Friday, September 30, 2005

Lesson 5 - Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Sounds like cognates are the single greatest friend to folks learning Russian. However, as with most good things there are pitfalls. And these pitfalls are called 'false cognates'. A 'false cognate' is a word that shares a similar pronunciation between two languages, but means one thing in one language and something else in the other. You'd sound pretty silly if a Russian asked you what you were doing ('Что вы делаете?') and you'd answer 'Я читаю магазин' (which means 'I am reading a store')....

'False Cognates" examples.

The dialogue at the beginning of the show:

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Teacher got help!

Большое спасибо to Angela, who was kind enough to create a short tutorial for me to change the banner on this site. Kudos to my multi-talanted listener!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lesson 4 - Alphabet and Words you Already Know

You'll be surprised how many words you would be able to recognize without studying any Russian. The words I am talking about are cognates - words borrowed from a foreign language that share a common pronunciation and meaning.The Russian version of an English word may look intimidating to you at first, but as you become familiar with the Russian characters you'll learn to recognize a cognate when you see it.

1. теннис
2. доллар
3. баскетбол
4. доктор
5. Нью-Йорк
6. Калифорния
7. бейсбол
8. университет
9. адрес
10. офис
11. футбол
12. телефон
13. бар
14. ресторан
15. такси
16. мафия


The song from the show is "Katyusha" recorded in 1938.

Расцветали яблони и груши
Поплыли туманы над рекой
Выходила на берег Катюша
На высокий берег на крутой

Выходила песню заводила
Про степного сизого орла
Про того которого любила
Про того чьи письма берегла

Ой ты песня песенка девичья
Ты лети за ясным солнцем вслед
И бойцу на дальнем пограничье
От Катюши передай привет

Пусть он вспомнит девушку простую
Пусть услышит как она поет
Пусть он землю сбережет родную
А любовь
Катюша сбережет
Пусть он землю сбережет родную
А любовь
Катюша сбережет

Расцветали яблони и груши
Поплыли туманы над рекой
Выходила на берег Катюша
На высокий берег на крутой
Выходила на берег Катюша
На высокий берег на крутой

Here's the translation for "КАТЮША" song. To find out more about the story behind the song, see this Wikipedia article I found to be very helpful.

This lesson is a day premature, but with the hurricane in the area I'd rather be safe than sorry:)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Vacation Note

Click on the title "Vacation Note" to hear my message. I have a few photos to go with my audio note. All of them were taken in Texas outside Tyler.

I can't waith to get back to work on the next "A Spoonful of Russian" lesson!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lesson 3 - 'How are You?'

If you ask a Russian 'How are you?' (КАК ДЕЛА) you might hear more that just a simple "OK". But for starters we'll learn some simple replies. Here are the transcripts of the dialogs from our lesson.


(- Как дела, Эмили?
- Хорошо, спасибо. )


(- Как дела, Эмили?
- Хорошо, спасибо. А у вас?)

("I am fine as well" - "Тоже хорошо" )


(- Как дела, мам?
- Так себе...)


(- Как дела, мам?
- Ничего хорошего, Эмили...)

Word/Expressions list:

Provided below are the lyrics to the song you heard on the show (click for a bigger view)

 Email me with any questions or comments. And yes, the lessons WILL get more challenging.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

OT: More Post-Hurricane Photos

Driving down familiar streets, it seemed there were National Guards on every corner.....(Click for bigger version).

Managed to get a shot of downtown New Orleans including shabby Superdome:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Off Topic: Shots from the trip to New Orleans

Monday we got to go back to survey the damage hurricane Katrina brought with it. We left Houma (where we are staying now) at 4am.

There was a lot of waiting in lines.....A trip that usually takes us 1 hour, lasted 4 hrs.

After a long ride we started seeing the signs of Katrina's power.

...and that's what we saw when we got to our house:

All I can say is there's gonna be a lot of work till we can move back into our home.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lesson 2 - Saying 'Goodbye'

How do you say 'Goodbye' in Russian? This show teaches you a couple of ways to do that. As you listen, the images below will help you visually.

- Пока, Эмили.
- Пока, мам.

- До свидания, Эмили.
- До свидания, папа.

Sorry for the quality of the show's audio. Was out of town, and recording was made on my notebook. I am hoping that I'll have all my usual gear unharmed (by hurricane Katrina) when I go back to New Orleans, La. on Monday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Off Topic: Hurricane Kartina's Devastation

Just to keep all my listeners posted. I am using internet access through Houma Public Library at the moment. I was affraid I wouldn't be able to get the next show out to you this coming Saturday, but now I promise you it WILL happen.

This is the 1st opportunity I had to get online since last Saturday. My husband and I, and our two little girls left New Orleans at 7am on Saturday and went to Houma, Louisiana, where my husband's parents live. We grabbed bare minimum of clothes, food, etc. and left.

I am sooooo glad I took my PowerBook with me. Without it I'd have no way of making the show or communicating with anyone, especially my parents in Kostroma, Russia. I have no idea whether my house is still there or not. None of the residents of New Orleans area are allowed to go back to the city till Monday. I can't wait to see what happened to our home, but there are reports that it's very unsafe to return at this moment - too many criminals on the loose...armed. Now, about the folks you saw on TV that were taking food and drinks out of the stores. Reporters are calling them "looters", but all they are doing is trying to save their lives.

Anyway, I am extremely thankful that our lives were spared, that we have a roof over our heads and food to eat. I just pray for the ones that are struggling right now, as well as for the rescue teams. More about this and A Spoonfull of Russian later on Saturday!