Russian Language Blog

Tag Archives: former soviet union

Who Gets Called “Russian”? Posted by on Feb 5, 2018

Buryat wrestling

How often have you heard the phrase “So-and-so is Russian”? What was meant by “Russian” in that case? Was the person a citizen of the Russian Federation? Did they live in any of the neighbo(u)ring countries? Did they speak Russian? This post will examine the many ways “Russian” (русский and other related words) is used…

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3 Incorrect Assumptions about Native Russian Speakers Posted by on Oct 10, 2017

street sign

I sometimes hear statements about fluent Russian speakers abroad that are based on certain incorrect assumptions. Some of our readers know better, but others may discover something new from this post. Because this post touches upon deeply personal aspects of identity, language, ancestry, and political affiliation, it is quite natural that people will have different…

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Cossack or Kazakh: What’s The Difference and What To Call Them In Russian? Posted by on Sep 14, 2017

Kazakh dance

You might have come across several similar words in English: cossack, kazakh, perhaps even kozak or kazak. You probably know they refer to groups of people, but which groups? Are they interchangeable? This post will explain the corresponding words and their definitions in Russian so next time you come across any of them, it will be a little clearer…

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Russian outside Russia Posted by on Apr 14, 2014

Russian store signs in Brighton Beach, NY

Despite being from Russia, I find it bothersome when people equate the Russian language with the country of Russia. In my opinion, it not only leaves other Russian-speaking communities out of the discussion of the language, but also misrepresents them by implying that if you speak Russian, you must be culturally/politically/ethnically aligned with Russia. I…

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Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Elections in Georgia Posted by on Oct 5, 2012

Всем привет! [Hello all!] I have been very, very busy recently – since I want поступить в аспирантуру [to apply to graduate school], I have been madly working on my essays, writing samples, and taking the GRE, the exam that applicants to many American graduate schools need to take. The good news: I have managed to…

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