Russian Roundup- April 2017

with 8 Comments
Tulip Fest 2017.

April was a really good month for learning Russian!

One weekend, my husband and I went to a tulip festival that was packed with people and languages. We heard lots of Russian speakers there and even met some in the parking lot. (I saw a group of people having an Easter picnic lunch on their car’s hood and instantly knew they were Russian speakers.) This led to a discussion about how Pentecostal Russians (in Oregon, at least) say приветствую to greet each other instead of здравствуйте.

Work was another positive thing this month. No translation tasks came in for the first 3 weeks of April. :/ I started to think, “uh oh”… and then came a deluge: 6 assignments in 8 days. The biggest task was proofreading the translation of a Russian hospital’s website- it was over 7,000 words. The other tasks were a hodgepodge of gaming translations, app translations, and marketing translations. It’s a lot of fun to work on these! Several interesting terms came up during those projects, so look for a post on that soon.

A few days ago, I joined a FB group for Russian-speaking travel bloggers. I’m not either of those things, but it seemed like a good way to find interesting new bloggers and write more in Russian on a personal level. I get really nervous about my mistakes when posting there, though.

Also, D and I got hooked on one of the YouTube series from this month’s study plan. (More on that later in this post.)

And coming up in May, D’s mom will be spending some time with us. This means Russian immersion time.. and maybe eating-lots-of-Russian-candy time.

On to the round up!


Что нового

  • Love it or hate it, Thursday is traditionally Fish Day in Russia. Find out why here.
  • You guys, the loan-word situation gets more and more serious. 😉 I wrote about it 2 weeks ago and just today- only today!– I’ve seen антифрод, диджитал компаний, тимбилдинг, современная медиабаинговая платформа, креатив, продакшн, интегрированы с баинговой платформой, and стор.


4.17 Progress Report



Angelos Georgakis made another great video: Russian Verb Prefixes – Prefix В. Seriously, this guy can’t make a bad video! This lesson dove into the world of в- verbs. I already knew that в- usually indicates in, into with a verb of motion, but I hadn’t realized it often implies doing something with great care or detail, like вдумываться, ponder or вслушивться, listen carefully. My favorite part of the video were the idiomatic expressions at the end. Включаться в работу, start working – this is the struggle of my daily life, hahaha.

We finished the movie Поколение п. I enjoyed the second half much more than the first! It leaves viewers with some fantastical (or not??) ideas about modern politicians… 😉 You can watch it with English subtitles on YouTube.

I also watched Ulia Sinaieva answers your questions on learning Russian. Overall, the the first Q&A session was better, perhaps because it was more of a dialog than a monologue. This one did have some really good info towards the end, like слова паразиты, filler words and омографы, homonyms. She also mentioned this interesting YouTube channel.

Китайский язык за 16 часов is awesome! At first, the video sounded really clickbait-y, like it came from the questionable language guru Aleksandr Dragunkin. And I still don’t think 16 hours is going to make a person an expert in anything, but this would actually be a really interesting way to spend 16 hours. I looooooooove the idea of using one L2 to learn another!!!



I finished Week 1 in the Живая Земля course! That amounts to 60 minutes of lectures + time for the quizzes, so I still fell short of the 2 hour goal. On the other hand, those lectures were packed with totally new vocab. How’s your Earth vocab? Maybe you’ll find these terms useful as well!

  • большой взрыв, the Big Bang
  • Пояс астероидов, asteroid belt
  • Ударная волна, shock wave
  • Полярная ось, polar axis.
  • Гипотеза развития Вселенной, hypothesis of how the universe developed

There are 5 advanced dialogues at I’m on the 3rd one. They’re actually quite short and simple. Dragging my reluctant husband over to listen to my pronunciation is the harder part. I’ll finish the remaining dialogues in May. Likewise, watching Как я стал русским is another thing we do together, so we only made it to episode 9 this month.



Russian Step by Step: Verbs of Motion spent another lonely month sitting in a to-do pile of books. Maybe I can unearth it next month?



5.17 Study Plan




What are your language goals for April 2017? Leave a comment below! 🙂


8 Responses

  1. Ilya Lemieux
    | Reply

    That’s some serious stuff you have here.
    That’s what I call a “roundup”, not like shallow tiny little wittle articles on my French Progress. Need to reconsider my approach ASAP.

    Thanks for the plug, that was unexpected. Really appreciate it!

