Categories: "Equipment"

Флешка (часть вторая)

by Don  

Nowadays everyone seems to have a flash drive to transfer files from one computer to another. You stick it in a USB port on your laptop and —bang!— you're in business. The most common Russian word for flash drive is флешка. Even though the third letter is е, the л is pronounced hard. It declines like this:


When you copy a file to/from a flash drive, you can use quite a few verbs, including скачивать/скачать, копировать/скопировать and скидывать/скинуть. You copy to a флешка using на + accusative:

Скопируй тот файл на мою флешку. Copy that file to my flash drive.
Я сейчас скину фотки на флешку. I will copy the photos the flash drive right away.
Почему ты не скачал софт на флешку? Why didn't you copy the software to the flash drive?

If you copy from a флешка, you use с + genitive:

Скопируй первое кино с флешки. Copy the first movie from the flash drive.
Я сейчас скину весь пиратский софт с флешки. I will copy all the pirateware from the flash drive right away.
Ничего не скачивай с флешки. На ней есть вирус. Не знаешь, как удалить? Don't copy anything from the flash drive. It has a virus. Do you know how to get rid of it?
— Юр, скопируй с флешки «rocklobster.mp3». Песня тебе понравится.
— Ладно, давай... Так, скопировал. А как насчёт других файлов?
— Это всё порнушка. Не стоит копировать. Она некачественная.
“Yuri, copy ‘rocklobster.mp3’ from my flash drive. You’ll like the song.”
“Okay, give it here... There we go, it’s copied. What about these other files?”
“That's all porn. Don't bother copying it. It’s low quality.”

Флешка (часть первая)

by Don  

About the most convenient way these days to move files from one laptop to another is to use a USB flash drive. There are several phrases associated with that concept in Russian, among which are флеш-накопитель "flash storage" and флеш-память "flash memory", but in common usage you will mostly hear флешка or флэшка. It looks odd to Russians to see the letter э anywhere aside from the first letter of a word, so I'm guessing in the long run the флешка spelling will win out. In either case, be sure to pronounce the л hard, not soft, no matter which spelling you use.

Флешки имеют самую разнообразную форму. Flash drives come in all sorts of shapes.
Чёрт возьми! Я случайно удалил все файлы с флешки. Dammit! I accidentally deleted all the files from my flash drive.
Скинь те фотки на мою флешку, пожалуйста. Copy those photos to my flash drive, please.
— Не хочешь скинуть этот софт?
— На флешке нет места.
"Do you want to copy this program"
"There's not enough room on my flash drive."

Probably the most common question about flash drives is how much data they can hold. The way to ask the question properly is:

— Какого объёма твоя флешка?
— Четыре гигабайта.
"How big is your flash drive?"
"Four gigabytes."

It's also possible to say things like:

На сколько гиг твоя флешка?
Сколько влазит на твою флешку?
У твоей флешки какой объём?
У твоей флешки какая ёмкость?
У твоей флешки какая вместительность?
How big is your flash drive?

I was amused to find out that sometimes geekoids will substitute the word гектар hectare for гигабайт gigabyte:

На сколько гектар твоя флешка? How big is your flash drive?

Last but not least, you might also hear something like:

Твоя флешка — какой объём?
Твоя флешка — какой размер?
How big is your flash drive?

Those versions look awful in print. Don't ever write them in an official document or course paper, but don't surprised if you hear them when friends are talking among themselves.


by Timur  

The word pучка means “little hand”; it is a diminutive of pука. It’s a tender way of referring someone’s arm or hand, but it has other meanings as well and can be used to refer to a number of different objects.

For example, the most popular use of the word pучка a person might encounter is when it stands for a pen. So don’t be thrown off balance when you are at some lowly Moscow coffee shop, solving a crossword puzzle, and a random guy leans over and says, «Пожалуйста oдолжите мне вашу ручку на пару секунд» “Please lend me your little hand for a few seconds.” Most likely he is not some creep nicely asking you to let him hold your hand, but rather a man who needs to borrow your pen.

If you ever find yourself in an overcrowded trolley, riding down Проспект Мира one early morning, you will most likely hear the irritated driver yell out the warning, «Пожалуйста, держитесь за ручки» “Please hold on to the little hands” when someone trips. In this case pучка means strap.

