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Tag Archives: false friends

Political Labels That Don’t Mean The Same Thing In Russian Posted by on Oct 16, 2017

stock exchange

Most of Russian political terminology is international in origin, so the words are easy to recognize: демократия, капитализм, либерализм, национализм, and so on. However, the definition of the foreign-language cognate will not always match how the corresponding word is used in Russian. Либерализм Либерализм may have a different connotation in Russian than “liberalism” does in…

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Five Confusing Phrases of English Origin in Russian Posted by on Jun 29, 2016

sausages and bread on a plate

We know that English influences many languages, including Russian. Numerous words from the domains of science, technology, commerce, and entertainment are borrowed from English. At the same time, some Russian words have English origins but are used in ways unheard of in English. We already covered business words of English origin whose meaning is different…

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Ten Business Words You Shouldn’t Rely on English to Decipher Posted by on May 19, 2014

You have probably run into quite a few loanwords from English in Russian. Some of them are older and almost sound native, e.g. футбол – soccer or лифт – elevator. However, recently a new wave of loanwords related to the economy and technology has entered Russian. These words are still largely perceived as foreign, and…

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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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«Ненастоящие друзья» [False friends]: part I Posted by on Aug 5, 2010

If you think the Russian name of Moscow’s famous Red Square is «Красный сквер», then you may have fallen victim to what is known as ‘faux amis’ – false friends. I know I have been a victim of faux amis many, many times both while learning Russian as well as English. For several years while…

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