Archive for March, 2015

What Does a Russian Look Like? Posted by on Mar 31, 2015

Some people find it surprising to learn that I am Russian. “You just don’t look like somebody from Russia” – they say. It doesn’t offend me but it does make me want to say something like: “What do you know about Russians?” I don’t ever say that, instead I usually mumble something along the lines…

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Ways to Be Frustrated in Russian Posted by on Mar 30, 2015

steamy teapot

You might have thought from the title that this post is a continuation of our pet peeves discussion. However, I would actually like to talk about the ways annoying behavio(u)r is described in colloquial Russian. Most of these words have a different primary meaning but are used colloquially in unexpected ways. 1. Па́рить Па́рить comes…

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First time in Russia? Добро пожаловать! (Part 2) Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

You finally get to your hotel and your adrenaline is the only thing keeping you awake because you’ve now been up for more than 24 hours. You check in and get your visa registered as required by law. Thankfully the Intercontinental Hotel staff are able to arrange this for you – sometimes this is free…

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“First time in Russia? Добро пожаловать!” Posted by on Mar 24, 2015

What follows is the first of a two-part blog about what you might expect upon visiting Moscow – especially if its your first time. Let’s say you travel to Russia with a friend. Neither of you are Russian, you don’t speak the language and you love to have a good time. What types of activities…

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Songs from Russian Cartoons: Grammar Clinic Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Many a student of Russian learned from the songs in Soviet cartoons. These cartoons are widely-known classics, some of which, like Cheburashka, have developed a cult following abroad. However, all too often learners will recogniz/se the cartoon and hum the tune but won’t know the lyrics or what they mean. Why don’t we take this opportunity to…

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Russian Humor – Is It Any Different? Posted by on Mar 17, 2015

In light of all of the “negative” news about Russia lately, and the rest of the world for that matter, I decided that maybe a little humor would be appreciated. I hope to inject a bit of humor into your life with a few jokes about aspects of life in Russia at different times. They…

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Loanwords Frequently Mispronounced in Russian Posted by on Mar 16, 2015

Once Russian learners whose first language is a Romance or Germanic one get past the “this language is like nothing I know” stage, they may start noticing that Russian has acquired and assimilated scores of loanwords. Many navigation terms come from Dutch (киль — keel); art, from French (бале́т — ballet) and Italian (пиани́но —…

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