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Tag Archives: Russian jokes

Trade Your Life for a Joke? Posted by on Oct 15, 2014

What does it feel like to be arrested for retelling a joke, or even an anecdote? For those living in Russia during Stalin’s reign, it was a reality. Gulags were home to not just societies most dangerous and, therefore, worthy criminals; professors, doctors, all sorts of educated professionals could also call it home – some…

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Russia – the Land of the Crocodiles Posted by on Jul 8, 2013

You might already know that Россия – родина слонов (Russia is the home of elephants). But did you know that крокодилы (crocodiles) are also very popular in Russia? Don’t believe me? Back in 1582 Russian летописцы (chroniclers) mentioned an appearance of crocodiles near the city of Pskov. But that’s all ancient history. It’s time to…

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Humor that’s lost-and-found in translation Posted by on Mar 6, 2013

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned “elephant jokes” as an example of humor that translates well because most of the examples don’t depend on language-specific wordplay. So today, let’s consider some puns and quips that are difficult or impossible to translate into English because they hinge on Russian homonyms or on ambiguities of Russian grammar…

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Cards and Women, but Mostly Cards Posted by on Feb 15, 2013

Well, the Valentine’s Day is over and done with. But if you are following Russian calendar, you know there are two more holidays coming up that give men a perfect excuse погусарить. Гусар, гусарство, and гусарить are the words that are low on the priority list of most language learners. Which is surprising since…

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Are There Any Good Knock-Knock Jokes in Russian? Posted by on Feb 6, 2013

Speaking of stereotypes, Russians usually view themselves as having a highly-developed чувство юмора (sense of humor). We cherish our анекдоты (jokes), however бородатые (old; lit: bearded) they might be. Indeed, Russians have an impressive catalog of joke categories, from армянское радио (Armenian radio) one-liners to elaborate шутки о том свете (afterlife jokes; lit: jokes about…

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Walking a Dog or More About Transitive and Intransitive Verbs Posted by on Sep 20, 2012

Last week I did a post about whether to use nouns in accusative or genitive case after verbs. If you missed the post and don’t feel like reading it now, here’s the rule in the nutshell: If a verb is transitive, then use the accusative case. If a verb is intransitive, then use the genitive…

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Let’s Practice Translating a Dialogue Posted by on Mar 29, 2012

One of the blog readers, David, left a comment on the previous post that included a short translation. Now, this translation was done by David and other members of кружок «Журавли» (the Zhuravli group), first using Google Translation (Welsh into Russian). The members of the group then worked on improving the results produced by Google…

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