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3 Slang Sayings About Broken Dreams in Russian Posted by on Feb 19, 2019

airplane

Russian has a few fun sayings for talking about getting your hopes up—and getting them crushed. Let’s look at three of them with examples and explanations. 1. Гу́бы раската́ть Гу́бы is the plural of губа́, lip. Раската́ть is related to ката́ть and means “to roll out.” So, all together, this saying means “to roll out…

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What’s Considered a Healthy Diet in Russia Posted by on Feb 12, 2019

hot peppers

With obesity being a worldwide problem, people are talking about the importance of eating healthy. However, it often comes up during cross-cultural encounters that different cultures have different ideas of what makes a healthy diet. Even though it’s impossible to generalize the preferences of an entire country, there are some common themes that come up…

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Why You Should Learn to Read Russian Vowels Posted by on Feb 7, 2019

letter A

The Russian alphabet is one of the first challenges a prospective student runs into. We have posted some advice for learning the alphabet on this blog, but if you don’t know where to start, start with the vowels. Learning to read and pronounce Russian vowels is a manageable task that has many benefits. Only 10…

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3 Iconic Food Brands from Russia Posted by on Jan 31, 2019

food

There are certain brands that have widely recognized in Russia, in large part thanks to their clever—or ridiculous—advertising. Of course, this list will vary for different people, but I’d like to share, in no particular order, some famous Russian food brands. Note that when I say “Russian,” I mostly mean “widely known and marketed in…

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Describing States of the Body in Russian Posted by on Jan 22, 2019

plush toys in bed with a thermometer

You might have noticed that, to talk about physical sensations or afflictions in Russian, you often use an impersonal construction, where the person not feeling well is technically not the subject of the sentence. Here are some of the most common patterns for these sayings. Dative noun + predicative expression First, what’s a predicative expression?…

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Царь, царевич, or Royal Titles in Russian Posted by on Jan 17, 2019

crown

Are King Arthur and King Solomon both “коро́ль” in Russian? Why are both принц and князь used to say “prince,” and what’s the difference? This post will look at some royal titles in Russian and give examples of famous bearers of these titles. Коро́ль/Короле́ва The term “коро́ль” (king) is believed to come into Slavic languages…

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Why Are (Most) Russians Bad At Speaking Other Languages Posted by on Jan 9, 2019

liquor store

Several people who visited Russia told me they were surprised to discover that relatively few people spoke or understood English, even in the service industry in large cities. Generally speaking, the educational system and the environment in Russia contribute to this state of affairs. Largely Monolingual In a 2014 survey by the Levada Center pollster…

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