Latest Comments

In response to: Белка

Richard [Visitor]

Это интересное видео о Белки и Стрелки на Би-Би-Си: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29669395

 Permalink 10/18/14 @ 14:32

In response to: Кирпич, часть вторая

Liz WiId [Visitor]

Love your blog. Thanks for putting it out there for us.

Minor quibble: “exaggerating” has two ‘g’s’ … one ‘r’.

Don responds: Thanks! Typo corrected.

 Permalink 10/15/14 @ 11:53

In response to: Морж

Richard [Visitor]

Hm, my dictionary says that моржи can also refer to people who take cold-water plunges in winter. In North America we call these polar bear swimmers. In Canada polar bear plunges are very popular, especially on New Year’s Day.

 Permalink 10/14/14 @ 12:42

In response to: Upgrade progress

Claudia Furlan [Visitor]

the same problem to me, kak jal!
I’m using Mac Book pro, Safari Versione 6.1.6 (7537.78.2)
Please please try to fix it

 Permalink 10/13/14 @ 02:16

In response to: Вишня

Shady_arc [Visitor]

I’d say the most typical expression for suits is “малиновый пиджак” (crimson jacket). In early 90s New Russians were famous for wearing these. However, in the late 90s it has already become bad taste in clothing, so, in reality, I have never seen one. “Вишнёвый костюм” does not sound familiar.

That’s why it is important to know them as “малиновые пиджаки” since they only exist in jokes now. Not for long, probably.

 Permalink 10/10/14 @ 03:16

In response to: Кирпич, часть вторая

Richard [Visitor]

Don,

I agreed with your last paragraph right up till when you touted the benefits of religion. There is religious theory and then there is religious praxis. In my experience it’s quite often the religious believers who are the most aggressive, the most violent, the most intolerant, the most hateful.

The bible and the koran contain pretty little phrases promoting tolerance and universal love. However when put into practice the result is an ossified ideology of hate and intolerance.

For the record, I consider “communism” (the USSR was never communist, nor China, hence the quotation marks) and the various varieties of fascism to be religions. Smash the old set of rules and replace them with a new set of rules; replace the old saviour, the old shepherd, with a new Leader and there you have a new religion.
No, my friend, religion is not the answer. Religion is part of the problem.

I have faith, faith in Humanity, faith that we can come together without the need for invisible beings and selective morality enforced from on high. Morality comes from within each of us, it doesn’t come from a book and it doesn’t come from the twisted words of a supposed prophet. Morality certainly does not come from a fear of being judged in a next life; that is a very disingenuous “morality". Morality, love and tolerance come from within each Human Being, some more than others.

In peace,
Richard

P.S. Have you ever read Jacque Ellul’s “The Technological Society"? I think you might enjoy his thoughts on technology, materialism and conformity.

 Permalink 10/08/14 @ 09:51

In response to: Upgrade progress

Aatami [Visitor]

I can only see question marks instead of Cyrillic characters! My OS is Win 8.1 and browser the most recent IE. What to do?

 Permalink 10/01/14 @ 01:26

In response to: Upgrade progress

rob [Visitor]

love the site, but those Russian letters still all look the same to me???!!!! using windows 8

 Permalink 09/24/14 @ 14:14

In response to: Upgrade progress

rob [Visitor]

love the site, but those Russian letters still all look the same to me???!!!!

 Permalink 09/24/14 @ 14:13

In response to: Белка

Andrey [Visitor]

Небольшое уточнение. Белка и Стрелка были не первые собаки в космосе. Первой собакой была Лайка. Но к сожалению она не вернулась на Землю. Поэтому, Белка и Стрелка это первые собаки, которые были в космосе и вернулись назад. Так будет правильней.

 Permalink 09/24/14 @ 11:08

In response to: Upgrade progress

Clifton [Visitor]

On a blackberry playbook I get question marks instead of cyrillic.

 Permalink 09/23/14 @ 21:10

In response to: Upgrade progress

Mujgo [Visitor]

I’m also just seeing question marks instead of cyrillic.
I’m using Windows 8.1 64bit, tried with Firefox and Chrome. When I read the site over feedly it works, though.

 Permalink 09/23/14 @ 15:42

In response to: Достопримечательности

Dennis [Visitor]

Great job in adding the audio instruction to what was already a great studying tool.

