Published February 01, 2009

Survival Russian

  • by Mikhail Ivanov

Survival Russian
  • 256 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-880100-56-1
  • $18
  • Buy


Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture.

This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

  • Each essay is written with the beginning to intermediate language learner in mind
  • All Russian words are accented and defined in context
  • All words and phrases used in the book are indexed
  • All essays are grouped by theme and indexed by subject
  • A thematic Study Guide helps students review and learn words subject-by-subject

Essays are grouped into 17 chapters: Compliments and Insults • Fathers and Sons • Out and About • Euphemisms and Expletives • Russlish and Beyond • War and Competition • Weather and Seasons • Power and Glory • Flora and Fauna • Moscow and St. Petersburg • Life and Death • Women and Men • Figures and Measures • Music and Art • Food and Drink • Etiquette and Deceptions • Linguistics and Ephemera


Professional Reviews

“I read Survival Russian from cover to cover; willingly putting it down only for vitally and/or professionally necessary distractions... Every column I read provided me with valuable and/or amusing new phrases or insights.” 

— Lydia Razran Stone, SlavFile 


Reader Reviews

"This is a great book for anyone who already has some background with Russian. You do not have to be be fluent or even very proficient with Russian to find this book entertaining and beneficial. This book introduces you to phrases and words that you actally want to know. It may help you to fit in better with native Russian speakers, or at the very least, make the native Russian speakers around you appreciate the effort you are putting forth to really speak their language the way they do. I love this book and recommend it to anyone looking to pepper their Russian language skills with some fun idioms, turn-of-phrase, and hyperbole!" {Craigalin / Amazon}

About the Author

Mikhail Ivanov is a journalist, translator and editor. As editor of Russian Life magazine from 1995 to 2003, he originated the magazine’s popular Survival Russian column and continues to write it to this day. He has worked as a translator for Fortune-100 businesses and top-ranking Russian government officials, and presently edits a leading Russian tennis magazine. [83 of the 95 essays in this volume were written by Mikhail Ivanov; the remainder were written by guest columnists.]

About Us

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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