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Archive for May, 2014

Caesars and Pushkins: Proper Names Used to Describe a Person Posted by on May 29, 2014

You may be familiar with proper names being used generically for inanimate objects, such as aspirin. However, Russian often takes the name of a famous person to describe someone and to say they share some characteristic of that person. So what does it mean to be called a Pushkin? 1. Multitasker Julius Caesar (Юлий Цезарь)…

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Finally! NEW Russian Movies with English Subtitles. Posted by on May 28, 2014

I believe this post is long overdue 🙂 . I have been planning to put together a list of new subtitled Russian movies for a while now. Those of you who already made the attempt to find some online on your own probably came across the same challenge I did – the selection of NEWER…

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Uniquely Russian School Assignments Posted by on May 26, 2014

In a comment to a previous post, I was asked what has changed in the Russian educational system since the Soviet times. From my (perhaps limited) experience with Russian education, the things that have changed actually bring the system closer to that of the US. Four-year university degrees, multiple-choice tests, typewritten papers — you name…

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Do We Really Know the Meaning of Misery? Posted by on May 20, 2014

As any voracious reader can tell you, once in a great while a book makes its way into your hands that really helps put your life in perspective, to change your thoughts on deep-rooted subjects, to provide you with a renewed appreciation for your life. This happened recently as I read Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg.  This is her memoir of…

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Ten Business Words You Shouldn’t Rely on English to Decipher Posted by on May 19, 2014

You have probably run into quite a few loanwords from English in Russian. Some of them are older and almost sound native, e.g. футбол – soccer or лифт – elevator. However, recently a new wave of loanwords related to the economy and technology has entered Russian. These words are still largely perceived as foreign, and…

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Russians: American Film Antagonists Posted by on May 13, 2014

From the time I was old enough to watch TV, I have loved movies: action (боевик), drama (драма), comedy (комедия), horror movie (фильм ужасов) – you name it, I used to like them all. As I got older, one interesting thing became apparent to me: many of the villains in the American movies I liked…

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In a Russian schoolbag Posted by on May 12, 2014

I was shopping in a pharmacy the other day and noticed that the stationery/back-to-school section didn’t have any pencil cases (пеналы) on display. It makes sense, with the school systems being different that the students’ “equipment” will be different, too. However, these differences may not be as obvious to someone who didn’t go to school…

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