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Archive for December, 2010

How to Compare Things in Russian Posted by on Dec 30, 2010

Do you know a Russian saying «зимой снега не допросишься»? It’s used when describing «скупой» [stingy], «жадный» [greedy] person from whom one literally can’t beg even snow in the winter. Well, we’ve had so much snow over the last weekend that I think even the worst tightwads are ready to part with some of the…

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It Is Time to Take Stock: “Время подводить итоги” Posted by on Dec 23, 2010

Russians are not alone in their «двойственный» [dichotomous] approach in the weeks before the New Year. On the one hand, it’s time for frantic and quite overwhelming preparations for the holidays, attending parties, buying gifts… On the other hand, it is time for slowing down, reflecting on «старый год» [the year that’s about to end]…

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A History of Kiev, Part 1 Posted by on Dec 22, 2010

«Киев—очень старый город» [Kiev is a very old city], so there’s a lot to learn about its history. I’ll be splitting up these posts on «история Киева» [the history of Kiev] into multiple parts to make them more manageable. There exists «легенда» [a legend] concerning «основание Киева» [the founding of Kiev]. According to this legend…

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Russian Toasts: It Is About More Than Drinking Posted by on Dec 21, 2010

There’s a persistent stereotype of Russian «праздник» [celebration] as an occasion to get drunk and that «угощение» [meal] consists mostly of liquid bread in form of «водка» [vodka]. Nothing can be further from the truth! From «закуски» [appetizers] to «сладкое» [dessert], Russian holiday table is «ломится от еды» [loaded with food]. After all, «закуска градус…

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Are You Ready For the New Year? Posted by on Dec 16, 2010

The Russian New Year season is well under way. Yes, that’s right, New Year is more than a day, it’s a season. «Приготовления» [preparations] start early. Not as early as the Christmas frenzy in the US, but definitely by early December. There’s so much to figure out! «Где будем праздновать» [Where are (we) going…

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Declension of Russian Last Names Posted by on Dec 15, 2010

Whoever said «Русский язык–великий и могучий» [the Russian language is great and mighty] wasn’t kidding. Nothing illustrates this more than склонение фамилий [declension of last names]. There are complicated rules and just when you think you’ve got it, you find out there are a couple of exceptions. Russian last names typically end in «ов» [ov]…

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Cows, Pigs, Wolves and Dogs – More Russian Sayings Posted by on Dec 14, 2010

So in the last few days the news seems to be all about WikiLeaks and about the arrest of its founder Julian Assange. While Russian Internet gets flooded with Wikileaks-related «новости» [news] and «домыслы» [speculations], including far-out «теории заговоров» [conspiracy theories], Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is back in the news cycle as well (like…

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