 Permalink 09/22/14 @ 15:30

In response to: Upgrade progress

Antonovich [Visitor]

Windows 7 64-bit

IE 9.0.8112.16421 64-bit - displayed
Yandex.Browser 14.7.1916.15705 (bab24c4)- displayed

No Cyrillic chars displayed.

Opera Developer 19.0.1326.0
Google Chrome 37.0.2032.120 m
Firefox 32.0.2

 Permalink 09/20/14 @ 19:47

In response to: Upgrade progress

mb [Visitor]

No Cyrillic chars displayed.
Windows 7 sp1 IE 10

 Permalink 09/15/14 @ 01:49

In response to: Upgrade progress

Edwige [Visitor]

I’m of those who see only questions marks instead of Russian characters :-( I’m using a PC, Windows 7, Firefox.

 Permalink 09/14/14 @ 00:04

In response to: Upgrade progress

Lara [Visitor]

everything appears to be replaced by question marks!!! terrible :)

 Permalink 09/05/14 @ 10:08

In response to: Guest book & general comments

Наташа [Visitor]

Кстати, отличный блог.

 Permalink 08/23/14 @ 14:26

In response to: Кирпич, часть первая

Sabi [Visitor]

“Кирича” etc => “Кирпича”

Don responds: Thanks! Typo fixed!

 Permalink 06/22/14 @ 00:25

In response to: Translating humor, part II

Marc [Visitor]

After the integration of Dombass in the Russian federation a new state was created: Dombassia.
The citizens are now called “dumbasses”

It’s the next step after all :p

 Permalink 05/31/14 @ 04:19

In response to: Уходить/уйти

Alex [Visitor]

>In Russian if you mention the place you are leaving, you must *always* use the ‘from’ word with its noun. For this verb you use the typical ‘from’ equivalents. For example:

But if you use “покинула” instead of “ушла", you never use “from".
Таня ушла из университета
Таня покинула университет

The latter is close to “left forever” though, but not always.

 Permalink 05/11/14 @ 02:16

In response to: Translating humor, part II

Richard [Visitor]

Hm, this was tougher than I thought it would be.

“After the welcoming home of Crimea by Russia a new state arose - Ratropolis.
The citizens will be known as ’squealers’…”

Any critiques more than welcome!

 Permalink 04/30/14 @ 18:18

In response to: Крыса

Natasha [Member]

Richard,

What an intriguing question! I did some research and talked to a few native speakers, and it appears as though this is not the case for rats in Russian. The word крыса is used for both male and female rats. A small or baby rat would be called крысёнок. Hope this helps! Thanks so much for the comment!

-Natasha

 Permalink 04/07/14 @ 12:48

In response to: Крыса

Richard [Visitor]

Natasha,

Since Russian has different words for male and female cats, is this also the case for rats?

 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 16:33

In response to: Translating humor, part I

Richard [Visitor]

Don,

An interesting post!

Of course humour relies on more than just linguistics. It also relies on culture. People who have a shared cultural history and cultural values are able to create humour using this cultural subtext. The comedian and his audience share an implicit understanding of what is funny and what the boundaries of humour are.
Some cultures joke about sex, some about religion, some about drinking, some about none of the above.

Human beings are united by our love of humour but are divided by our cultural definitions of humour.

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.”
~ W.C. Fields

 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 16:26

In response to: Translating humor, part I

Shady_arc [Visitor]

I wonder if you could use “How is your (thesis) proposal?” here? Will anyone make the connection and even understand what the ambiguity is?

Don responds: Ah, now that is clever! But it might take a subtle reader to riddle it out.

 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 03:23

In response to: «Я покажу тебе Кузькину мать!»

David Taylor [Visitor]

неучадчником should be неудачником!

Don responds: Thanks! Typo corrected.

 Permalink 03/20/14 @ 08:13

In response to: «Я покажу тебе Кузькину мать!»

Richard [Visitor]

Natasha,

It’s always good to learn some idiomatic phrases. Also, as a political junkie I really enjoyed this post!

Никсон: “И это типичная капиталистическая кухня!”

Хрущёв: “Но где же серебро??”

Никсон: “Я не мошенник!”

Хрущёв: “Я покажу тебе Кузькину мать!!!”

Sorry, couldn’t resist, I love political humour! :-D

Anyway, I have a question re the sentence “Ты всегда будешь неучадчником!” Literally, this would translate as “You’ll always be an ignoramus!”
I found “неуч” in my dictionary with the English translation “ignoramus", however I wasn’t able to find “неучадник". Is it safe to assume that the meaning is the same as “неуч” or is there a slightly different connotation due to the ending “-адник"?

