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Word of the Day – Resourcefulness (and Darn It) Posted by on Dec 23, 2013

Russians are proud of many characteristics which they believe they possess as a people. One is the загадочная русская душа (mysterious Russian soul), the one that cannot be understood by mind alone. Another one is терпеливость (patience). Yet another one is смекалка which usually gets translated as resourcefulness, such as shown in this video at…

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To Boldy Go – Russian Verbs of Motion Posted by on Dec 17, 2013

Russian verbs of motion are notoriously difficult. Take, for example, the verb “to go” which can be translated as either идти or пойти. The rules seem pretty straight-forward: Идти, the imperfective concrete verb, must be used if the action is continuous, repeated, or is ongoing as in А я иду, шагаю по Москве – I…

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7 Must-Know Russian Songs for the New Year plus 10 More Just in Case Posted by on Dec 13, 2013

Decorate the tree – check. Get gifts – check. Plan the holiday menu – check. With all these items checked off your holiday to-do list, it’s now time to literally face the music. Do I need to remind you that легко на сердце от песни весёлой (the heart grows light with a joyful song)? There…

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Using Mnemonics to Learn Russian? Posted by on Dec 5, 2013

(Early Soviet poster pushes for literacy among women: “Woman! Learn to read!”. The young girl says to her mother: “Oh, mother! If you could read, you’d be able to help me!”) Memorizing grammar rules and, especially, exceptions to them, can be, to put it mildly, not fun at all. What’s worse, they tend to в…

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Is This the Most Popular Russian Song Ever? Posted by on Nov 29, 2013

Here’s a trivia question for you. What Russian song has been translated into at least 15 languages with the English-language version getting to #1 spot in the UK Singles Chart? What is this song that has been covered by such artists as Bing Crosby and Dolly Parton and its melody was sampled by 50Cent? Of…

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TGIF and a Weekend Grammar Conundrum Posted by on Nov 22, 2013

СБУП… What the heck is this? It sounds horrible! Ok, ok, let’s try the full version – слава Богу, уже пятница! (Thank God, it’s Friday!) Somehow coming up with a good-sounding Russian acronym is really hard. Anyway, it is Friday which means завтра – выходной (tomorrow is a day off) for many of us. What…

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10 Must-Know Russian Phrases for Dating a Russian Posted by on Nov 20, 2013

Years ago, when I was single, my first dates tended to be fairly predictable. A guy would ask me where I was from always remarking that he was curious because of my “lovely accent”. When I would reply that I was from Russia, he would say: “Wow, this is cool! I’m trying to learn Russian…

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