Who is Cheburashka and How Can He Help You? Posted by Jenya on Oct 7, 2014 in Culture, language, Russian for beginners
Being that most of you are devoting your precious time and energy toward learning to speak Russian, I decided to introduce you to a new tool that may help you, as well as entertain you at the same time. This tool is called Cheburashka. What is Cheburashka you ask? Cheburashka is a fictional character created for children during the mid 1960’s by Russian writer, Eduard Uspensky. This cute little character made his debut on film a few years later. I recently discovered episodes of this show with english subtitles. Even though we may not all enjoy cartoons and shows for children, this one may entertain you with its creative prowess, and you may learn a bit more Russian at the same time.
Cheburashka is a little brown “thing” with large ears and cute eyes. It is not clear to me whether Cheburashka is a boy or a girl, but I have read that it is a “he.” Cheburashka was made into a television show in 1969 by Soyuzmultfilm, a Russian animated film studio. The episodes centered around Cheburashka and his friends. The animation is quite good considering the time it was created; it seems similar to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” program which airs in America each Christmas. Unfortunately, only a few episodes were created, even though Cheburashka is quite popular.
Cheburashka toys can be found all over Russia, in homes and stores. I actually purchased a stuffed animal that speaks different phrases from the television show in Moscow a few years ago. At the 2004 summer olympic games in Athens, Cheburashka was the symbol of Russia’s team, and again a few years later at the winter games in Beijing. Not too bad for a character created over 40 years ago.
Upon finding episodes of Cheburashka with english subtitles on dvd, I played them for my son. He immediately loved them and began to imitate the characters. The dialogue is simple enough for children to understand and challenging enough for some of those learning to speak Russian. In addition to various apps, blogs, books, and cd’s, Cheburashka could also be counted as yet another tool to assist you in your quest for Russian proficiency.
You can easily find episodes of Cheburashka on youtube, with and without subtitles. Be careful though, with almost all of the subtitles I have seen over the years, errors can be found. Here is a link to one of the episodes:
While learning a new language is very difficult, it can also be fun. Fortunately with the internet, we have access to things that only a few years ago, were nearly impossible to find. It is my hope that some of you will watch the short episodes, even if you are more advanced, because they provide a glimpse into what shows Soviet-era children watched.
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