Don responds: Typo corrected. Неудачник is the intended word.

 Permalink 03/12/14 @ 18:36

In response to: Вести

Mark Sowul [Visitor]

I know this verb is an oddball, but они “ведвелут"?

Don responds: Oops, thanks! Typo corrected.

 Permalink 03/11/14 @ 06:26

In response to: Ассортимент

Simo Vihinen [Visitor]

I had to pop by and leave another comment! Great article about the word ассортимент! I think you have a small typo: “сухофркуты в ассортименте".

Don responds: Thanks! Typo corrected.

 Permalink 03/05/14 @ 17:14

In response to: Мусор

David Taylor [Visitor]

In Moscow I heard the word «мильтон» used for ‘cop’ or ‘fuz’ and they could fine you on the spot for using it. Is this still the case?

Don responds: Oof, I have no idea. Perhaps one of our readers from Russia could respond?

 Permalink 03/02/14 @ 04:10

In response to: Мусор

Richard [Visitor]

Hi Shady_arc,

Those are some great words to apply to TV programs! Они - слова, которые я не знал! Спасибо!

Может быть слово хлам могло использоваться в этом контексте?

It’s amazing how many different ways human beings can talk trash! ;-)

 Permalink 02/28/14 @ 15:22

In response to: Мусор

Shady_arc [Visitor]

“мусорный ящик” is not a common expression in Russian, just like “trash box"/ “garbage crate". Letterbox for trash comes to mind :).

A real term is “мусорное ведро” (at home) or “урна” (on the streets: often next to benches or building entrances).

As for garbage on TV, I would use “бред", “шлак", “чушь", “всякую гадость” and so on, depending on the meaning implied.

 Permalink 02/28/14 @ 02:18

In response to: Водить

Sahyd_arc [Visitor]

“Я вчера водил своих девушек на престижную дискотеку. Ахти, как им там понравилось!” → “Ахти” should not be used here. First, it has a negative connotation “alas". Second, it is downright archaic and used only in “не ахти как"(~"not really good").

“И как им там понравилось!” would work just fine.

Don responds: Sahyd, thanks for your comment. I’ve decided to change the ахти to вау, which I’ve heard from the lips of a 22-year old kid who always seems to have beautiful girls around him. He originally inspired the sentence. Like many twenty-somethings (and thousands of Muscovites) he occasionally throws in anglicisms. BTW, I enjoyed the discusion of вау and other interjections here.

 Permalink 02/28/14 @ 02:12

In response to: Мусор

Richard [Visitor]

Hi Don,

Thanks for your response.

Re the use of мусор, I was just curious about how the word is used in the purely figurative sense. I chose TV as an example because it’s so annoying; I can only hope that Russian TV shows are of better quality than what we have here! LOL

Thanks for the links about едь. From what I read, it seems that the consensus of opinion is that it’s a vulgarism which should be avoided by educated people. I guess Natasha stated it best when she called it substandard Russian.

 Permalink 02/24/14 @ 21:13

In response to: Мусор

Richard [Visitor]

An interesting post, Natasha!

A couple of questions come to mind:

1.) Could “мусор” be used in a broader figurative sense, i.e., apart from referring to the local constabulary?
In Canada we often say that something we don’t like is “garbage". For example: “There’s nothing but garbage on TV!”
На русском языке, может быт: “Есть только мусор по телевидению!” Is that a correct usage of “мусор"?

2.) You mentioned that “едь” is substandard Russian. Is “едь” simply incorrect grammatically or is it slang? If it is slang is it considered profane in any way? Is it used by a certain age group or social group? Sorry for all the questions, I’m just curious.

Don responds: Hi, Richard. This is Don, responding for Natasha.

  1. Although it would be perfectly grammatical in Russian to say that someone is watching garbage on TV, it is not a common thing to say. If you google the phrase “мусор по телевидению” (with quotes), you will find very few hits. Compare that with the results for the corresponding English phrase.
  2. «Едь» is non-literary, uneducated Russian, not slang and not profane. Absolutely everyone understands it immediately when they hear it. If you know your imperative formation rules very well, then in fact you would predict that едь is the imperative form. But sometimes the expected form in a language is replaced entirely by an unexpected form; then we say that form is suppletive. Thus in English we would expect the past tense of “go” to be be “goed,” but instead we get the suppletive form “went.” In the Russian literary language the verb ехать and all its prefixed derivatives use suppletive variations of езжай for the imperative. Occasionally one will also hear «ехай». The Russians themselves sometimes have questions on this issue. See the discussions on mail.ru and lik-bez.com for a bit of amusement.
 Permalink 02/20/14 @ 12:50

In response to: Путешествовать

Richard [Visitor]

Don,

1.) How does the perfective prefix “по-” change the meaning of this verb? Knowing Russian verbs of motion I have a feeling the answer won’t be a simple one! :-)

2.) Just an observation. It looks like “путешествовать” comes from the noun “путь” meaning “path” or “way".

