Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to learn Russian alphabet?

Russian is quite an easy language to learn. Basically the moment you learn Cyrillic – you can read. As there's no any special reading rules.

But for many people learning new alphabet seems to be a challenge. While you can easily google the alphabet itself and it's phonetics, I came up with an easy way to practice your reading skills.

You see, in Russia a lot of brand names are transliterated into Cyrillic, letter by letter. Of course, chains try to avoid it when they can, but in the end, it is required by Russian legislation.

So start practicing your Cyrillic by recognizing these brands

  • Старбакс
  • Макдональдс
  • Пицца Хат
  • Кока-кола
  • Пепси
  • Данкин Донатс
  • Бургер Кинг
  • Папа Джонс
  • Баскин Роббинс
  • Венди’с

Monday, June 6, 2016

What to do on a weekend?

Within the couple of last months, I’ve been digging into the theory of learning, trying to find out more on core principles of how our brain obtain new information. There is a specific person whose lections have pushed me into that direction, a Russian one, so if you are up to 90 minutes’ lecture in Russian I encourage you to check this video of Tatiana Chernigovskaya.

For those who are not that far into Russian yet I’ll share several brief points. So, how can you learn more efficiently?

  1. Try to use the language on daily basis, no matter how deep and long. So switch your phone and laptop into Russian and enjoy the new level of security you'll get as a bonus. Or shall I suppose that your roommate speaks Russian as well?
  2. Our brain is a champ in sorting and erasing whatever does not make much sense for him. So, take extra effort and if you want to remember the new topic you’ve just learned just do a homework.
    My sincere apologies for advising something that’s not very cool, and I’ve resisted this point for numerous years. But really, doing homework is the simplest way of repeating.
    One class a week with no homework gives no progress, with one class and a homework you’ll see the difference soon.
    Think economically: if you forget that new topic, you’d have to learn it again – and pay for the lesson again. Homework is free.
  3. If I can ask that much: do your homework before the day you have a class. Brain converts information from short- to long-term memory only while you sleep, so doing all work on the same day you overload short-term while push just the same volume in long-term.
  4. When you’ve learned a lot of new stuff the most important is to have a good night sleep. Preferably longer than 4 hours you’d have between a party and a school/work. That point sadly makes Friday night the best time to study.
  5. The brain is lazy and does not simply builds new neuron connections, while your progress depends on a weakest link – the less developed connections. In practice, pay attention to run different types of activities, especially those that make your brain squeak and you to switch to checking your Facebook account within couple of minutes.
    So switch back from Facebook the moment you realize you are there instead of doing a planned exercise.
    Don’t make me wrong: you shall enjoy learning the new language, just spend 10% of your time on something that’s hard.
  6. Our learning styles are individual. Even the scientists have no slightest idea how the model of the language in any brain looks like. Do you really think that the official grammar of your native language has something in common with how it’s coded in your brain?
    So, on top of core principles, listen to yourself, how does learning works for you?
    To give an example, here is the thing that works for me: after one lucky occasion, each time I learn new grammatical structure I write down by hand a number of examples. Re-reading, re-telling, hearing again and again does not have the same efficiency and take soooo much more time.
    You might have completely different boosters - but you have them, so save your time by using them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You lived in Russia for too long, if...

This list was spread across mailboxes a while ago - and it's all TRUE. My comments are inline.

1. When crossing the street, you sprint.
Historically so. Recently penalties for drivers improved the situation and at least in Moscow drivers might wait when you cross. What's interesting: my husband, who is a driver, once payed a penalty, now he always wait for people to cross. Most of people does not believe he let'll them cross and looked at car like he stopped to ran over.

2. In winter, you choose your route first by determining which icicles
are least likely to impale you on the head.
Not fun. This winter my friend has seen a man killed by icicle in the city centre in my hometown. No such danger in Moscow though.

3. You give a 10% tip only if the waiter has been really
exceptional...meaning he/she smiled or said hello, got up from
their chair to take your order, got your order right, and the
restaurant actually had what was on the menu.
Yep. If restaurant doesn't cost you arm and leg, such service is truly exceptional.

