Международный женский день

March 6th, 2015 — posted by Janell

International Women’s day -Международный женский день is a holiday celebrated in Russia on March 8th every year. It began in America on February 28 in 1909 and the soviet union quickly followed suit. Russia first celebrated it in 1913 on the last week of February according to the Julian calendar that they used at the time which corresponds to March 8th on the Gregorian calendar. It is an official public holiday that is celebrated by both men and women in honor of the women in the world. Gifts such as flowers candy and cosmetics are some of the most popular gifts given to mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, wives etc. Of the flowers yellow mimosas and roses are the most popular according to this site. One of the popular phrases heard to wish someone a happy women’s day in Russia is С восьмы́м ма́рта! [s vas-MYM MAR-ta] (I congratulate you) With March 8th! There are also some poems that are dedicated to this day. That can also be found on the site previously mentioned. The holiday brings pleasant upbeat feelings and another way to connect with the family. Other useful links are here and here

Завтра будет Международный женский день. Tomorrow will be International Women's Day.
Что вы делали на Международный женский день? What did you do for International Women's day?
У нас нет Международного женского дня. We do not have International Women's day.
В Америке не празднуют Международный женский день. In America they don't celebrate International Women's Day.

Готовить/приготовить, часть вторая

January 13th, 2015 — posted by Don

The verb готовоить/приготовить means ‘to prepare’ in the sense of preparing food, in other words ‘to cook.’ It conjugates like this.

to prepare
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive готовить приготовить
Past готовил
готовила
готовило
готовили
приготовил
приготовила
приготовило
приготовили
Present готовлю
готовишь
готовит
готовим
готовите
готовят
No such thing as perfective present in Russian.
Future буду готовить
будешь готовить
будет готовить
будем готовить
будете готовить
будут готовить
приготовлю
приготовишь
приготовит
приготовим
приготовите
приготовят
Imperative готовь(те) приготовь(те)

First off, it can be used in the sense of ‘to know to cook’ in general.

— Твой папа готовит?
— Нет, папа вообще не готовит. Всегда готовит мама или я.
“Does your dad cook?”
“No, dad doesn't cook at all. It's always either me or mom.”

Of course, you can also use it with the verb уметь ‘to know how’ in the same meaning, but then you'll have to use an infinitive:

— Твой папа умеет готовить?
— Нет, папа вообще не готовит. Всегда готовит мама или я.
“Does your dad know how to cook?”
“No, dad doesn't cook at all. It's always either me or mom.”

You can also use the verb if you want to specify a specific dish or cuisine.

На ужин я приготовила бефстроганов. For dinner I made Beef Stroganoff.
Мой брат всегда готовит итальянские блюда. My brother always makes Italian food.
— Все говорят, что вы отличный повар. Из тех блюд, которые вы когда-либо готовили, какое самое интересное?
— В пустыне Калахари я приготовил ужин из пятнадцатикилограммового дикобраза. Они намного вкуснее обыкновенных американских дикобразов.
“Everyone says you are an amazing chef. What's the most interesting thing you have ever cooked?”
“In the Kalahari desert I made dinner from a 30-pound porcupine. They are a lot tastier than ordinary American porcupines.”

By Drew Avery (African crested Porcupine {Hystrix cristata}) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Зайка

January 12th, 2015 — posted by Don

When you get to Russia, you have to find yourself a Russian girlfriend or boyfriend. After a week or two, no doubt you start canoodling. Well, you can't kiss and cuddle and call your beloved by their first name. You have to call them the equivalent of sweetie or honey or darling or Nutella-lips. (Okay, I made that last one up.) In any case, one of the words you can use in that context is зайка ‘bunny’, which is the diminutive form of за́яц ‘rabbit.’ It declines like this:

SgPl
Nomза́йкза́йки
Accза́йкуза́ек
Genза́йки
Preза́йкеза́йках
Datза́йкам
Insза́йкойза́йками

Actually, I was completely ignorant of this word until last December. A Russian friend of mine had sent me a picture of her boyfriend. I responded:

Красавец он у тебя! You've got a good looking guy there!

And she responded:

Он зайка! He's a sweetie!

Of course, guys can use this, too, when talking to their girlfriends:

Зайка моя! Как я скучал по тебе! Oh, baby, I missed you so much!

In English affection terms are often associated with sweet-tasting foods: sweetie, honey, sugar, sugar plum, sweet cakes, sweet cheeks, honey bunch... Okay, some of those are old-fashioned, but you get the idea. Russians often use diminutive animal words to mean these things: рыбка ‘little fish,’ котик/киска ‘kitten.’ They have to be cute little animals; you'd never say «слоник ты мой» “your are my little elephant” or «верблюжонок ты мой» “my little camel.” And you definitely never want to call your girlfriend a сучка, which means... um... er... a little female dog, if you catch my meaning.

