Russian Roundup- June 2015

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Happy end of June!! : )

Did you set any New Year’s resolutions earlier this year? Are you halfway to the goal? I skipped out on January New Year’s goals so now I’m setting some Not-So-New Year goals instead, like continuing to attack this Russian grammar book (still on chapter 2). What goal are you working on these days? Perhaps one of these?…



And now, in honor of summer, let the summer memes begin!


Summertime memes in Russian





Кeep reading for more of these…


But why???

If you’ve got someone in your life who begins everything with “but why does…?”, congratulations. You’ve got a почемучка. This site could be a lifesaver (and you’ll get some Russian practice!). Behold почемучка, otherwise known as “100,000 Whys: Answers to Children’s Questions”. Почему волки воют? Why do wolves howl? Почему вода не горит? Why doesn’t water burn? Почему арбуз – ягода? Why is a watermelon a berry? and, well, 999,997 other good questions.



Two ways to win at learning new words

You’ve probably heard a million times that it’s more useful to memorize entire sentences than single words, but what if you’re not sure how to use a new word?

Two fast (and free!) options: Tatoeba and Google.

I recently discovered Tatoeba, a massive database of multilingual translations. It’s possible to simply browse translations but I think it’s more effective to search for a certain word. Хохотать to laugh, for example, brings up these phrases:


Sometimes you’ll even get lucky and find a recorded phrase. In the two examples above, the English has a recording but no one’s done the same yet for the Russian.

A simple Google search works for new vocab too, except the results show you the word in context instead of in translation. Let’s go with хохотать again and filter the search results for news only:


Here’s how I process new vocabulary: find examples of a new word in Tatoeba or Google, then copy and paste them to Anki (a smart flashcard program, free on most devices) and review, review, review. Do you have a similar method?



Village Life

Russian village life makes me think of this. Or this.

But it turns out there’s far less rap music in the countryside than I had imagined. Laura Williams shares her life in the Russian countryside- it’s both wonderfully picturesque and completely not for the faint of heart. Her bilingual blog is here and if you get hooked on that / curious for more, she’s also written a book about how she wound up out there, called The Stork’s Nest.


Let’s not forget that tis the season of pipe repairs in Russia and Ukraine!


5 fun articles in Russian (and 1 in English)

Is one of your goals to read more in Russian? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

What do 200 calories look like?

What does your sleeping position say about your relationship?

20 text messages from parents with a sense of humor

40 modern tongue twisters (I can’t even. Seriously.)

Something obviously isn’t right: 10 photos of the best culinary disasters

English: What does it mean to be a Russian?




Rusky Ed

Just saw Rusky Ed for the first time and, per the ancient human tradition of sharing links to internet things that boggle us, I now present him to you:

(if you don’t see the video, click here)



That’s all for this month : ) Happy studying! And remember-



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