Language Learning

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Leonid Gayday
March 01, 2018

Leonid Gayday

In her final Uchites column for Russian Life, Natalia Gogolitsyna takes a look at one of Russia's most beloved filmmakers and the winged phrases that are one of his legacies.

Verbs of Motion
November 01, 2017

Verbs of Motion

In this issue’s Uchites, we look at verbs of motion, a bane of the Russian language student’s existence.

Four Wishes
September 01, 2017

Four Wishes

A short story by Konstantin Ushinsky, the noted pedagogue, is the subject of this issue's language learning page.

I Do Not Love
May 01, 2017

I Do Not Love

In this issue’s Uchites, we look at Vladimir Vysotsky and read one of his poems. 

Russian Names
March 01, 2017

Russian Names

In this issue, Uchites looks at the Russian custom of affixing people with three different names.

Maslenitsa
January 01, 2017

Maslenitsa

A few readings on maslenitsa to carry us from winter into spring.

Three Bears
November 01, 2016

Three Bears

Using a familiar fairy tale to brush up on some Russian.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8
June 08, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8

First Congregational Church | Palo Alto, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Roma Rhapsody
June 15, 2024

Roma Rhapsody

Capital One Hall | Tysons, Virginia

The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra's Spring Concert, Roma Rhapsody, will be at 7:30 pm on Saturday June 15, 2024.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7
June 07, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7

St. Mark's Episcopal Church | Berkeley, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9
June 09, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9

Star of the Sea Church | San Francisco, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

A Few of Our Books

Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Okudzhava Bilingual

Okudzhava Bilingual

Poems, songs and autobiographical sketches by Bulat Okudzhava, the king of the Russian bards. 
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...

Popular Articles

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

Using Laughter to Cope
September 07, 2021

Using Laughter to Cope

These eight outstanding Soviet comedies show ​​some of what has made Russians laugh over the past century. Most are still watched today. (First in our new series on learning about Russia through its films.)

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