By Alexandra Balakireva
“Beautiful, complex, and a window onto the unknown”: this is how the British Council describes Russian. While acknowledging that “Russian pronunciation and grammar can be challenging”, their article argues that as the eighth most widely-spoken native language in the world, learning Russian “is worth the investment”, as it “opens up a world of incredible art, theatre, literature and culture” and is a good career move too.
Did you know…
…that while at first glance, Russian verbs don’t look so difficult: two numbers, three simple tenses (past, present and future), infinitive, subjunctive etc., they are in fact quite mind-boggling?
Take a look at this photo, which was circulating in the social media recently. The list of Russian words shows all the different ways in which you can translate three different tenses of the English verb “to run”.
This is because every verb has two verbal aspects: perfect and imperfect. The imperfect aspect is used in actions where there is some doubt, a particular end is not achieved or you cannot see a definitive result. The perfect aspect is used for all other cases, to show that an action has been completed.
All in all, this is a real challenge for anyone who is just learning Russian.
Did you know…?
that to win the heart of a Russian woman, you need to read her poetry, give her flowers and finally bowl her over with the magic words “I love you”? If you want to be really romantic, you may want to follow the example of renowned Russian writers Pushkin and Lermantov and use the formal word for you (“vas”) when you make this all-important statement: «я люблю вас», pronounced ya lublú vas. To help you remember, think: “yellow-blue bus”!
Finally, why not try a Russian tongue twister?
Не хочет косой косить косой, говорит, коса коса.
Ne jóchet kosóy kosít kosóy, govorít, kosá kosá.
In English this means:
The squint-eyed man doesn’t want to mow with a scythe.
He says that the scythe is skewed.
Clearly a phrase which will stand you in good stead should you ever need to speak Russian!
Shamrock has an outstanding team of Russian translators, including:
Nadezda Kuznetsova, originally from Moscow, who has been living in Chile for more than ten years. Nadezda has a degree in Hispanic Philology (Spanish and English teaching, translating and interpreting) from the Moscow State University and her translating and interpreting experience includes legal, financial and technical texts, as well as documents related to fisheries, wine, sociology, international relations etc.
Alexandra Balákireva, who came to Chile from Moscow in 2011. Alexandra has a degree in Intercultural Communications in Business from the Humanitarian Science University of Moscow.