Monday, July 29, 2013

Video Lesson: Russian Stress Patterns

Everything you wanted to know about stress in Russian words  in the video below.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Russian Word of the Day: до

до - until, till, up to, before

до + genitive case

Russian Word of the Day: -нибудь

-нибудь is a particle that shows uncertainty. It can be added to some words. Let’s look at the examples:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Russian Word of the Day: ли

ли — whether, if

It's one of those tricky-to-translate words, so let's look at the sentences with ли.

Не пойти ли нам погулять? - Won't we go for a walk?
Не знаю, могу ли я это сделать. - I don't know whether I can do it.
Купить ли мне новый телефон? - Should I buy a new phone?
Мне ли не знать. - I should know.

Russian Word of the Day: один

один - one, alone, some

Возьми одно яблоко. - Take one apple.
Я расскажу тебе одну историю. - I'll tell one story.
У циклопа есть только один глаз. - A cyclops has just one eye.
Принимай по одной таблетке три раза в день. - Take one pill three times a day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Russian Word of the Day: чтобы

чтобы, чтоб — to, so that

Чтобы стать образованным человеком, надо много читать. - You should read a lot to become educated.
Чтобы волосы были красивыми, надо пользоваться натуральным шампунем. - You should use natural shampoo, if you want to have beautiful hair.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Russian Word of the Day: почему

Today's word is почему (why). It's very easy to use.


Почему кровь красная? - Why is blood red?
Почему у тебя зелёные волосы? - Why is your hair green?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Russian Word of the Day: первый

Hello there. Today we are starting a series of short posts that will show you how to use various Russian words. And we'll start with the word первый, which means... first!

первый - first
первый раз - first time
первый класс - first class, first grade
первая любовь - first love

Friday, May 24, 2013

Living in Moscow: Videos

Many people learn Russian to live and work in Russia. Here are a few informative videos about living in Moscow.

The Russian Language

My opinion is that it's rude to not even try to learn the language of the country you live in. Locals will love hearing you speak some Russian, don't be shy!

Living in Moscow: An Overview

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to learn foreign languages: video collection

Here are a few great videos about language learning. Some are short, some are longer. They cover all sorts of topics – make sure to write down the most important tidbits!

Hacking language learning
Взламывая» иностранные языки

Ciaela's tips
Советы Сиаэлы

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Russian roofs can be... different

  Russian word for a roof, крыша, means more than just that. It originates from крыть - to cover. Let's start with which prepositions you can use with крыша:

на крыше (plural: на крышах) — on the roof (something is there)
на крышу (на крыши) — to the roof
по крыше (по крышам) — on the roof (something is moving there)
о крыше (о крышах) — about a roof
с крыши (с крыш) — from the roof
в крыше (в крышах) — in the roof
под крышей (под крышами) — under the roof
из-за крыши (из-за крыш) from-behind the roof
нет крыши (нет крыш) — no roof
много крыш — many roofs

Monday, March 18, 2013

Russian vocabulary: привычка, привыкнуть

  Today we will look at Russian words describing habits and doing things one is used to.

привычка - custom, habit, wont, mannerism
привыкнуть - to get used to, to become accustomed to
отвыкнуть - to get out of the habit of, to become disaccustomed
привычный - habitual, customary, accustomed
привычно - habitually
непривычный - unusual, unfamiliar, uncustomary
вредная (дурная) привычка - “harmful habit”, bad, obsessive habit (such as smoking or biting your fingernails)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Russian texts online

  Reading is one of the best ways to enrich your vocabulary and improve grammar skills. If you don't have access to physical books in Russian, there are still many options online.

Project Gutenberg offers free e-books in many languages including Russian.

Журнал «Самиздат» is a place where Russian beginner authors can publish their works online. Some even get a contract with a publisher, if their stories become popular. You can search the site by genre (Жанры), view latest entries (Последние поступления) or simply check the best works (Избранное, Топ-40 and Топ-30).

Стихи.Ру publishes modern poetry in Russian.

