History of the Russian Language

Understanding the origins of the Russian language is not only an important step in understanding the language itself, but can also offer a wealth of insight into the culture of the peoples who speak it. With a rich lexicon that is built around an intricate grammatical system, Russian is characterised by the same nuances of complexity that define the country’s long and detailed history. Something that is also characteristic of both is the prominence of change – the primary force which has driven the growth of Russian from its millennia-old roots into the language it is today. In this article I will explore this evolution further, providing a brief history of the Russian language. The Origins of the Russian Language The roots of Russian can be traced back about 4000 – 6000 ...

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Creative Spaces In Moscow

Creative Spaces In Moscow

I got thinking following on from my post about Moscow street art. Where in Moscow can somebody go to get the creative juices flowing? Artists, writers, architects and anybody looking to created need a haven, a home away from home, in order to inspire and bring out the best in their ideas. Truthfully, trying to cram in all places to inspire innovation is challenging as there’s an almost endless amount of places to see here in Moscow. Sometimes you can walk down a street and you notice a historic monument or you can even look up at the architecture around you, and the nuances between each building can really add to the creative thought process. It’s why I say that in this context it’s as if there is an almost endless amount of detail to observe and to inspire you. Perhaps i ...

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Привет from new intern Krisztián

Всем привет! My name is Krisztián. I’m a new intern from Hungary, who is lucky enough to spend the whole summer studying Russian in one of the most beautiful and breathtaking cities in the world, Saint Petersburg.  I first got into contact with Russia through it’s rich literature. The novels of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy served as gate-drugs that led me to apply and get admitted to the Russian faculty of Budapest’s most prestigious university, ELTE. During my studies I got familiar with the works of the most praised and influential Russian writers, found more and more interesting facts about the turbulant but astonishing history of the country, got immersed in the unique and fascinating culture and of course studied the language itself, which never fails to suprise and amaze me and with its ex ...

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Soviet Union Hipsters – Stilyagi

Soviet Union Hipsters - Stilyagi

For foreigners curious about Russia, the first place they usually go is to Russian films. Lucky for them, there’s a great number of Russian films widely available on the internet today. Mosfilm for instance upload their large catalogue on Youtube and include English subtitles. Here is an open window into Russian and Soviet culture that everyone can access. In the world of Russian cinema, Stilyagi is a film that stands out. Released in 2008, the film is about the titular stilyagi – hipsters is the closest English word. However, these young people did much more than having a different style, which is what people think of hipsters today. They openly defied the strict conventions they needed to follow and took great risks in doing so, too. Set in 1950’s Soviet Union, the film ...

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The ultimate guide to St. Petersburg markets

Seize the moment and practice some Russian at the best St. Petersburg markets. Discover the best markets in the city and learn some vital vocabulary that will help you during your shopping. It is a well-known fact that if you want to improve your fluency in a language there is no better way than living in a place where the language is spoken. However, your mere presence in a country does not guarantee any sort of absorption of the language, and real improvements will only come about when you start actively practicing the language on every occasion you have. So whether you are staying in St. Petersburg for a short period or you have permanently moved to the Northern capital, try to make of each of your daily activities an opportunity to practice your Russian, starting from grocery shopping. ...

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Learn Russian words quickly with help from memory research

how to learn Russian words

One of the biggest challenges of learning a language is the sheer amount of information you have to memorize. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. So today I’m here to help. We’re going to look at some educational memory research  and talk about how you can use it to learn Russian words quickly.  Spaced Retrieval Practice Spaced Retrival Practice is an effective technique that can help you learn Russian words quickly. It combines two simple ideas – spaced  repetition and retrieval. The main idea for spaced repetition is reviewing your vocabulary in increasing intervals. For example, it would be ideal to review your vocabulary after one hour, then one day, then three days and then week. The second idea is that retrieving information is much more effective than simply reviewing. What I ...

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A short hello from Hungary to Russia!

Hello everyone! My name is Bence, and I come from the amazing capital city of Hungary, Budapest. It will be my second time in the breathtaking city of Saint Petersburg, and I hope to provide you with some satisfying and interesting content. So what do you need to know about me? Well, I’m 23 years old, I currently live and study in Hungary. My two great passions in life are the Russian language and Russian culture. I started learning Russian two and a half years ago, in the Russian Cultural Center (Российский Культурный Центр) of Budapest, and have been studying it ever since. I’ve even enrolled in a university course on Slavic philology, which naturally has a focus on Russian. I’ve just finished my second year, and sincerely can’t wait to continue my studies! Based ...

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Russian Dog Breeds

Russian Dog Breeds

We all know Russia to be vast in size, so it comes as no surprise to notice a great deal of diversity it the types of canines hailing from Russia. Russian dogs were traditionally bred for working purposes, so expect to see on this list many dogs possessing traits of a shepherding, hunting and protectiveness. The well known Russian saying says “Съесть собаку на чем-то!” meaning literally to eat a dog on something, but in reality it means to become very familiar with something. So after this read I hope you can be more familiar with Russian dog breeds or shall we say – Съесть собаку (read more about this idiom here). Siberian Husky The first dog that springs to mind when I think of Russian dogs is the Siberian Husky. Well known throughout the world, and seen as one of the m ...

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