Monday, October 29, 2012

Learn Russian cursive letters with these videos!

 I found these great videos on MrsRussianLanguage's channel. They can help you learn how to write Russian letters. Russian handwriting might seem difficult to learn, but nothing is impossible if you try hard enough. Good luck!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Russian fairy tale Teremok

Теремок (or Терем-теремок) is a well-known Russian skazka (fairy tale), and it's rather easy to read for people learning Russian. Terem is a type of a house.

You can read one of the story's versions here (features some beautiful illustrations). I'll help you with cute animal nicknames from there:

мышка, мышь - mouse, нора - hole, burrow

лягушка - frog, квакать - to croak, ква-ква - ribbit, croak

зайчик, заяц - hare, бегать - to run

лисичка, лиса - fox, сестричка, сестра - sister

волчок-серый бочок
волчок, волк - wolf, серый бок - grey side

медведь косолапый
медведь - bear, косолапый - bandy-legged

Such names are used for these animals not only in Teremok, so if you plan on reading more Russian skazkas, they can be useful to know. You can also read my post about making Russian words cuter (like мышка и зайчик).

And you can always listen to two audio versions of the story or watch a cartoon in Russian.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I have / I don't have in Russian

  In Russian we rarely use the verb иметь (to have) when talking about owning something. The most common way to say you have something is to use у меня есть:

У меня есть собака. - I have a dog.
У тебя есть телефон. - You have a phone.
У тебя есть эта штука? - Do you have this thing?
У вас есть блендер? - Do you have a blender?

If you don't have something, you use у меня нет:

У меня нет времени. - I don't have time.
У меня нет сил. - I'm tired (literally: I don't have powers).
У него нет денег. - He doesn't have money.
У них нет детей. - They don't have kids.
У меня нет никакого желания это делать. - I don't have any desire to do it.

In colloquial we often skip есть completely:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Russian anecdote about Vovochka

  This is a very old anecdote that many Russians know. It features Vovochka, a character of quite many Russian anecdotes. There are a few versions of this particular story, I'm posting the one I heard in childhood.

Учительница показывает детям ужа и спрашивает:
-Дети, вы знаете, кто это такой?
Никто не знает.
Тут Вовочка встаёт и подходит к ужу. Он гладит ужа по голове и задумчиво говорит:
-Так вот ты какой, северный олень!

A teacher shows a grass-snake to her pupils.
“Do you know who this is?” she asks.
No one knows.
Then Vovochka stands up and approaches the snake. He strokes its head and contemplatively says:
“That's how you look like, the reindeer!”
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