Archive for September, 2019

5 Russian Books That Were Banned in the Soviet Union—Part II Posted by on Sep 30, 2019

bookshelf with books

Last time, we looked at several Russian books that, for various reasons, never saw the light of day in the Soviet Union or sometimes in their author’s lifetime. Some of these books were initially snuck out and published abroad and only came out in Russia in the late 1980s or early 1990s. 4. Мастер и…

Continue Reading

5 Russian Books Banned in the Soviet Union—Part I Posted by on Sep 23, 2019

hands typing on a typewriter

Some of the books that have entered the Russian literary canon were virtually unknown in Russia until the late 80s or the 90s. These books were either outright banned from publication or were only available as bootleg copies—famously as homemade samizdat (самизда́т) copies. Here are five books that are mainstream now but were out of…

Continue Reading

Passports, Visas, and Other Diplomatic Vocabulary in Russian Posted by on Sep 16, 2019

French passport on top of a map

One area where you might need Russian is dealing with the embassies and diplomatic missions of Russian-speaking countries abroad. (Remember that the Russian Federation, Росси́йская Федера́ция, is not the only country where Russian is an official language.) This post will feature some vocabulary you can use when contacting diplomatic missions that use Russian, loosely grouped…

Continue Reading

Autocomplete Question: “Do Russians Believe in God?” Posted by on Sep 10, 2019

Orthodox cathedral

Sometimes, to make sure my blog posts stay topical, I draw inspiration from popular search queries. Some of you might have seen the autocomplete interview series, where celebrities answer the most-searched questions about themselves. This time, I typed “Do Russians,” and “believe in God” was one of the suggestions. I will attempt to answer this…

Continue Reading

Russian Outdoor Games for Kids Posted by on Sep 3, 2019

girl covering her eyes

Have you ever wondered what kind of outdoor activities Russian children engage in? The games (и́гры) in this post are not unique to Russia and are known in the entire post-Soviet area—and beyond. Кла́ссики This one’s a classic (pun intended)! Кла́ссики is the Russian name for hopscotch. I imagine most people are familiar with it…

Continue Reading