by Don  

I'm teaching from a new 1st semester Russian book this semester, so I decided to blog about the first word in the vocab list from chapter 1, which turned out to be аптека. Alas, I've already blogged about that word, so I decided to press on to the second word, which is банк. It is a perfectly regular first declension noun if you bear in mind the seven-letter spelling rule:


Back in the Soviet period, normal citizens never had anything to do with banks; if they wanted to save money in an account, they could use сберегательная касса (а savings bank), but such institutions didn't have checking accounts or home loans or car loans or any of those things normally associated with a western bank. Nowadays there are dozens of Russian banks in every Russian city, and probably the ATM machine банкомат is the major way that citizens interact with them. Russia still doesn't do direct deposit. Employees usually get cash on paydays from their accounting departments, and then they have to take them to their banks, if they bank their money at all.

Here are a few sentences with the word банк in them.

Мой брат раньше работал в банке, но его уволили за воровство. My brother used to work for a bank, but they fired him for theft.
Как дойти до ближайшего банка? How can I get to the nearest bank?
Когда я подошёл к банку, меня окружили цыганские дети. When I approached the bank, I was surrounded by Gypsy kids.
Перед банком приземлился вертолёт, из которого вышла Пэрис Хилтон. Она ко мне подошла и очень вежливо спросила, где ближайший МакДоналдс. К сожалению, я не смог помочь ей, так как я вегетарианец. A helicopter landed in front of the bank, and out stepped Paris Hilton. She walked up to me and very politely asked where the nearest McDonald's was. Unfortunately I couldn't help here since I am a vegetarian.


Comment from: Iryna [Visitor]

I think this is a hard way to learn russian, I mean the Cyrillic writing and comparing. The chances of picking anything up from that would take a lot of focus. Otherwise I think the words and sentences you have chosen are unique and fun!

08/31/11 @ 17:58
Comment from: Kalan [Visitor]

Your information about current state of Russian banking system is somewhat outdated. Transferring money to employees’ bank accounts from employers is pretty common nowadays; however, taxes to be paid from this money are enormous, so many employers choose to process only a small fraction of each payment through bank, illegally giving the rest in cash. This practice is called “деньги в конверте”.

08/24/11 @ 07:58

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