Archive for February, 2011

Russian Space Songs Karaoke Posted by on Feb 25, 2011

Well, it’s «февраль» [February] and the weather is absolutely dreary. All around me – «снег» [snow] and «сугробы» [snow drifts] and freezing temperatures. So all I want to write about is tropical climes, but Russia isn’t famous for those. So instead, I’m going to talk about «астрономия» [astronomy]. «Сперва» [at first] I thought about…

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In Which I See Sergey Lavrov Posted by on Feb 21, 2011

«Дорогие друзья» [Dear friends], there has been a reason for my long absence. «На прошлой неделе» [Last week], a series of events converged to make me extremely busy. «Мне было надо написать письменную работу» [I had to write an essay] and I managed to acquire «приглашение на выступление Сергея Лаврова» [an invitation to a…

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Academicians, Pushkin, and the Steamship Posted by on Feb 17, 2011

As promised, here’s the second and final post that provides some linguistic and cultural background for appreciation of one of the masterpieces of Soviet animation, Winter in Prostokvashino. «фломастер» – You might recognize the brand name Flo-Master. If you are teaching (or studying) a marketing course, this is a perfect example of brand dilution or…

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I Want to Live in Prostokvashino! Posted by on Feb 15, 2011

I recently read an article in a Russian newspaper that talked about the demise of Russian animation. While the story was sad, it made me think of some of my favorite «мультфильмы» [cartoons]. And one of my most favorite ones was about «Простоквашино» [Prostokvashino]. It’s a story of how a small boy named «Дядя Фёдор»…

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Why Do Russians Call Their Astronauts Cosmonauts? Posted by on Feb 10, 2011

Today, February 10th 2011 marks «столетие со дня рождения Мстислава Всеволодовича Келдыша» [one hundredth birthday of Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldish]. Keldish was a Soviet scientist without whose contributions many of «успехи советской космонавтики» [achievements of the Soviet cosmonautics], including Sputnik and the first manned flight would not had happened. Although his name rarely appeared in…

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Russian Poetry: Летний сад, Part 2 Posted by on Feb 9, 2011

«Дорогие друзья» [Dear friends], I did something very bad this Tuesday: «я пропустила занятие по русскому языку» [I skipped Russian class]. I really did not want to, I assure you. «Но мне было надо написать письменную работу» [But I had to finish my essay (literally “written work”)]. But luckily, this does not mean I…

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How to Make the Best Pelmeni Posted by on Feb 8, 2011

Do you know that 95% of Russian households have at least one pack of «пельмени» [pel’meni – dumplings] in their freezers?  Ok, I just totally made it up. But I can’t be too far off since, according to «статья в Российской газете» [an article in the Rossiyskaya newspaper] an average «россиянин» [citizen of the Russian…

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