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Russian Language Blog

Archive for September, 2015

Yakov Smirnoff: Russian Funny Man! Posted by on Sep 30, 2015

Yakov Naumovich Pokhis, better known as Yakov Smirnoff, is a comedian born in the Soviet Union in 1951. After emigrating to the United States in 1977, he changed his last name to Smirnoff after the vodka. During the 1980’s and early into the 90’s, Smirnoff saw his brand of humor taking off and resonating with…

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Storytelling in Russian Posted by on Sep 24, 2015

child jumping in a field

We often connect with others over discussing our favorite films, plays, and books. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to describe that great Russian movie or novel to your friends? Let us look at some ways of talking about themes and plot. Themes First of all, what is the story about? Some ways of…

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The Billion Dollar Spy, Part II Posted by on Sep 23, 2015

Part II: Adolf Tolkachev had been the most successful spy the CIA ever had in Moscow during the late 1970’s through the mid 1980’s. Tolkachev was an engineer working on new and next-generation radar systems for the military. He was also a father and a husband that put, not only his life on the line,…

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The Billion Dollar Spy, Part One Posted by on Sep 22, 2015

Mystery? Intrigue? Danger? All trademarks of the “spy world.” During the Cold War, Russia, as well as most of the rest of Europe, had extensive manpower devoted to intelligence gathering, counterintelligence, and so on. Todays blog will center on a Russian spy of sorts, actually he was an engineer with access to many of the…

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Changing Your Ways – Variations of Менять Posted by on Sep 17, 2015

smiling and frowning face

We have looked at expanding your vocabulary by adding prefixes to verb roots. Now I would like to suggest looking at variations of a very popular verb – меня́ть. This verb means to change (perfective – поменять). Из-за плохо́го поведе́ния ему́ за во́семь лет пришло́сь меня́ть шко́лу 11 раз. (Because of his poor behavior, he…

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