Russian Language Blog

Tag Archives: confusing Russian language

Word Stress Patterns in Russian Posted by on Jun 26, 2019

old Soviet Smena camera

Word stress (ударе́ние) is probably one of the most challenging things about the Russian language. Where the emphasis falls in a word is highly variable in Russian, and there is no single rule set, unlike in such languages as Spanish. To put things in perspective, this is also the case in English. If you speak…

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What Is Better: Beating Around the Bush or Pulling a Cat by Its Tail? Posted by on Jul 29, 2015

The short answer is neither because the expressions are synonymous. If you are pulling a cat by its tail in Russia you are, in many cases, simply beating around the bush. Set expressions in any foreign language can frequently leave you baffled and confused. I remember my first encounter with the saying “thinking outside…

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Learning Russian After Spanish Posted by on Apr 27, 2015

I’ve often heard that after learning one foreign language every additional language becomes progressively easier. I suppose there may be truth to it in that you internalize certain principles common to many languages and develop good study and research habits. However, your first foreign language can also mislead you in your efforts to learn…

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«Ненастоящие друзья» [False friends]: part II Posted by on Aug 18, 2010

Not everything in a foreign language is difficult. If you feel like calling the vehicle above «мотоцикл» [motorcycle] in Russian, then that’s okay and even correct. But that doesn’t mean you can go ahead and assume that a bicycle is «бицикл» in Russian because really the word for it is «велосипед» [bicycle]. Today’s post is…

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