Archive for August, 2010

Celebrating the First of September Posted by on Aug 30, 2010

I live 5 houses down from «начальная школа» [an elementary school]. It’s a pretty useless piece of trivia, except that every year since we moved into our house, I have had an acute case of «ностальгия» [nostalgia] at about this time of year. «Моя ностальгия – по Первому сентября» [I am nostalgic for the First…

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Same-Same but Different II: Homophones Posted by on Aug 28, 2010

Two days ago we discussed «омонимы» [pl. homonyms] here on our blog. As a part of that process I tried to be funny but was probably only silly when I used the popular phrase «гнать самогон» in a sentence so it wouldn’t mean «гнать самогон» as in ‘to distill moonshine’ – like it usually does…

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Same-Same but Different I: Homonyms Posted by on Aug 26, 2010

Not always can I in my gigantic, personal library with photographs from Russia find something that illustrates «точка в точку» [perfectly] the topic of the post. Then I do like this: pick a random pic and hope somehow it fits! This is «закат в городе Таре в Сибири осенью 2005 (две тысячи пятого) года» [a…

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The 200 ‘Rouble’ Question: Why is it «двести» and not «дваста»? Posted by on Aug 25, 2010

David Roberts is English, lives in Liverpool and has always loved languages but loved science even more, and that’s why he did Chemistry at University and worked for many years as a research chemist. He got vaguely interested in Russian when doing an optional subsidiary course on “Scientific Russian”, but didn’t get very far. Then several…

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Reading «Мастер и Маргарита»: Chapter 12 Posted by on Aug 24, 2010

Chapter 12 – «Явление героя» [“The Appearance of the Hero”, or an even better English translation might be: ”The Hero Appears”] – is where we, the readers of “Master & Margarita”, finally come to understand what the novel’s title means. In this chapter an enigmatic «гость» [mas. guest] comes into the room of «Иван Бездомный»…

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Learning Russian for Travel Posted by on Aug 20, 2010

So far summer 2010 hasn’t been the best for travel to Russia. In addition to the usual visa-related headache, we have a heat wave, drought, wildfires, hurricane-force winds, and low air quality because of all the fires. «Такое вот лето фиговое.» [Such rubbish summer.] A once-popular and often-cited line from an old song – «у природы нет плохой погоды» [nature…

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«Ненастоящие друзья» [False friends]: part II Posted by on Aug 18, 2010

Not everything in a foreign language is difficult. If you feel like calling the vehicle above «мотоцикл» [motorcycle] in Russian, then that’s okay and even correct. But that doesn’t mean you can go ahead and assume that a bicycle is «бицикл» in Russian because really the word for it is «велосипед» [bicycle]. Today’s post is…

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