Survival Russian

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Catch the Wind
November 01, 2011

Catch the Wind

By Mikhail Ivanov

Russian talking names can lead to many unexpected places. In this instance to euphemistic phrases for, well, you know...

A Cheat Sheet for Tom Hanks
September 01, 2011

A Cheat Sheet for Tom Hanks

By Mikhail Ivanov

The recent visit of Hollywood megastar Cameron Diaz to Moscow – to promote the launch of the movie Bad Teacher – started Mikhail Ivanov's creative juices flowing toward a seasonally appropriate theme: school slang.

The Art of Draznilki
July 01, 2011

The Art of Draznilki

By Mikhail Ivanov

Every Russian learned a few "draznilki" (teases) in childhood. While these usually have cruel intent and may not be something you will use in your Russian, it is good to be able to recognize and understand them.

Less than PC Russian
May 01, 2011

Less than PC Russian

By Mikhail Ivanov

The domino revolutions in the Middle East got me thinking about the word “Arab,” along with some other less-than-politically-correct Russian colloquialisms. 

A Country of Poets
March 01, 2010

A Country of Poets

By Mikhail Ivanov

The role of poets in Russia has always stretched beyond the realms of literature. We look at poetry in everyday speech...

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