Рыбка, дом выглядит прекрасно! Sweetie, the house looks great!
Киска, ты прекрасно выглядиш! Baby, you look amazing!
Котик, ты такой красивый! Все мои подруги завидуют мне. Honey, you are so handsome! All my friends are jealous.

Надцатый

November 27th, 2014 — posted by Don

The other day I came across a story that included the following line:

Этой ночью кошка в надцатый раз нагадила под диван. Last night the cat pooped for the umpteenth time under the couch.

I had never encountered the word на́дцатый before, but instinct immediately told me it meant ‘umpteenth.’ Instincts always have to be double checked when you are dealing with a language not native to you, so I consulted a dictionary and found confirmation; and to my shock I also found out that there is a number ‘umpteen,’ which is на́дцать. That is very cool. These words are jocular, of course, not something you would write in a professional document or presentation, but everyone understands them. The noun form declines like this:

Sg
Nomна́дцать
Acc
Genна́дцати
Pre
Dat
Insна́дцатью

and the adjective form declines like a standard adjective:

Masc Neut Fem Pl
Nom на́дцатый на́дцатое на́дцатая на́дцатые
Acc * на́дцатую *
Gen на́дцатого на́дцатой на́дцатых
Pre на́дцатом
Dat на́дцатому на́дцатым
Ins на́дцатым на́дцатыми

Remember that these words are slightly humorous, so you will see them in informal contexts. Here are some theoretically possible sample sentences.

Тань, не поверишь, но вчера Серёга в надцатый раз пристал ко мне. Я больше терпеть не могла, так что пришлось просто отшить его. Tanya, you won't believe it, but yesterday Sergei hit on me for the umpteenth time. I couldn't take it any more so I
ended up having to get rid of him.
Ванька, я уже тебе надцать раз сказала, чтобы ты не забывал опускать сиденье унитаза! Если ещё раз забудешь, тебе будет плохо. Johnny, I've already told you umpteen times not to forget to put the toilet seat down! If you forget again, you'll be in big trouble.

Here's the whole story I mentioned before (source). Enjoy!

Этой ночью кошка в надцатый раз нагадила под диван. Last night the cat pooped for the umpteenth time under the couch.
Пришлось вставать и убирать. I had to get up and clean it.
Естественно, я не выспался: на завтрак пожарил себе йогурт; Of course, I didn't get enough sleep: at breakfast I ended up frying my yogurt.
на работе в сердцах разбил ксерокс, который отказывался работать — оказалось, это был сканер; At work in a fit of anger I broke a copy machine that didn't want to work; turned out it was a scanner.
вместо любовницы позвонил шефу и пять минут уговаривал его на интимную ночь с шампанским при свечах. I tried to call my girlfriend but accidentally called my boss and spent five minutes sweet-talking him into an intimate evening with champagne and candles.
Когда я сообразил, кому звоню, он уже почти согласился. By the time I had realized who I had called, he had practically agreed to come.
Пришел вечером домой и запер кошку в стиральной машине — I got home in the evening and shut the cat in the washing machine:
пусть сидит и думает над своим поведением. he needs to sit there a while and think about what he did.

Мочь/смочь

November 26th, 2014 — posted by Don

The verb most often translated ‘can, could, be able’ in Russian is мочь/смочь. Let's look over it's conjugation:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive мочь смочь
Past мог
могла
могло
могли
смог
смогла
смогло
смогли
Present могу
можешь
может
можем
можете
могут
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future No imperfective future
for this particular verb.
смогу
сможешь
сможет
сможем
сможете
смогут

Notice one quirk: it has no imperfective future form.

This verb is usually complemented by an infinitive phrase:

Ты можешь прочитать эту статью до завтра? Can you read this article by tomorrow?
Я не смогу прочитьать эту статью до завтра. I won't be able to read this article by tomorrow.
Когда она училась в Институте, она смогла поразить людей своим удивительным голосом. (source) When she was in college, she could amaze people with her astonishing voice.
— Я не могу избавиться от этих гнусных головных вшей. Я смазал свою голову речной грязью, как посоветовала бабушка, но никак не помогает.
— Речная грязь? Что за чушь? Купи себе шампунь «Педилин», он очень эффективен.
“I can't get rid of these nasty head lice. I smeared my head with river mud like Grandma told me, but it doesn't help.”
“River mud? That's ridiculous. Buy Pedilin shampoo. It works great.”