Don responds: Richard, the по- here simply adds the idea of ‘for a while.’ On this occasion there is no complex directional meeting.

BTW, good observation. Пут- does indeed mean path/way, and the root of the second part is шед- ‘go’, which we see in the past tense of идти, which is шёл. (The connection between ид-/шед-/ход- is actually quite interesting, but would take too much time to go into here.)

 Permalink 02/17/14 @ 08:21

In response to: Сгущёнка

MMM [Visitor]

Вот вполне приемлемая формулировка правила употребления предлогов с/со: “Предлог “со” фонетически закономерен перед словами, начинающимися с сочетаний [с, з, ш, ж] + согласная или с согласной [щ]: со ста, со славой, со звездой, со шкафа, со жгутом, со щами, со зверем, но с зайцем. Перед словами, начинающимися сочетанием “сс", употребляется предлог “с".
Также предлог “со” употребляется перед формами с начальными сочетаниями [л, ль, р, м] + согласная: со лба, со мной, со льдом, со ртом; также перед сочетаниями [в] + согласная: со вторника, со всеми, со второго.”

Не советую вам так опираться на мнение носителей языка. Мы допускаем слишком много ошибок, о которых сами не знаем.

Don responds: Melodi, thanks for the comment! Your rule is generally good for foreigners.

 Permalink 02/08/14 @ 10:50

In response to: Дог

MMM [Visitor]

Great Dane является лишь одной из пород, названных догами. Существуют не только Немецкие, но и Аргентинские, Канарские, Бордоские доги.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:40

In response to: Орёл

MMM [Visitor]

Американский орёл существует только в разговорной речи, так как люди зачастую несведущи в орнитологии и не знают, как данная птица называется. Вы привели нелучший пример, так как ни в одной нормальной научной статье орлана орлом не назовут.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:32

In response to: Ломать/сломать & ломаться/сломаться

MMM [Visitor]

“Ну, кто так делает?”
Здесь “ну” является частицей и не обособляется. Тем более, интонационного разделения тоже нет.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:26

In response to: Кипяток

MMM [Visitor]

Я не согласна с предыдущим комментатором. Вполне можно пить кипяток, имея ввиду только что вскипячённую воду, тем более, многим людям всё равно, что их чай или кофе очень горячий. Например: “Я всегда пью кипяток, не понимаю, почему на меня все так косятся?".

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:19

In response to: Мурашки

MMM [Visitor]

“Только вот там очень много всяких мурашек и букашек бегает…”
Первый раз вижу, чтобы мурашками называли, судя по переводу, муравьёв, да и вообще, что-то, относящееся к реальным членистоногим.


 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:07

In response to: Учить/выучить

MMM [Visitor]

Следует написать, что наизусть нужно выучить решение (ну или вид, смотря, что именно нужно учить) квадратного уравнения.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 05:01

In response to: Кормить/накормить

MMM [Visitor]

“Я целое лето кормил и скот и кур и свиней.”
Вы забыли про запятые.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:55

In response to: Возможность

MMM [Visitor]

“По-моему, завтра у нас будет возможность сходить в Третьяковску галерею.”
Третьяковскую.

Don responds: Спасибо! Текст поправлен.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:50

In response to: Вымя

MMM [Visitor]

Заражается коза, а не её вымя.

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:46

In response to: Год (часть вторая)

MMM [Visitor]

Говорят и “года” и “годы", но использование этих слов является ситуативным. Например, “летят года” или “все эти годы мы…".

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:41

In response to: Год (часть четвёртая)

MMM [Visitor]

“Мы женаты уже один год.”
Как в английском “one” заменяют на “а", так и в русском принято опускать слово “один” и говорить просто: “Мы женаты уже год".

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:36

In response to: Год (часть шестая)

MMM [Visitor]

Говорят “тех лет", а не “тех годов".

 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 04:32