Category: "Politics"


by Don  

Every beginning Russian student knows the word вопрос means ‘question.’ It's a perfectly regular hard first declension noun:


Sentences with this word are fairly straight-forward:

Это очень интересный вопрос. That's a very interesting question.
Ой, не мучай меня твоими постоянными вопросами!* Oof, stop tormenting me with your ceaseless questions!
Наташа всегда задаёт самые продуманные вопросы. Natasha always poses the most clearly reasoned questions.

The word also has a secondary meaning of ‘issue’:

Учёные теперь серьёзно занимаются вопросами изменения климата. Nowadays scientists are seriously studying climate change issues.
Мой брат стал членом комиссии по военно-промышленным вопросам. My brother has become a member of a committee on military-industrial issues.

* мучать is a slightly more conversational version of мучить.

Класс (часть четвёртая)

by Don  

The word класс can also be used in the sense of social classes социальные классы. These phrases were ubiquitous in Russian during the Soviet period because communist ideology framed its arguments in terms of social class. Among the classes defined by Karl Marx were:

средний класс the middle class
низший класс the lower ('lowest') class
буржуазия the bourgeoisie

Although Americans have heard the word bourgeoisie, we often have a fairly vague idea of what it means. defines it thus: “(in Marxist theory) the class that, in contrast to the proletariat or wage-earning class, is primarily concerned with property values. ” (Can you say “American financial crisis”?)

Sample sentences:

Наше исследование показало, что к высшему-высшему классу принадлежали те семьи, чьи члены на протяжении нескольких поколений вели образ жизни высшего класса. Our research has shown that the very topmost class consisted of those families whose members had lived an upper-class life for several generations. (source)
Члены низшего-среднего класса не принадлежали к женским и смешанным клубам. (source) Members of the lower- and middle-class did not belong to women's clubs and mixed clubs.
Буржуазия - в марксизме - господствующий класс капиталистического общества. (source) The bourgeoisie in Marxism is the ruling class of capitalist society.