Жевательная резинка

by Timur  

When a random person is walking down the street and producing tense chewing motions with the jaw, he or she is probably having some жевательная резинка. The adjective жевательная (chewing) and the noun резинка (rubber/eraser/elastic), combined together, make up the term “chewing gum.” But most of the time Russians will avoid the longer, two-part term and simply say жвачка or резинка instead.

Gum was always kind of a big deal among kids when I was growing up, especially if the wrapper included stickers of superheroes, famous athletes, fast cars or nude women. But before that, in the Soviet days, gum was rare and was largely looked upon as another bogus product of depraved Western culture, standing alongside Coca-Cola and blue jeans. So way back then (60s, 70s), as the ultimate replacement people tell me, they chewed sweet tree sap. Thankfully no one needs to resort to such folksy measures any longer; they just buy a pack of Wrigley or Orbit at any kiosk.

Here is the declension of word резинка; adding жевательная is just too long:


Image from 20th.su

Picture of a Soviet chewing gum called "Coffee Aroma."

Here are some example sentences with the words жевательная резинка and жвачка:

Mне всегда больше всего нравилась мятная жвачка. I always liked mint gum best of all.
Майкл Джордан постоянно жуёт резинку во время игры. Michael Jordan constantly chews gum during the game.
Жевательная резинка Ригли всегда была очень популярна среди детей и взрослых. Wrigley chewing gum has always been very popular with kids and adults.
В детстве Aнтону всегда говорили, что если он вдруг проглотит свою жвачку, то тогда она застрянет в его кишках на семь лет. In childhood Anton was always told that if he swallowed his gum, then it would get stuck in his intestines for seven years.

На (часть третья)

by Don  

The next use of the word на with the accusative case is equivalent to the English word “for” in some contexts. For instance, when you are talking about what you ate for a particular meal:

На завтрак я ел овсяную кашу. I ate oatmeаl for breakfast.
На обед мы ели печень. For lunch we ate liver.
— На свадьбе что будет на закуску?
— Ну, бутерброды с икрой, солёные огурцы, кабачковая икра, бутерброды с колбасой, сало, маринованные грибы, салат столичный, грибная икра, холодец, шпроты, бутерброды с сыром, винегрет, тёртая морковь, и квашенная капуста.
— Гм. Мало. Хочешь, я тебе помогу?
“What appetizers will there be at the wedding?”
“Well, caviar canapés, pickles, squash pâté, sausage canapés, fatback, marinated mushrooms, Capital salad, mushroom pâté, aspic, sardines, cheese canapés, beet salad, shredded carrot salad, and sauerkraut.”
“Hm. That's not very much. Want me to help you?”

When you put aside money for a particular purpose, на plus accusative also works:

Я сберёг шестьсот рублей на покупку породистой кошки. I have saved up 600 rubles for the purchase of a pedigreed cat.
Вот тебе деньги на цветы. Купи маме что-нибудь красивое. Here's some money for flowers. Buy Mama some nice ones.
Какой ты плохой отец! Не кормишь своих детей, но у тебя всегдя есть деньги на водку. What a bad father you are! You don't feed your own children, but you always have money for vodka.
Каждый день я откладываю мелочь на новое платье Every day I put aside some change for a new dress.


by Don  

The Russian word for border is граница. It can be used of national borders or of borders between concepts:

Граница между Россией и Южной Осетией может быть ликвидирована. (adapted from this source) The border between Russia and Southern Osetia may be removed.
Где граница между правами человека и нравственностью? (source) Where is the border between human rights and morality?
Где граница между ложью и истиной? (source) Where is the dividing line between a lie and the truth?

The Russians very often use the phrase “beyond the border” in the sense of “out of the country” or “abroad.” The idea can be expressed as a location phrase, using за followed by the instrumental case:

— Когда ты в прошлый раз был за границей?
— В 1997-ом году.
“When were you last out of the country?”
“In 1997.”
— Твой брат был за границей?
— Ещё бы! Он уже посетил свыше тридцати семи стран.
“Has your brother been out of the country?”
“And how! He has already visited more than thirty-seven countries.”

