Russian Language Blog

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Is August a “Cursed” Month in Russia? Posted by on Aug 26, 2019


Did you know August is seen as the month of trouble in Russia? Over the last 20 years, several accidents have happened in August (а́вгуст), which led people to regard August as a dangerous month (“чёрный а́вгуст,” literally “black August”). This post will look at some of these events and the reasons why August may—or…

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Famous Russian Emigres Who Came Back Posted by on Aug 22, 2019

stacked suitcases

As we have discussed in this blog, Russian speakers live in several countries around the world. Some of them might have moved abroad from Russia—but some may eventually return to their country of origin. In today’s post, we’ll look at several people’s stories of leaving and coming back. These individuals are included because I thought…

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5 Russian Phrases To Get Past Comprehension Barriers Posted by on Aug 14, 2019

three young people talking

Some approaches to learning a language, such as the communicative method, encourage teachers and students to only use the target language in the classroom. What do you do if you don’t understand what was just said or lack the vocabulary to ask the other person to repeat or explain? This post will equip you with…

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Russian Words of Turkic Origin Posted by on Aug 8, 2019


Russian is a Slavic language that has shares its origins with such languages as Ukrainian or Belorussian and, earlier, Polish or Bulgarian. Most of its vocabulary comes from this common Slavic “stock.” However, a few words in Russian have Turkic origins. They probably entered Russian from the Turkic languages (the group that includes Turkish, Tatar…

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