Every autumn, Russians stop worrying about the economy, international relations, looming ecological disasters or even their kids’ grades. They only have one question: Когда начнётся отопительный сезон!? (When are they going to turn on the heat?)
In English, turning up the temperature is pretty easy: you use the verb “heat” for everything from raising room temperatures to serving leftovers and even to getting overexcited. In Russian — not so easy.
The verb pair отапливать/отопить is what you use for heating structures, from the mighty to the flighty. Большинство жителей отапливают дома буржуйками. (Most of the residents heat their homes with pot-bellied stoves.) Началась посадка в самолёт — на этот раз он был отапливаемый. (Boarding began for the plane, which was heated this time).
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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