Yelena has posted what looks to be an excellent recipe for пельмени [pelmeni], along with the usual wonderful sprinkling of excellent info about Russian language, expressions, culture and a peek into «загадочная русская душа» [the mysterious Russian soul]. 

Million Scarlet Roses

Yelena over at the Transparent Language Russian blog site has published an excellent article written by guest blogger David Roberts.  The post looks at the song «Миллион алых роз» by «Алла Пугачёва» [Alla Pugacheva] .

Don from the Russian Word of the Day site has written an excellent post regarding some of the subtleties of the use of чтобы, and really, his explanations and examples are among the best I’ve ever read.   In the first part, he explains why sometimes you use an infinitive in the send clause after чтобы, and why sometimes you use past tense.  In the second part, Don explains the use of чтобы with the “subjunctive mood” following certain verbs.  And in the third part, Don examines how using the negative affects the use of чтобы.

I just realized that there are a bunch of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons which have Russian voice-overs available on YouTube.  If you search for Веселые мелодии (Merrie Melodies), you’ll find a bunch of them!

Here is a sample, the wonderful Чего готовим, Док? (What’s cooking, Doc?)


There is a TV movie which I’m told has been quite traditional to watch on New Year’s Eve in Russia for some time.  The film is called ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром! (The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!).   It’s in two parts.  For your New Year’s entertainment, I provide them both parts here, with English subtitles.

Enjoy! С новым годом! Happy New Year!

Part 1

Part 2


YearlyGlot has an excellent post regarding the use of flash cards.  He hates them, and I agree with him 100%.  And while I learned things and had a great time sitting in on Russian classes, most of the vocabulary and grammar that I learned there hasn’t been retained in long term memory, because I was trying to memorize 100 words a week and all of these grammar lessons at such an accelerated pace — but by rote memorization, not by use.  It’s not the way that our brains work.

Additionally, our brains don’t like to remember unhappy stuff.  It’s why “the good old days” always seem like they were.  If you want to build those happy little neural pathways to learn a new language, USE the language and do it in a context that is pleasant and hopefully fun.  If you like to write – I mean using paper and a pen – then sit down in a comfy chair in front of the fire with a glass of port, your favorite fountain pen and practice writing.  If you like reading, substitute the pen and paper with a book in a foreign language.  If, like Chauncy Gardener, you like to watch, then go to http://russianremote.com and watch some Russian films.  No subtitles?  Don’t worry about it.  If you are just starting, ok, then watch some of the movies on my site with subtitles.   If you like conversing, use a site like http://sharedtalk.com and find some folks to chat with, either with IM or voice chat.  The site provides both.  The voice chat is kind of wonky at Shared Talk, so if you find someone you’d like to chat with, suggest moving to Skype.

Don’s Russian world of the day site has an excellent post today regarding the world надолго and the intricacies of translating.