia Posted by on Mar 7, 2019


I follow several Russian news outlets and commentators on social media, and this past week has been filled with anniversaries having to do with politics. As much as I love Russian party games or quirky memes, I realize that many “Russia aficionados,” especially abroad, are more interested in and familiar with Russian history and politics.…

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Why a Sportswear Ad Campaign Blew Up in Russia Posted by on Feb 28, 2019

female weightlifter

We are now hitting the “gender” holiday season in Russia. Defender of the Fatherland on February 23 is usually seen as “men’s day,” and March 8 is International Women’s Day. Incidentally, a recent ad campaign by Reebok has started a heated debate—and backlash—around the subject of gender roles, feminism, and appropriate behavio(u)r. A couple of warnings…

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3 Slang Sayings About Broken Dreams in Russian Posted by on Feb 19, 2019


Russian has a few fun sayings for talking about getting your hopes up—and getting them crushed. Let’s look at three of them with examples and explanations. 1. Гу́бы раската́ть Гу́бы is the plural of губа́, lip. Раската́ть is related to ката́ть and means “to roll out.” So, all together, this saying means “to roll out…

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What’s Considered a Healthy Diet in Russia Posted by on Feb 12, 2019

hot peppers

With obesity being a worldwide problem, people are talking about the importance of eating healthy. However, it often comes up during cross-cultural encounters that different cultures have different ideas of what makes a healthy diet. Even though it’s impossible to generalize the preferences of an entire country, there are some common themes that come up…

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