5. You save table scraps for the pack of wild dogs living in the
Mom does it. I don't. Yet.

6. You plan your vacation around those times of the year when they
turn off the hot water.
2 weeks on summer without hot water - in Moscow, up to 2 month - in regions.

7. 'Девушка! почему в блюде укропa нет!?' (Why is there no dill in the meal?!)

8. 'Da net!' becomes a logical and useful phrase
Ha ) Yes ) It means "Most likely - no"

9. You let the telephone ring at least 3-4 times before you pick it up
because it is probably a mis-connection or electric fault.

10. You hear the radio say it is just at or below freezing outside and
you think it might be nice day for a change.
Last several years weather is strange. I have seen green grass in January, I have seen thermometer dropping or jumping 15 degrees within a week.

11. You argue with a taxi driver about a fare of 40 rubles ($1.10) to
go 2-3 miles while it is snowing.

12. You win a shoving match with an old Babuschka for a place in line
and you are proud of it.

13. You hesitate to put on your seat belt to avoid offending the
taxidriver and the impending 5 minute conversation to explain why
you are putting it on.
Yep, they are always offended. And there's no way to explain it if you do it on the back seat.

14. You are pleasantly surprised when there is actually toilet paper
in the bathroom.
In the public bathroom. =)

15. You look at people's shoes to determine where they are from.
I usually don't, but exersize it doable.

16. You're anxiously concerned because you forgot your "just in case"
disposable hypodermic needle in your other coat.

17. You "automatically" hand in your pepper spray at the door before
going through the metal detector.
=) Pepper and gas mix is better. Never used.

18. Your day seems brighter after seeing that goon's Mercedes run into
by a pensioner's "Moskvich".
Tons of jokes are about it

19. You are thrown off guard when the doorman at the nightclub is
happy to see you.

20. You wonder what the tax inspector really wants when she says
everything is in order.

21. You say he/she is "on the meeting".

22. You have to think twice about throwing away the empty instant
coffee jar.
an old joke: "- Darling, I can't find sugar, where it is?
- Dear, it's obvious! On the 3rd shelf, in a coffee jar with "salt" on it"

23. You're offended when your American friend gives you a "dozen"
Never even numbers. I'll post about it later.

24. You don't notice that Sony sticker on the front of your t.v.

25. You are relieved when the guy standing next to you on the bus
actually uses Kleenex.

26. You are envious when your friends door keys fit in their pocket.

27. You ask for no ice in your drink.

28. When you stop using "poshol" as a "to go" verb.
will comment but only if it raise interest.

29. When you go mushroom and berry picking out of necessity, not

30. When you develop a liking for beets or cabbage.
Hate beet.

31. When you eat hot dogs for breakfast.
That's a lie. =)

32. When you drink the brine from empty pickle jars.

33. When you can read bar-codes.

34. When you start shopping for products by their country of
Don't you do it too?

35. When you start to "feel" public transport and bridge opening

36. When you know more than 60 Olgas.

37. When it doesn't seem strange to publicly relieve yourself.

38. When the question... "Would you like fries with that?" has been
replaced by.."Would you like bread with that?".

39. When your soup arrives with sour cream in it and you like it.

40. When you go to a restaurant and you play with the kitchen cat.

41. When you realize you have eaten an entire plate of meat product
and not questioned its origin.

42. When your internet connection hits 40K and you are excitied
because it hasn't been that high in over a month.
Improving. No such thing in Moscow and broadbans is actively spreading in regions.

43. When you buy a bottle of Panteen Pro-V and you are shocked when
the shampoo that comes out IS actually Panteen Pro-V.

