Archive for September, 2010

Are There Too Many Letters in Russian Alphabet? Posted by on Sep 27, 2010

What’s this, you ask? Well, this is Russian alphabet. Or rather, this was the old Russian alphabet used in times of Peter the Great. Letters in blue have been discarded by 1800. Letters in red were killed off or exiled in 1918. The remaining 33 letters form the present-day Russian alphabet. When I was little…

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Russian Fairy Tales from A to Z – Part 2 Posted by on Sep 24, 2010

«У Лукоморья дуб зелёный…» – do you know the rest by heart yet? One of the most famous lines from Alexandr Pushkin’s opening to “Ruslan and Lyudmila” does not translate very well into English. “There grows a green oak in Lookomorie…” somehow doesn’t sound nearly as magical, don’t you think? Yes, I’m back with…

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Fear not, it’s only Participles! Or: Ryan’s Guest Post Posted by on Sep 21, 2010

It is truly an honor for me – your ‘wonderful hostess’ (I do love compliments like that!) – to introduce this month’s guest blogger: Ryan Perkins! Ryan is a student starting his third year of college level Russian at University of Oregon. He got into Russian in high school when his choir was practicing the…

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Reading “Мастер и Маргарита”: Chapter 14 Posted by on Sep 17, 2010

It looks like we haven’t talked about Master and Margarita for a while. «Приступим к четырнадцатой главе» [Let’s get to Chapter 14] . It is intense and sinister, don’t you think? Yet there are also quite a few «юмористические моменты» [comical episodes] that can make even the most serious reader smile. Here also we encounter…

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Enter the Wondrous World of «Синтаксис» [Syntax] Posted by on Sep 15, 2010

Almost a long time ago now, we had a post called Russian Grammar – «по-русски!» [in Russian!]. It explored what different «части речи» [parts of speech] are called in Russian and also tried to explain «почему?» [why?] a verb is called «глагол», a noun «существительное» and an adverb «наречие». Today I’m not asking you to…

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Russian Fairy Tales From A to Z – Part 1 Posted by on Sep 13, 2010

For the past couple of months we’ve been concentrating heavily on just one book – Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. How about we switch gears for now and take a short break from the novel. I’m inviting you «в гости к сказке» [to visit fairy tale land]. Let’s start with the beginning. Russian fairy tale land…

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Hooray, There are No Articles in Russian! Posted by on Sep 10, 2010

There is a good Russian saying «чем дальше в лес, тем больше дров» [lit: the further one gets into the forest, the more firewood there is] that means the further in, the more complicated things get. Russians have lots of modern-day endings to this saying – funny, silly, and yes, some are rude. I’ll…

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