Multilingual Books offers you an extensive list of links to Russian literature online.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Дать, отдать, продать...

  Russian verb дать (to give) has a big family. There are many words with -дат- made by adding prefixes and suffixes to it. Let's have a look at some of them.

дать/давать - to give
(here are its conjugations)

отдать - to give away, to give back
подать - to present, to offer, to serve, to hand in
продать - to sell
преподать - to teach
задать - to give, to set, to indicate

You can check more meanings of these words here.

A few nouns made from these verbs:

отдача - output, return, response
подача - presentation, serving, inning (in sports)
продавец - seller, salesman
продажа - sale
преподаватель - teacher
задание - task, assignment


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Colours of Russian salaries

  Did you know that in Russia salaries can be white, black and sometimes grey?

чёрная зарплата (“black salary”) is the salary from which no taxes were paid. For example, you work somewhere, but not officially, so you get “black salary.” If they fire you, you won't be able to prove you worked there.

белая зарплата (“white salary”) is an official, legal salary from which you and your employer pay taxes, it’s what you officially get.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

11+ common Russian colloquial words

  Here are a few easy words from spoken Russian. One cannot always use formal speech, right? ;)

крутой - cool (non-colloquial meaning: steep, sharp)

культовый - cult, extremely popular, iconic, from культ - cult (non-colloquial meaning: cultic, of religious worship)

чувак - dude

бабки, бабло, капуста - money (деньги in formal speech)

штука - 1000 rubles/dollars, etc. (non-colloquial meaning: thing)

лимон (from миллион) - million rubles/dollars, etc. (non-colloquial meaning: lemon)

мобильник (from мобильный телефон) - cell phone

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Уже vs ещё

  Уже means already, yet, by now; ещё means yet, more. Here is how you use them.

Они уже проснулись. - They already woke up.
Уже готово. - Already done/ready.
Уже поздно. - It's already late.
Я уже не студент. - I'm not a student anymore. The same meaning: Я больше не студент.
Она давно уже живёт в Москве. - She's been living in Moscow for some time now.
Я уже сделал(а) это. - I've already done that.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Russian trailers of foreign movies

  If watching a whole movie in Russian seems too much work for you, why not start with trailers? You can practice your listening comprehension and vocabulary, and it won't take that much time. Here are a few trailers to get you started.

Анна Каренина

Хоббит: Нежданное путешествие
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Облачный атлас
Cloud Atlas

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to use хотя

  “Although” in Russian is хотя (хоть). Most of the time either form can be used.

Хотя на улице лил дождь, Ваня и Саша пошли погулять. - Although it was raining, Vanya and Sasha went for a walk.
Хоть у Стаса и мало времени, он успевает заниматься и карате, и танцами. - Although Stas has little time, he manages to do both karate and dancing.
Хотя Даша читает англоязычные книги, она всё ещё не говорит по-английски. - Although Dasha reads a lot in English, she still doesn't speak it.
Света играет на пианино каждый день, хотя пока не видно результатов. - Sveta plays piano every day, although you can't see the results yet.
Ужин был невкусным, и хотя Лида была голодной, она не доела своё блюдо. - The supper was not yummy, and although Lida was hungry, she didn't finish her meal.
Хоть ему и 50 лет, он по-прежнему любит видео-игры. - Although he is 50, he still enjoys video games.
Хотя то, что Мария увидела, её потрясло, она никому об этом не рассказала. - Although what she saw shook her, Maria didn't tell anyone about it.
Хоть у него и большая зарплата, он тратит все деньги за пару дней. - Although he has a big salary, he spends all the money in a couple of days.

These words have other meanings too:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Горячий vs жаркий

  Both горячий and жаркий mean hot. Sometimes either one is fine, sometimes only one of them fits the context. Hopefully, the examples below will show you the difference between горячий and жаркий.


горячий шоколад – hot chocolate
горячее, горячие блюда – warm main meal(s), for example, soups, as opposed to salads or desserts
горячая вода – hot water
горячий утюг – hot iron
горячий песок – hot sand
горячий лоб – hot forehead (in fever)
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