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Let’s Explore Russian Morphology with Baby Animals Posted by on Jan 14, 2022

With all the craziness going on in the world, I think we need a bit of baby animal therapy to take our mind off things. How about a lesson on Russian morphology to go along with it? Уби́ть двух за́йцев Kill two birds with one stone. (Yes, in Russian, we say “to kill two hares”)…

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Back to the USSR: Some products that you can find even today Posted by on Dec 29, 2021

A notable anniversary just passed us; 30 years ago, в декабре́ 1991-го (девяно́ста пе́рвого) го́да СССР официа́льно прекрати́л своё существова́ние in December 1991, the USSR officially ceased to exist, creating 15 new nations. To make a post about the legacy the Soviet system left on this giant chunk of Eurasia would be too long for…

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One of the Two Troubles of Russia: Roads Posted by on Dec 17, 2021

Roads have always played an important part of life in Russia. If you remember my last post about types of transportation in Russian cities, let’s explore what all those machines actually run on: roads. Radishchev stylized his cutting 1790 critique of Catherine’s Russia (which ultimately landed him in exile in Siberia) on a travelogue that…

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Rush Hour: How does one get around in a Russian [provincial] city? Posted by on Dec 10, 2021

As I was driving home from work on the roads of my city, snow layered on thick and people driving significantly slower than they normally would, I thought of how the snow would never stop a Russian маршру́тка driver, weaving in and out of traffic, zipping around corners, and stopping his machine dead in its…

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The Unforgettable Soviet New Year Cartoon Posted by on Nov 30, 2021

December has finally arrived! The holiday season is upon us! It’s as if our ancient ancestors who invented the winter holidays knew that we needed a bit of an emotional boost at the beginning of the winter season, and especially after the dreary, cold, wet hell that November brings us (is it me or is…

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The “Secret” Life of под- Posted by on Nov 19, 2021

You have probably seen под in some way or another in your studies of Russian. It is a common preposition that usually means “under.” As a prefix attached to verbs and nouns it also has a literal meaning of “under.” Подписа́ться means “to subscribe.” Подчеркну́ть means “to underline.” Perhaps you have read Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s «Запи́ски…

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Breakfast in Russia and a brief culture trip to 1978 Posted by on Nov 10, 2021

Dear Russian Language Blog, I’m writing to you from the comfort of my desk, where, as always, I am dreaming about the breakfast that, unfortunately, I did not have time this morning to eat. To eat, to eat. But what can one expect to eat for breakfast in Russia? бутербро́д sandwich Open faced sandwiches with…

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