Archive for December, 2012

Or the Puppy Gets It! Posted by on Dec 28, 2012

If you are wondering about the title of this post, it refers to the “Or the Puppy Gets It” meme. What can be cuter or more helpless than a puppy, right? What kind of a heartless scoundrel would punish a puppy for anything at all, especially for something totally unrelated! Right? Right… Except yesterday Vladimir…

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Vital vocabulary for (not) talking about religion Posted by on Dec 26, 2012

Накануне Рождества (“on Christmas Eve”), I did my once-a-year attendance of a богослужение (“worship service”), more specifically a месса (“[Catholic] Mass“) — not out of personal religious sentiment but because my parents were visiting from Arizona. Also, being a неверующий (“non-believer”) who was not expected to kneel or креститься (“to cross oneself”) when everybody else…

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Femme Fatale, Fried Rooster, and Frightened Monkey Posted by on Dec 20, 2012

Do you know this just might be the last post on the Russian blog? I’m saying it because tomorrow is December 21st, 2012, роковая дата (fatal date) some people and Hollywood studios believe to be конец света (the end of the world). Whether you believe in this предсказание (prediction) or think it’s just россказни (tall…

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A Russian fairy-tale with no moral whatsoever? (Plus: Bonus “Santa horror”!) Posted by on Dec 18, 2012

Last week, I briefly mentioned a classic сказка called Два мороза (“The Two Frosts”) — in which the Frost Brothers (one with a blue nose, one with a red nose) attempt to freeze a барин (“rich man”) who’s dressed in furs and a мужик (here: “male peasant”) with a thin coat. (It turns out that…

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Days of Our Lives or Have You Bought the Tree Yet? Posted by on Dec 14, 2012

This is the time of the year when Russian kids start asking their parents когда мы за ёлкой поедем? (when will we go get the New Year tree?) For busy parents the best day might just be завтра (tomorrow), not because it has particular significance, but because it is the weekend. Of course, if завтра…

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Chill out! (Or, “is your refrigerator running?”) Posted by on Dec 11, 2012

На прошлую неделю к нам привезли новый холодильник (“Last week, a new refrigerator was delivered to our place”) — потому что старый холодильник давно дышал на ладан. Literally translated, that’s “the old fridge had long since been breathing the incense”[i.e, the incense from its own funeral Mass]. Which is to say that it стоял одной…

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Russian Phrases for Giving and Receiving Gifts Posted by on Dec 7, 2012

Image Source: asenat29 via Flickr! It’s that time of the year for many of us to give and receive gifts. Whichever you like most, let’s learn the Russian gift-giving vocabulary just in time for the holidays. Since it’s so much fun to get gifts, let’s start with the verbs получать (imperfective: to get, to receive)…

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