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The Russian art of spitting Posted by on Feb 18, 2022

As it turns out from Bota’s blog from Tuesday, today is День Пельме́ней in Russia! This dish, of course, is one of my personal favorites, not only to eat, but also to make. But what if you take a bite of a пельме́нь and realize you don’t like it? Or maybe you’re a вегетариа́нец vegetarian…

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Racing through prefixes (part II) Posted by on Feb 11, 2022

Why stop where we did? There are still a number of possibilities with гнать. Today I would like to continue the race from last week and demonstrate more prefixes and their meanings within the context of physical motion. So, once again, погна́ли! Прогна́ть/прогоня́ть The prefix про– usually means motion through something. Проходи́ть, for example, means…

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Racing through prefixes Posted by on Jan 31, 2022

One of my favorite ways to learn verbs in Russian has always been to sit down, choose a verb, and run through all its possible prefixes, choosing example sentences to really cement the meaning in my mind. I have found this exercise especially useful with verbs of motion, which can have a broad range of…

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The joy of grammatical mistakes, or a few of my lightbulb moments Posted by on Jan 25, 2022

Как уст румя́ных без улы́бки, Без граммати́ческой оши́бки Я ру́сской ре́чи не люблю́ These lines, from Alexander Pushkin’s famous novel in verse «Евге́ний Оне́гин» Eugene Onegin, pretty well explain what I would like to cover in today’s post. Much of learning a new language has to do with restructuring your thinking to express ideas using a construction…

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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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