October 24th, 2008 — posted by Olga

The Russian word for grape is виноград. The area where my grandmother lived was very well know for making вино wine because of the sweet and ripe grapes that grow there. My great grandmother grew beautiful grapes in the backyard of her home and made her own homemade red wine. In her backyard, the grape trees grew thick and were full of beautiful red and green grapes. My great grandmother enjoyed making sweet red wine so she added sugar to the recipe. She said, «Мне нужно добавить сахар в рецепт чтобы сделать сладкое красное вино» “I need to add sugar to the recipe to make sweet red wine». Sometimes, my great grandmother asked me to help her pick grapes from the trees. She told me «Помоги мне собрать виноград в корзину» “Help me gather the grapes into the basket” and I gladly agreed. Besides making wine, she also made grape preserves варенье and different pies пироги made with grape filling.


October 23rd, 2008 — posted by Olga

The Russian word for chamomile is ромашка. In Russia, chamomile grows in the fields and is not only used in bouquet arrangements but also for cosmetic and medical uses. I especially love chamomile blossoms because they are beautiful and stay fresh in the vase for approximately one week. My grandmother grew chamomile all over her garden and she enjoyed drying the flowers to make tea and cosmetic remedies. She told me «Мы засушим ромашку и сделаем чай» “We will dry the chamomile and make tea.” The incredible scent of these flowers filled the entire house every time my grandmother dried her chamomile.

In particular, many young women like to make a head wreath венок out of chamomile flowers. In traditional Russian practice, it is thought that if a woman weaves and gives a head wreath to a man, she indicates that she is in favor of marrying him. I remember many summer days when I sat in my grandmother’s garden and made wreaths out of chamomile flowers. «Я обожаю делать венки из цветов ромашки» “I adore making head wreaths out of chamomile flowers!”

Новорождённые дети

October 22nd, 2008 — posted by Olga

The Russian word for newborn infants is новорождённые дети. In America, it is customary to show our appreciation and excitement for an upcoming baby by giving the family a baby shower. However, in Russia, this is usually not the practice until after a baby is born. It is thought by many Russians that expressing happiness and excitement for a new baby should only be done after the baby has successfully entered into the world.

Another important Russian tradition is giving the parents of the baby a sweet treat as a gift. This sweet gift can be honey мёд, sugar сахар, or candy конфеты and symbolizes a sweet future for the child. My mother told me that when I was born, my great grandmother brought a large jar of homemade honey and as she handed my parents this gift, she said «Пусть этот мед принесёт Оле сладкую жизнь!» “Let this honey bring Olga a sweet life!”


October 21st, 2008 — posted by Olga

The Russian word for train is поезд. Trains are a very common means of transportation in many parts of Russia. As a child, I lived and attended school in Ukraine which was very stressful at times because of the huge work load. As a part of my summer vacation, I traveled to visit my aunt in Moscow. My parents and I took the train from Lvov to Moscow, which took approximately 24 hours. Part of the reason I enjoyed seeing my aunt so much was because the train ride was a very exciting and fun experience for me. I always brought my toys with me and my parents brought food and comfy pillows to sleep on.

As we boarded the train, the train attendant called out «Внимание! Наш поезд отправляется» “Attention! Our train is leaving.” I quickly took a seat by the window and my parents ordered me a cup of tea from the train attendant «Я хочу купить одну кружку чая, пожайлуста» “I would like to buy one cup of tea please.” During our ride, My dad and I played cards карты which was very exciting because I beat him that time!

As the train approached Moscow, the train attendant called out «Внимание! Следующая станция Москва» “Attention! The next station is Moscow”. As we began making our way towards the exit, a lady in front of us dropped a basketful of apples on the floor and everyone was held back while she tried to pick them up. This was very troubling news for everyone who was trying to exit the train because the hallway was crowded and there was only one way out of the train. I began to panic because the train was going to depart again in a few minutes! I heard people yelling «Разрешите пройти! Нам нужно выйти» “let us through! We need to exit.” Fortunately, the lady picked up her apples quickly and we exited the train just as it was beginning to depart again.


October 20th, 2008 — posted by Don

The Russian word for website is сайт as in «Мы с Зоей познакомились на сайте знакомств, и через шесть месяцев мы поженимся!» "Zoya and I met on a dating site, and in six months we are getting married!" There are several ways you can tell someone to go to your new web site:

Перейдите на мой новый сайт
Зайдите на мой новый сайт
Загляните на мой новый сайт
Откройте мой новый сайт

A slightly more formal way, say in an advertisement, uses the verb посещать/посетить: «Посетите нашу домашнюю страницу» “Visit our home page.” Of course, sometimes you want to warn people away from a site, so you might say «Не открывайте этот сайт, иначе компьютер заразится шпионскими программами» “Don't go to that site or the computer will get infected with spyware.”