Archive for August, 2016

Verb Forms That Don’t Exist in Russian Posted by on Aug 29, 2016

man in woods

Quite naturally, most of the time, we talk about what can be said in Russian on this blog.  However, surprisingly, there are also things you cannot say. Here are a few missing verb forms and ways to work around them, where possible. Победить Ask any Russian what you cannot say in Russian, and, chances are, they will…

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Russian History: 25th Anniversary of Coup Attempt in USSR Posted by on Aug 23, 2016

August 20 marks the 25th anniversary of an attempted coup in Russia and the USSR. Many news outlets have published their accounts and analysis of this event. Let us read some of the coverage.   Background Ironically, many in Russia, especially young people, have a fuzzy understanding of the events, as demonstrated in the video…

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Expressions with себя in Russian Posted by on Aug 15, 2016

woman taking a self portrait in the mirror

You may remember the word себя, oneself. Apart from its independent usage, forms of this word are also used in several handy expressions. Себя Overview Себе is a reflexive pronoun pointing back to the subject of the sentence. The primary meaning of себя is “myself, yourself,” etc., depending on the subject. Он не узнал себя в…

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Ten Posts For Beginners To Help You Ease Into Russian Posted by on Aug 11, 2016

little girl riding a bicycle with training wheels

You may have noticed that our blog’s been covering some of the more intricate aspects of the Russian language and culture, from movie quotes to concepts specific to Russian. We are always happy to support our advanced readers — but we don’t want to forget about beginners, either! If you are new to learning Russian, here…

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Popular Children’s Poems in Russian — Part II Posted by on Aug 8, 2016

young buy reading a book in a library

We are continuing from last week’s post about children’s poetry. The poems (стихотворения) in this and the previous post are likely to ring a bell to most people who grew up in Russian-speaking households. I will cite two short poems and excerpts from longer poems and will point out interesting structures and vocabulary. Агния Барто…

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Popular Children’s Poems in Russian—Part I Posted by on Aug 4, 2016

teddy bear

Children’s poems are an integral part of growing up in Russia — as they probably are anywhere. (I purposely don’t want to call them “nursery rhymes” as this separate genre of English rhymes is also well-known in Russia — in translation.) Anyone who grew up in Russia has heard them from their parents, siblings, or…

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True Colors: Unexpected Hues in Russian Posted by on Aug 2, 2016

colored pencils

We have covered basic color vocabulary on this blog before. However, it goes without saying that a direct translation from the learner’s first language into Russian will not work for all nouns. How do you say brown hair, blue eyes, or black horse? If you answered, “коричневые волосы,” “синие глаза,” or “чёрная лошадь,” keep reading…

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