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Archive for 'Idioms'

More Macabre Sayings Posted by on Oct 11, 2021

groundhog

While Halloween on October 31st might not be a widely recognized or endorsed holiday in Russia, there are plenty of macabre Russian sayings to use this spooky season. Some are very similar to English idiomatic expressions, for example: то́лько че́рез мой труп – over my dead body. Others are dark but humorous and colloquial. Спать как…

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Do svidaniya, leto, do svidaniya! and Two Singers You Should Know About Posted by on Sep 24, 2021

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels In many parts of the world, we say до свида́нья to summer on September 22, the date of the осе́ннее равноде́нствие [autumn equinox – from the words ра́вный equal and де́нь day], but did you know that Russians actually have a calendar understanding of the seasons? What does that mean? В Росси́и…

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Oaks, fins, and hooves Posted by on Aug 16, 2021

some daisies

No, this is not a Russian bar or a metal band name, though last I checked it’s up for grabs. We are talking about more простонаро́дные фразеологи́змы о сме́рти (more informal idioms about death). So, today’s blog is an add-on to the one about death euphemisms and to the one about verbs that mean “to…

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Patience à la russe Posted by on Jul 27, 2021

a kid getting a band aid

Patience is a virtue and also a fascinating word in Russian: терпе́ние. Let’s look at how to use that word and its derivatives in a sentence. Towards the end we will talk about translating the imperative “потерпи́” and a few idiomatic expressions with “терпе́ние”. Терпе́ние — patience It means «выноси́ть страда́ние» (endure suffering) but used…

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Russian idioms with ‘как’ Posted by on Jul 7, 2021

a goose flying out of the water

What Russian word connects geese, archaic measuring units, and a 14th century military commander of the Golden Horde? The answer is “как” and today we will cover just a few commonly used Russian idioms with this word. And while ‘как’ can mean a number of different things in Russian (and is one of the 100…

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Russian euphemisms about death Posted by on Jun 22, 2021

a woman in the woods

A lot of фразеологизмы (idioms) about ‘death’ in Russian rely on verbs of motion that depict a person leaving this life and world. The 5 euphemisms below all mean ‘to die’ but I will write the literal translation in parenthesis to make them easier to remember. My goal, though, is to not just help you…

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Winter Is Coming – Idiomatic Expressions Posted by on Nov 30, 2020

Winter in Russia

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Russia?” Foreigners often imagine a blizzard on Red Square, people in earflaps, and snow banks at least to the knee. Although there is already some snow in many cities in Russia, winter officially begins there on December 1st. “Пе́рвый снег — не зима́, пе́рвая зазно́ба…

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