44. You stare at the innostrantsii (outsiders) wandering around town

45. You ride the marshrutka shouting 'ostanovite na ostanovke' EXACTLY where you want to stop, and not worrying about handing your money to the driver via 6 people

46. You don't think about wearing your stilettoes to the club... when it's -20 outside

47. You don't get it when your parents laugh if you order 'sock' (сок=juice) in a restaurant

48. You keep typing 'н' instead of 'n'

49. You appreciatively murmur 'bogatstvo russkovo iazika' (rich russian language) when you learn a new irregular plural

50. You actually start to use the prefixes with verbs of motion

51. You talk with your Russian neighbour about 'those Europeans' in the ballet interval

52. You are impressed with the new model Lada or Volga.
Never. We call them a comstruction set or "do-it-yourself" sometimes

53. You start to say oiy, akh, ekh

54. Your friend asks you how your day was and you shake your head and say 'voobshey'

55. You know which diminutive your friends prefer according to mood

56. You shove in front of that damn bab to get the last carton of kefir

57. You get suspiscious when someone smiles at you (rightly so).
here is what I have for this topic

58. You start measuring in km, kg, and, koneshno, sto gramms!

59. You realize that potato is a polezna and appropriate pirog filling

60. You join the queue at the ticket booth according to what time the tekhnicheski pererivs take place at each one

61. You mutter 'Дурак' at the idiot who forgot the gherkins when they bought vodka

62. You carry a plastic shopping bag with you "just in case".

63. You know you're going to miss everything so much when you leave


Monday, June 14, 2010

GMAT, russian version

Every year millions of russian kids pass final exams (for school). Results of this exams could be counted in universities as prelimanary examination. This thing varies from school to school and I still don't understand 100% why this practice was implemented (in my time we used to have 2 different exams - one when you finish school, second when you apply to univercity).
ЕГЭ (integrated state exam) is something that you know as GMAT, though with many specific things. Talking about GMAT -the most different thing for russians is the logic in task explanation. So most likely you will have similar problems with our ЕГЭ.

I have 2 links for you to practice:
http://ege.yandex.ru/ has mini-tests
http://www1.ege.edu.ru/content/view/700/278/ has full demo-version of tests

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Never ever do like this =)

Sorry guys - it's only a link on a livejournal post, but I don't want to break copyrighs (russian often say "copylefts" don't know how global this is).

Here are funny screenshots with "russian" language in Hollywood movies.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Silly phrases from russian teens

When you begin with foreign language speaking isn't easy 'cause you keep in mind you might be very incorrect. So, here are some silly and illiterate lines of russian teens.
Have some laugh and get rid of complexes ))

  • Мне очень нравится ваше творчество: музыка, но особенно песни, ведь они наполнены смыслом.
  • Только для того, чтобы слушать ваши песни, я хожу на дискотеки.
  • Моя мама работает домохозяйкой.
  • Когда я купила вашу кассету и прочла на подкассетнике адрес, тогда я просто летала до неба.
  • Я счастлива как-будто получила своей заветной мечты подарок.
  • Когда я вижу ваши фотки в газетах, я их сразу же вырезаю, не говоря уж о надписях о вас.
  • Мне нравится музыка вся: от Бетховина до Продиджи.
  • Пишу вам не как фанат, а как слушатель.
  • Я самая-самая сумашедшая фанатка, я знаю, что вам пишут очень много фанаток, но поверьте сумашедшей меня нету!
  • А ты не пробовал немного похудеть? Ты только не подумай ты совсем не толстый, с фигурой у тебя все нормально, только пресс надо подкачать.
  • Все говорят, что в тайне от всех ты стал папой.
  • С 8.06.2001 в моем сердце поселились твои глаза.
  • В лагере у нас хорошо. Марина Александровна загоняет всех в вагончик на тихий час, чтобы мы спали.
  • Правда ли, что Алексей был ганом? Гонял бабушек палками и все такое.
  • Приезжайте к нам на море позагораемся, люди у нас не такие уж и дикие, так что не волнуйтесь.
  • У меня есть все ваши клипы. Даже на видео.
  • Одноклассник показал мне вырезку Сергея Жукова, казалось бы хорошо, но ты там голый.
  • У меня есть два альбома самых лучших ваших вырезок.
  • О вашей коллекции водки я сначала читала в журнале, а потом по телевизору.
  • Я коплю все вырезки и плакаты и постеры и даже вырезки.
  • Я каликцеонирую плакаты с афтографами, правда у меня еще ни одного нету.

Friday, June 4, 2010

a dialog

itassassin: ладно, я спать
itassassin: спокойной ночи
NITKA: давай. пусть тебе приснится я
itassassin: неее
NITKA: что так?
itassassin: ты вредная
NITKA: а я и не желала хороших снов