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Gotta Do What You Gotta Do, or Expressing Obligation in Russian Posted by on May 23, 2019

neon sign saying "you need coffee"

Most learners of Russian will remember the word до́лжен (have to) for talking about your obligations. It may be trickier to remember other expressions. Let’s review some ways of expressing obligation in Russian. Должна́ The following short adjectives mean “owe” or “have to”: должна́ (feminine) должно́ (neuter) до́лжен (masculine) должны́ (plural) These words are related…

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Russian News: Protests Against Church Construction in Yekateriburg Posted by on May 20, 2019

city view with an Orthodox church

You might have read in the news that residents of the city of Yekaterinburg are protesting the construction of a church in place of a park, and it’s even come to clashes with the police. Let’s look at some of the background and coverage of this situation. Where is this again? Yekaterinburg, Екатеринбу́рг in Russian…

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White Walkers and Horcruxes, or How to Talk About Fantasy in Russian Posted by on May 16, 2019

rail viaduct

Even if you are not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, it seems like these days you can barely avoid Game of Thrones spoilers or Lord of the Rings references. These genres and the associated subcultures have a following in Russian-speaking countries, too. This post will include some famous fantasy names—in Russian! Властели́н коле́ц—Lord…

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4 Russian Sayings With Animals Posted by on May 6, 2019

close-up of a mosquito

Russian has quite a few sayings featuring animals—you can see our previous post on this subject here. This time, I wanted to add four more expressions you can occasionally hear in Russian speech. Кот напла́кал Кот is a male cat (the female form, ко‘шка is more common to talk about a random street cat whose sex…

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How To Write a Résumé in Russian Posted by on Apr 25, 2019

man in a toolshed

A résumé (резюме́) is an important part of applying for a job anywhere, and Russia is no exception. However, some conventions used for Russian résumés are different from other countries. While recommendations and preferences vary depending on the applicant, company, and time period, this post will go over some common themes. Ли́чные да́нные — Personal…

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Поэт или авторка: Gendered Names of Occupations in Russian Posted by on Apr 17, 2019

woman working in a cafe

Russian is a gendered language, which means that nouns have a grammatical gender (род): feminine (же́нский), masculine (мужско́й), or neuter (сре́дний). True, it can be confusing to grasp why a table (стол) is masculine and a river (река́) is feminine, but it should be much simpler with names of people’s occupations, right? In theory, yes…

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How to Pronounce Russian Prepositions Posted by on Apr 10, 2019

cat under a cover

Have you ever struggled to pronounce these odd-looking one-letter prepositions in Russian? Especially if that letter was a consonant? The trick is to stop enunciating them and to attach them to the word that follows. Let’s break it down case by case. One-Consonant Pronouns Many Russian prepositions (предло́ги) only have one letter, a consonant at…

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