The idea can also be expressed as a motion phrase, using за followed by the accusative case:

— Летом я поеду за границу.
— Правда? Куда?
— Во Францию.
“I'm going abroad this summer.”
“Really? Where to?”

If somone or something comes from outside of the country, you can use the preposition из-за followed by the genitive case:

Он только что вернулся из-за границы. He just got back into the country. (Lit., he just returned from beyond the border.)
В советское время считалось подозрительным получать письма из-за границы. During the Soviet period receiving letters from abroad was considered suspicious.

The phrase «за границей» has become such a standard part of the language that an adjective has even been made of it, заграничный, which is usually translated as “foreign” or “external.”

Заграничный паспорт — официальный документ, удостоверяющий личность гражданина Российской Федерации при выезде за пределы страны, а также при въезде на территорию Российской Федерации из заграничной поездки. (adapted from this source) An external passport is the official document that identifies a citizen of the Russian Federation when leaving the country or when entering the territory of the Russian Federation from a trip abroad.
Машины «Пежо» заграничного производства, а не отечественного. Peugeot automobiles are of foreign manufacture, not domestic.
Почему русские мужики так любят заграничные машины? Why do Russian guys like foreign cars so much?


by Timur  

The Russian word кухня can be translated as kitchen or cuisine.

Most kitchens in Russian homes are pretty basic; there is a cupboard, a refrigerator, a sink, a stove and maybe an oven of some sort. Russians prefer gas stoves and ovens to electric ones. In fact during the Soviet days it was almost impossible to find electric stoves in any Russian home.

I remember how a friend of mine had a big, old, red gas tank standing in the corner of his кухня, wrapped up in a plastic bag, connected to his tiny portable stove through a rubber pipe. It always seemed like that hazardous thing was going to explode at any minute or leak enough poisonous gas to asphyxiate all his guests. (I should add that that was not a typical Russian kitchen.)

When you want to say that something is located in the kitchen, it’s better to use the preposition нa on instead of в in. People will understand you either way, but нa кухнe sounds more common.


Photo of dog standing in front of stove
Image of the chef from www.linein.org

Here are some example sentences with the word кухня:

Mне нравится японская кухня, потому что мне нравятся морепродукты. I like Japanese cuisine because I like seafood.
Александра оставила свои ключи на кухне. Alexandra left her keys in the kitchen.
Иван и его отец собираются открыть ресторан, который будет специализироваться по русской и украинской кухне. Ivan and his dad are planning to open a restaurant that specializes in Russian and Ukranian cuisine.
К ужину вся семья собралась на кухне, чтобы отведать её новое блюдо, которое она готовила больше двух часов. Around dinner time the whole family got together in the kitchen to try the new dish that she had been working on for more than two hours.


by Don  

The Russian verb “to drink” is пить/выпить. It conjugates like this:

to drink
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive пить выпить
Past пил
Present пью
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду пить
будешь пить
будет пить
будем пить
будете пить
будут пить
Imperative пей(те) выпей(те)

The drinker appears in the nominative case, and the thing drunk shows up in the accusative case:

Пей тёплое молоко перед сном. Ты будешь лучше спать. Drink warm milk before going to sleep. You'll sleep better.
Врачи советуют пить восемь стаканов воды каждый день. Doctors recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day.

Just as in English, if you use drink without any particular object, it implies drinking alcoholic beverages:

— Ты пьёшь?
— Нет, не пью.
“Do you drink?”
“No, I don't.”
— Твой брат не пьёт?
— Нет, не пьёт. Поэтому он такой здоровый. И поэтому девушки от него без ума.
“Doesn't your brother drink?”
“No, he doesn't. That's why he is so healthy. And that's why the girls are so crazy about him.”

In English we talk about “taking medicine,” whereas in Russian you usually take about “drinking medicine.” The implication is that the medicine is swallowed «с водой» “with water.”

Не люблю пить лекарства. I don't like to take medicine.
Даша выпила две таблетки аспирина, и головная боль прошла. Dasha took two aspirin, and her headache went away.

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