To open a door, you place your hand on the дверная pучка. Door handle is another translation of this word and often, it’s not even necessary to use дверная if the word “door” is already present in the text. «Kогда закроешь дверь, на всякий случай, несколько раз подёргай за ручку» “When you close the door, pull on the handle a few times, just in case.”

So, the word pучка can mean handle. But it is important to mention that the word рукоять (or рукоятка) also means handle and is more popular with certain objects. For example a knife handle is translated as "рукоятка ножа." While a handle of a teakettle is "ручка чайника."

The word pучка can confuse people at first because it has several meanings and might not work with some objects. In order to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes, try to be aware of the context it is used in by listening for other key words.

Image of the Russian doll pens is taken from

Here are some examples of how the word pучка can be used:

B школе нам почему-то запрещали писать гелевыми ручками и обычными карандашами. For some reason we weren’t allowed to write with gel pens and regular pencils in school.
Kак только я дотронулся до ручки, дверь легко отворилась. As soon as I touched the handle, the door opened with ease.
У неё очень маленькие ручки и коротенькие пальчики. She has very small hands and short fingers.
Ваня любил ездить на трамвае и постояннo пытался дотянуться до ручек, которые висели над пассажирами, качаясь в разные стороны. Vanya loved to take rides on the tramcar and constantly tried to reach the straps that hung above the passengers, swinging in different directions.


by Timur  

Russian word for a vacuum cleaner is пылесос. Пылесос is combination of the word пыль (dust) and the morpheme сос (suction, sucking).

Sg Pl
Nomпылесос пылесосы

In English we often make a verb from a noun, and very often there is not much difference in the endings between noun and verb, thus “This is my new vacuum” and “I vacuum the house on Tuesdays.” In Russian, when you have a noun like пылесос, you have to add additional morphemes to turn the noun into a verb. In the case of пылесос-, the Russians add the morphemes for second conjugation verbs to make an imperfective, and then they add a prefix про- 'through' to make the perfective. Thus пылесосить and пропылесосить both mean to vacuum. To say that someone is vacuuming, use the verb пылесосить. To state that someone has already vacuumed say пропылесосил (masculine), or пропылесосилa (feminine). Here's the complete conjugation:

to vacuum
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive пылесосить пропылесосить
Past пылесосил
Present пылесошу
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду пылесосить
будешь пылесосить
будет пылесосить
будем пылесосить
будете пылесосить
будут пылесосить
Imperative пылесось(те) пропылесось(те)

Image of an ancient Soviet vacuum cleaner; taken from

Here are some sample sentences:

Я пропылесосил всю квартиру, кроме кухни. I have vacuumed the whole apartment, except for the kitchen.
Японский пылесос может очень дорого стоить, но зато он долго прослужит. A Japanese vacuum cleaner can cost a lot of money, but it will serve for a long time.
Максим не любит мыть окна и пылесосить. Maxim doesn’t like to wash windows and vacuum.
По пятницам к нам в дом приходит уборщица, которая моет полы, стирает одежду, чистит ступеньки, и пылесосит ковры. On Fridays we have a maid come in who cleans the floors, does the laundry, cleans the stairs, and vacuums the carpets.
— Пропылесось под диваном, а потом в своей комнате, — сказала мне мама. “Vacuum under the couch and then in your room,” mother said to me.


by Timur  

The word батарея is simply translated as battery, and just as in English, it can refer to a few different objects. First, to a battery that is used to run electronic equipment, which Russians often call батарейка. Then, to a military battery, as in an artillery unit grouped on the battlefield for better tactical maneuvering and action. Thirdly, it labels the radiator, part of the traditional heat transfer system that warms all Russian apartments and houses by hot water and steam circulation in the winter, late fall and early spring.


Image of a radiator from

Батарейка в моем телевизионом пульте уже села. The battery in my TV remote controller already died.
Когда в квартире холодно, Cтепан садится около горячей батареи. When it’s cold in the apartment, Stepan sits near the hot radiator.
Все три артиллерийские батареи на левом берегу реки были наготове. All three artillery batteries on the left bank of the river were ready.
Батарею моего нового ноутбукa можно заряжать солнечной энергией. The battery of my new notebook can be charged with solar energy.

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