by Natasha  

The Russian word морж means 'walrus'. It declines like so:

  Sg Pl
Nom морж моржи
Acc моржа моржей
Gen моржа моржей
Pre морже моржах
Dat моржу моржам
Ins моржом моржах


Here are a few sample sentences:

С такими усами он был похож на моржа. He looked like a walrus with that moustache.
Я видел большого моржа во время своей поездки в Арктику. I saw a big walrus on my trip to the Arctic.
В Центральном парке стоял морж в цилиндре и с моноклем. A walrus wearing a top hat and monocle was in Central Park.
Я — морж. I am the walrus.


by Natasha  

The Russian verb pair худеть/похудеть means 'to lose weight'. It conjugates like so:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive худеть похудеть
Past худел
Present худею
No such thing
as perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду худеть
будешь худеть
будет худеть
будем худеть
будете худеть
будут худеть
Imperative худей(те) похудей(те)

Here are some examples:

Ты отлично выглядишь! Ты похудела? You look great! Did you lose weight?
Я хочу похудеть. I want to lose weight.
Он каждый день тренировался с Ричардом Симмонсом и от этого похудел. He exercised with Richard Simmons every day and lost weight.


by Natasha  

The Russian word пчела means 'bee'. It is end-stressed in the singular and root stressed in the plural. It declines like so:

By Emran Kassim via Wikimedia Commons

Russia actually has an abundance of bees. Just a little while ago Russia sent some of their bees over to America to help revive the dwindling bee population. These Russian honeybees are really helping to boost bee populations around the world along with Italian honeybees.

Here are some example sentences:

У меня пчела в волосах! There's a bee in my hair!
Достань соты из улья, но осторожно, а то пчёлы ужалят. Get the honeycomb out of the beehive, but be careful or the bees will sting you.
У меня аллергия на пчёл. I'm allergic to bees.
Когда его ужалила пчела, он опух, как воздушный шар. When the bee stung him, he swelled up like a balloon.


by Natasha  

Бомж-пакет is a Russian colloquialism. Now, Google Translate, in its primitive wisdom, translates this word into English as "bum-bag", which is a very literal translation, but doesn't really capture the essence of the word. It's actually used as slang for instant noodles, what Americans would refer to as "ramen." Instant noodles have been the infamous staple of the college student and bachelor diet. From what I've read, the word aims to poke fun at instant noodles, equating it to hobo food essentially. It's actually kind of surprising that instant noodles are popular in Russia, I never would have guessed. Instant noodles in Russia come in a variety flavors, such as, mushroom, mixed vegetable, chicken, and so on. Again, this word is slang, though it's not extremely vulgar, you might not want to blurt it out in a business meeting.

Here are some examples:

—Что ты ел вчера вечером?
— Бомж-пакет.
“What did you eat last night?”
“Hobo ramen.”
— Ты умеешь готовить?
— Только бомж-пакеты.
“Do you know how to cook?”
“Just hobo ramen.”

Минералка, часть первая

by Don  

One of the things that surprises Americans going to Russia is the Russians fondness for mineral water. In conversational Russian it can be called минера́лка, although of course the proper word for it is минера́льная вода. Минералка declines like this.


Dozens of types of mineral water have been sold in Russia since Soviet times, and among the most recognized names are Боржоми, Нарзан, Миргородская, Новотерская and Ессентуки. There are dozens more. Even big western firms are in the mineral water business in Russia. The Coca-Cola Company puts out БонАква, and PepsiCo puts out Аква Минерале. (See this link for a discussion of the Russian mineral water market.)

In short, you can find mineral water on every street corner in Russia, so you may hear things like this:

— Какую минералку ты xочешь?
— Боржо́ми.
“What kind of mineral water do you want?”
— Мама, так как мы в ресторане, можно мне водку?
— Тебе только шесть лет. Tы будешь пить минералку.
“Mom, since we are in a restaurant, can I have vodka?”
“You are only six years old. You are going to drink mineral water.”
— Я забегу в магазин. Что-нибудь хочешь?
— Да, принеси мне две бутылки минералки.
“I’m running to the store. Do you want anything?”
“Yes, bring me two bottles of mineral water.”
— Я не люблю тратить деньги на минералку, когда можно пить воду из-под крана почти бесплатно.
— Да что ты! Нельзя пить воду из-под крана. Вредно.
“I don’t like to waste money on mineral water when I can drink tap-water practically for free.”
“You’ve got to be kidding! You can’t drink tap-water. It’s bad for your health.”

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