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Russian Language Blog

Archive for December, 2013

Word of the Day – Resourcefulness (and Darn It) Posted by on Dec 23, 2013

Russians are proud of many characteristics which they believe they possess as a people. One is the загадочная русская душа (mysterious Russian soul), the one that cannot be understood by mind alone. Another one is терпеливость (patience). Yet another one is смекалка which usually gets translated as resourcefulness, such as shown in this video at…

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To Boldy Go – Russian Verbs of Motion Posted by on Dec 17, 2013

Russian verbs of motion are notoriously difficult. Take, for example, the verb “to go” which can be translated as either идти or пойти. The rules seem pretty straight-forward: Идти, the imperfective concrete verb, must be used if the action is continuous, repeated, or is ongoing as in А я иду, шагаю по Москве – I…

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7 Must-Know Russian Songs for the New Year plus 10 More Just in Case Posted by on Dec 13, 2013

Decorate the tree – check. Get gifts – check. Plan the holiday menu – check. With all these items checked off your holiday to-do list, it’s now time to literally face the music. Do I need to remind you that легко на сердце от песни весёлой (the heart grows light with a joyful song)? There…

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Using Mnemonics to Learn Russian? Posted by on Dec 5, 2013

(Early Soviet poster pushes for literacy among women: “Woman! Learn to read!”. The young girl says to her mother: “Oh, mother! If you could read, you’d be able to help me!”) Memorizing grammar rules and, especially, exceptions to them, can be, to put it mildly, not fun at all. What’s worse, they tend to в…

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