Survival Russian

Category Results

The Year in Words
January 01, 2016

The Year in Words

A look back on the words and phrases that defined the Russian language in 2015.

Email and the Russian Soul
November 01, 2015

Email and the Russian Soul

Where we take on the knotty issues of how to start and end an email in Russian. Plus of course some of the stuff in between.

Say What?
September 01, 2015

Say What?

Every once in a while someone asks me how to translate a particular phrase, and my answer is not that it can’t be translated or that it is hard to translate, but that there’s no point in translating it: We just don’t say it that way.

Baby It's Cold Outside
July 01, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside

When i first arrived in Moscow, I couldn’t say much in Russian, but I could talk about the weather.

A War By Any Other Name
May 01, 2015

A War By Any Other Name

This issue's language column looks at the many subtleties of what one calls the war, and some parts of it.

Sticks and Stones
March 01, 2015

Sticks and Stones

The war in Ukraine has been accompanied by an often incomprehensible war of words. We investigate.

The Long and Short of It
January 01, 2015

The Long and Short of It

Some well know short idioms actually have longer context that helps illuminate their deeper meanings.

The English Invasion
November 01, 2014

The English Invasion

Russia may have become staunchly anti-Western, but it would be very hard to say the same thing about the language.

The Doctor is In
September 01, 2014

The Doctor is In

Make your Russian a bit healthier with this dose of medical speak.

Leaving City Life Behind
July 01, 2014

Leaving City Life Behind

Summer means it is time to head to the dacha. Here are some linguistic items to pack before heading out.

Survival Ukrainian
May 01, 2014

Survival Ukrainian

A look at Ukrainian that Russians should and should not know.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Russian-Language Gallery Tour
February 22, 2022 to February 22, 2032

Russian-Language Gallery Tour

Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY

Russian-language tour exploring our collection in depth, second Sunday of each month at 1 pm. Free, reservations required

A Few of Our Books

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Russia Rules

Russia 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.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.

Popular Articles

Russian Genealogy
February 20, 2014

Russian Genealogy

A comprehensive listing of resources, online and off, for researching your Russian roots, courtesy of Ginny Audet.

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