    The Runglish situation is out of control verging on downright absurd. Love your posts on that, very thorough, keep ’em coming.

    PS You meant “April 2017” in the title, right?

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Privet Ilya! It’s always really fun to meet another language blogger. 🙂 You seem like quite the dedicated learner! I have several of your articles saved for reading this week… (gleefully rubbing hands together over new Runglish article, haha.)

      PS: Thank you for catching that typo- fixed!

  2. Mikhail
    | Reply

    Hello, Katherine!

    I saw you mentioned “Chinese in 16 hours”. I’ve been learning Chinese for 3 years and I can say that it is most definitely a terrible course! Especially with regards to pronunciation. With all due respect to Dmitry Petrov, he is not an expert in Chinese, as he admitted himself. Confucius Institute and Beijing language university have published a lot of beautiful studying materials, which are available in many laguages including English. I insist these are the most preferable means to learn Chinese. If you are seriously interested in learning the language, I could give recommendations.

    Best wishes

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Wow, it’s really cool to meet someone who has experience with that series! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Mikhail! I’ll probably keep watching Petrov’s course for the Russian practice and entertainment value, but I’m very interested in hearing any recommendations you have for good materials and sites. My husband and I took a 10-week course in Beginning Chinese earlier this year. We only learned super basic stuff, but we want to keep learning.

      Also, assuming you speak Russian, have you noticed any interesting similarities between Chinese and Russian? Or is there anything that really surprised you about Chinese?

      • Mikhail

        OK, first I’d like talk about my experience with Chinese. Yes, my native language is Russian. And I can say that Chinese is a totally different language. For example, Russian, as you know, is an inflected language (, while Chinese is an isolating one (, thus an important consequence of this is that the word order in Russian is somewhat “free”, while in Chinese it is rather strict. Next, Chinese phonetic system is a way different from that of Indo-European languages. There are literally no sounds in Chinese and say Russian, that are pronounced alike. Probably except ‘m’. Furthermore, most Chinese morphemes, i.e. syllables, unlike in Russian, have a meaning. One can say that these morphemes are building blocks of the Chinese language. The next important issue is the tone system. It is the tones which make words recognizable in speech. A syllable + tone pattern make a word somewhat “specific”, more distinct. And so on. The most striking difference of Chinese from Russian, in my opinion, it is that the former is rather “fluid” with respect to syntactic function of a word. Most Chinese prepositions are actually verbs. For example 给 [gěi] (verb) – give; (preposition) – for; 在 [zài] (verb) – live, exist; (preposition) – in, at. Etc.
        As to recommendations for further study, first I’d like to mention several important steps. If you have already mastered them, you can skip them and move further. You should be able to recognize in speech at least 80% of words and syllables. Intensive listening is the key to success.
        1. You should learn separate sounds. Especially consonants. Fortunately most Chinese consonants can be divided in two groups – those aspirated and those without aspiration.
        2. You should learn syllables + first tone
        3. You should learn syllables + different tones
        4. You should learn combinations of different syllables with different tones.
        Having mastered all the above mentioned I suggest you to start with a simple introductory course. Personally I have used 汉语会话301句, part 1 and 2.
        You can buy them directly at Beijing Language University Press (preferred method) (
        There is a good video course on youtube based on this book (
        After finishing this book I recommend you to learn HSK exam preparation materials from stage 1 to 6. ( This will keep you busy for the next 7+ years 🙂

        Good luck

      • Katherine

        Ooooooooh, xiè xie, Mikhail!!!! 😀 That’s a lot of good food for thought!

        After studying Russian for so long, I’m really enjoying Chinese’s insistence on word order (instead of declining things) and no verb conjugations, hallelujah! But… then there’s all the other details you mentioned- and more- to think about. Thanks again for all the links and info. Good luck to you with your studies as well!

  3. Jasilyn Albert
    | Reply

    I definitely need to work on my fluency. Just learned past tense and На and В prepositions and I understand them but I want to sound more fluent when I speak.

    When you translate how did you learn about punctuation (in English). I mean I understand most rules but I struggle with it sometimes.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Ugh, punctuation is a sore spot for me. This past year I was writing for a site that had totally different punctuation rules than I was used to, so now everything is all mixed up in my head. But OWL is generally an easy place to look for answers when you’re struggling:

      And congrats on tackling в and на!

Leave a Reply