Archive for August, 2019

Is August a “Cursed” Month in Russia? Posted by on Aug 26, 2019


Did you know August is seen as the month of trouble in Russia? Over the last 20 years, several accidents have happened in August (а́вгуст), which led people to regard August as a dangerous month (“чёрный а́вгуст,” literally “black August”). This post will look at some of these events and the reasons why August may—or…

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Famous Russian Emigres Who Came Back Posted by on Aug 22, 2019

stacked suitcases

As we have discussed in this blog, Russian speakers live in several countries around the world. Some of them might have moved abroad from Russia—but some may eventually return to their country of origin. In today’s post, we’ll look at several people’s stories of leaving and coming back. These individuals are included because I thought…

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5 Russian Phrases To Get Past Comprehension Barriers Posted by on Aug 14, 2019

three young people talking

Some approaches to learning a language, such as the communicative method, encourage teachers and students to only use the target language in the classroom. What do you do if you don’t understand what was just said or lack the vocabulary to ask the other person to repeat or explain? This post will equip you with…

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Russian Words of Turkic Origin Posted by on Aug 8, 2019


Russian is a Slavic language that has shares its origins with such languages as Ukrainian or Belorussian and, earlier, Polish or Bulgarian. Most of its vocabulary comes from this common Slavic “stock.” However, a few words in Russian have Turkic origins. They probably entered Russian from the Turkic languages (the group that includes Turkish, Tatar…

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Life Finds a Way: “Natural” Adjectives in Russian Posted by on Aug 1, 2019

lake landscape

How do you say “natural” in Russian? The answer depends on what you are talking about. This post will look at the different ways of referring to organic things and when each of them is appropriate. For the sake of variety, I will be listing the feminine forms of the adjectives in this entry. Есте́ственная…

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