How not to make Russian workbooks

In one of the workbooks I have, Поехали, there is an interesting dialogue (don’t be put off – it requires basic reading skills and very basic vocabulary):


That’s to the question of time spent and value gained – not all workbooks are equally good for you=) Even one of the most relied upon and popular, like this one.

Fat or healthy – never mind!

It’s an exciting adjective in Russian, здоровый. You will probably hear something like this while drinking with a bunch of Russians (Ваше здоровье! – let’s drink for your health!) and think it is just about health – slim chance! Apart from “healthy”, it can also mean “very big, huge”. So,

здоровый мужчина can mean both, a healthy/strong man and a fat/sturdy one (aren’t in English fat chance and slim chance the same?)

I want

I want healthy food! For example, a huge hamburger! (in Russian these two adjectives would be the same! – a word play)

Here’s how!

Nothing difficult as today is Monday!

вот как

Here’s how work women (Here’s how women work)


Russian through songs: born in USSR

Music is a wonderful way to learn a language – rhythm and rhyme make the process easier and more enjoyable. I have found a great video for a popular Russian song with relevant images:

Would be a good idea just to listen to it a few times, then look at English translation to get a basic idea of what it is all about and then follow Russian lyrics to hear how we pronounce words and phrases. Then it is recommended to listen to it again a few times until you get comfortable with lyrics. This song is quite easy – mostly names – so it won’t make you feel like you know nothing!

Текст (for better quality, download it or click on it):



Money in the jar

It would not be a surprise for you to hear that Russian word for bank is банк (masculine gender).

Also, we have a similarly pronounced word, but of feminine gender – банка. Means a jar (glass jar for storing).

But in prepositional case, they would take the same forms – банке. So,

Возьми в банке! can mean 1) take (it) in/from bank 2) take it in/from the jar

Я храню деньги в банке!  can mean 1) I keep money in bank 2) I keep money in a jar

в банке

And one more about work (not bank/jar) for more advanced speakers:  (when you) work

Source:     (when) you don’t work – to live not on what (there’s no money for living)     (when) you work – to live there’s no time (there’s not time for living)

Random words: СТАТЬ/BECOME

СТАТЬ sounds a bit like British English START, doesn’t it? Just mind the soft Т in the end. I want to start and become a…

Also, we use Instrumental case after this verb:

Я хочу стать врачом. – I want to become a doctor.

Я хочу стать космонавтом. – I want to become a cosmonaut.

Я хочу стать звездой. – I want to become a star.

A little joke to practice (it’s Friday today, don’t work too much!):


(word for word) If all time work and never not rest, possible to become most rich person on cemetery.

We don’t always put dots above Ё (like in the second word above).

Great present

Let’s talk about a few words related to presents.

Дарить – to give something as a present – Что тебе подарить? Я не знаю!

Дар – gift (but quite a high style, better use the word below) or talent.

Подарок – a present (подарки – presents) – read like *ПАДАРЭК.

Do you think dark chocolate is a good present (just make sure you say the Russian РРРРРР sound!)?