Archive for April, 2016

Indo-European Roots of Russian Posted by on Apr 28, 2016

glass of water

Learners of the more popular Germanic languages — English and German — and the more popular Romance language — French, Spanish, and Italian — may be tempted to think of all Indo-European languages in terms of these high-visibility languages. I’ve once heard someone say “Russian is so different from Indo-European languages.” Some languages of Western…

Continue Reading

Show Me The Money: Slang Expressions for Cash in Russian Posted by on Apr 21, 2016

dollar bills

As you imagine, money is as popular a subject in Russian as it is in other languages. Apart from the neutral word де́ньги, there are multiple slang ways of referring to your hard-earned cash. There are many slang words for money in English and other languages, too; each country will have its variations, to boot…

Continue Reading

What Panama Hat? Headwear in Russian Posted by on Apr 14, 2016


Many of you have heard about the recent “Panama Papers” (#panamapapers) scandal, where several celebrities, state officials, and business owners were revealed to have had assets in offshore companies. One of Vladimir Putin’s friends also featured in the leak, prompting satirical posters depicting the Russian president wearing a Panama hat and asking “Кака́я Пана́ма?” (“What Panama…

Continue Reading

Five Ways Your First Language Is Messing With Your Russian Posted by on Apr 11, 2016


The way one language expresses an idea does not always work in a different language. This sounds like a truism, however, certain turns of phrase the learner’s first language interferes with seem to affect many learners. Some of the comparisons will be English-based and, obviously, will not apply for all languages. Even so, this may…

Continue Reading

Three Trendy Opposition Figures in Russia Posted by on Apr 4, 2016

If you follow Russian news, you may come across names of certain opposition figures and their conflicts with the powers that be. Yet who are these people? Are they all part of the same group or organization? Do they have the same goals? What precisely do they oppose? Love them or hate them, you may…

Continue Reading