Monday, December 31, 2012

Russian words about sleeping and a lullaby

  It's night time here, so I decided to share with you some Russian vocabulary about sleeping.

спать - to sleep
уснуть, заснуть - to fall alseep
просыпаться - to wake up
вставать - to wake up, to rise
будить, разбудить - to wake someone up
будильник - alarm-clock
сон - sleep, dream

бессонница - insomnia
кошмар - nightmare
видеть сны - to dream
сниться, присниться — to appear in dreams
сонный, сонливый - sleepy
храп - snore
храпеть - to snore
кровать, постель - bed
подушка - pillow
одеяло - blanket
колыбельная - lullaby
петь колыбельную - to sing a lullaby

сова - night owl, evening person
жаворонок - lark, morning person
голубь - "pigeon" (a person who doesn't have strong preferences to early or late waking up)

Idioms about sleeping:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tip of the week: Record yourself speaking Russian

  If you want to speak Russian, you'll have to actually do a lot of speaking. No matter how much you read in Russian or listen to Russian radio, you won't learn to speak the language fluently if you never open your mouth.

But don't stop there. Speak – and record yourself! You can easily make videos for YouTube and get useful feedback and encouragement there. Other reasons for recording yourself?

“-Forcing yourself to output something and getting used to pronouncing the words
-Burning the words of your video into your memory forever, since you’ll know them really well thanks to the preparation, especially as I describe it below
-Giving yourself a project to work towards with a deadline, forcing you to improve by that time”
-Benny Lewis.

(Read more here.)

To inspire you to give it a try, here are a few videos from people who, just like you, are learning Russian.




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Words that are always plural in Russian

  My husband and I were talking (in English) about chess the other day, and I referred to the game as 'them'. He asked me why, and I realized it was because chess in Russian – шахматы – is always plural. It's not the only word like that. For example, just like in English scissors and trousers are always plural, their Russian brothers are plural as well.

брюки - (formal) trousers
штаны - trousers, pants
джинсы - jeans 
шорты - shorts 
ножницы - scissors 
плоскогубцы (пассатижи) - lineman's pliers
кусачки (острогубцы) - diagonal pliers, wire cutters
щипцы - tongs, pliers, hair crimper
вилы - pitchfork
ворота - gate, gates
очки - glasses
шахматы - chess
весы - weigh-scales
часы - clock, watch
носилки - litter, palanquin, stretchers

Ножницы is always plural.

деньги - money

Monday, December 10, 2012

Plural form — exceptions in Russian

  Some words in Russian don't want to have a normal plural form. You have to memorize them.

друг — друзья friends
брат — братья brothers
мать — матери mothers
дочь — дочери daughters
сын — сыновья sons
муж — мужья husbands
человек — люди people
ребёнок — дети children
учитель — учителя teachers
доктор — доктора doctors
ухо — уши ears
лист — листья leaves
дерево — деревья trees

Interesting that most of these words are related to humans.

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