Learn Russian These lessons contain English translations.

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MMM: Mysteriously Missing Money

What's better? Stuffing your savings into a mattress, or investing it in a profitable venture? Obviously, the thought of having your money work for you is appealing. Lots of Russians felt the same way and so bought shares in MMM – Russia's greatest financial fraud of the 90s. And as crazy as it sounds, many people out there are still investing in a "sure thing", just like our dialog's hero. In today's grammar, we'll take a closer look at the prepositional case — its usage and its most common ending....

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: April 29, 2013

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On the Road

Russians love their cars and fast driving, but their relationship to Russian roads is much more complicated. "On the road again…" – many Russians dread such a perspective. The many reasons for this can all be found in our lesson, so let's start our engines and hit the road ourselves!Today's grammar is also road-related: we'll learn directions and locations, like "right" and "left," as well as some verbs of motion with the meaning of "driving" or "riding."...

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: April 25, 2013

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A ride in marshrutka

Another ride in the marshrutka – the shuttle mini-bus - is due today – side by side right next to a lovely Russian girl. Let's listen to her incessant requests and demands addressed to her fellow-passengers and learn how to make our own: The marshrutka is a place where you'll have to use your Russian, so it's better to start now!Today's grammar topic is the imperative: A verb form that helps you to make requests – or demands, if needed....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: April 22, 2013

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Wish Fish

Choosing presents can sometimes be very tricky, especially if you're searching for something suitable for two people who get along with each other like cats and dogs. In such cases, it often looks like only the Golden Fish can help you – one that fulfills all your wishes.After first appearing in Alexander Pushkin's fairy-tale, this little fish has become a very popular character of Russian culture, popping up in all kinds of jokes and sayings.In today's grammar, we'll learn Russian constructions with "давай(те)" and "пусть" that express suggestions and proposals such as "Let's do something" or "Let him do it."...

Host: Nikita, Tanya
Grammar: let's_let

Published: April 18, 2013

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Going to the ballet

If you are planning to go out in Moscow, classic ballet at the Bolshoi theatre is certainly a number-one destination. Musicals come and go, but the Russian ballet with its classic pas de deux has always been a part of the national heritage and is still a wonderful opportunity to enjoy beautiful dancers, and to dress up to the nines.Destinations are also a topic of today's grammar: We'll learn verbs that mean "to go," and prepositions that are used for destinations....

Host: Masha, Nikita
Grammar: verbs_motion

Published: April 15, 2013

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Women's day in Russia

March 8th – International Women's day – is widely celebrated in Russia. However, this holiday is not about the rights and freedoms of women. As you'll find out in our lesson, it's more about flowers, and presents, and a cake – and women don't seem to mind.In today's grammar, we'll have an overview of all numerals from 20 to 4000 – be it for counting presents or money....

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: April 11, 2013

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Grandfather Frost

Did you know that Russians not only have their own Santa Claus, but that he also comes not at Christmas time, but on New Year's Eve instead? And not late at night through the chimney, but right through the front door to your happy kids? Come and greet him, too, maybe there'll be presents?In today's grammar, we'll learn which prepositions are used with events (like going to a party), and round out our knowledge of the spatial prepositions....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: April 08, 2013

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Greetings from the Traffic Police

Surely you, dear listener, are one of those drivers who have never broken any traffic rules in their entire life. Even so you're not safe from the Russian traffic police and their fines: They have to fill their quota, after all, that's why they'll sometimes fine you just for the sake of your ready money. Unlike you, our dialog's hero had it coming and got what he deserved. Let's see what his infraction was and find out more about the Russian traffic police.In today's grammar, we'll learn how to make the plural forms of neuter substantives....

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: April 04, 2013

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Village life

Granny's pies are fresh from the oven, kebabs are emanating heavenly smells, the sunset is perfect – at times like this, there seems to be no better place than a Russian village. Up until the moment when you have to trek to the faraway outhouse while being pursued by swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Nevertheless, visiting a Russian village is always fun – if only through our lesson!In today's grammar, we'll learn more about the plural forms of masculine and feminine nouns....

Host: Masha, Nikita
Grammar: plural_nouns

Published: April 01, 2013

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Cops and robbers

In Russia, it's sometimes hard to say who you have to beware of more, hooligans or policemen. The rule of thumb here is to keep away from both of them. Let's see whether our dialog's hero followed this rule, and discuss some police-related topics as well.Today's grammar deals with spatial prepositions again: We'll learn which of them to use when you are in a closed space, or want to get in or out of it....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: March 29, 2013

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I love Russian

Learning a foreign language can be difficult at times: You start with such enthusiasm, and then all those new words and rules seem to pile up. But persevere, and you'll have a breakthrough. Many have been through this stage already – look at our dialog's heroine: She'll get over through her sudden aversion in no time....

Host: Masha, Nikita
Grammar: language

Published: March 27, 2013

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Office in a former factory

Today, we're going to visit a factory. But wait, it's not a factory anymore – it has been converted into museums, offices, recording studios, shops and what not – and everything is available for rent. That is, if you don't mind funky neighbors or the whole idea of an art cluster – which has become very popular in Russian big cities.In today's grammar we'll be discussing the difference between adjectives and adverbs – and we'll also see how the latter are formed....

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: March 25, 2013

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The Speckled Hen Tale

Sit back, listen carefully, and let us tell you a story – and not just any story, but the most famous of Russian children's fairy-tales: Speckled Hen. Maybe it's not the most exciting or the cutest of all tales, but it's definitely one of the most enigmatic – even parents are often at a loss. Let's try to decipher it in today's lesson!In today's grammar, things keep falling from tables and chairs, thus helping us to learn prepositions which express spatial relations and directions....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: March 22, 2013

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Maslenitsa – Butter Week

In Russia, the winter season – and especially Maslenitsa, Russian Carnival week - is a season of pancakes. No one can resist Russian pancakes filled with caviar and eaten with mead – except maybe some extremely health-conscious fitness addicts.In today's grammar, we'll get to know another subtype of adjectives – those ending on sibilants (ж, ш, щ, ч)...

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: March 20, 2013

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Wrong Airport

There are so many things to think about when heading to the airport: flight time, tickets, passports, luggage… And last, but not least: Is this my airport? In today's lesson, we'll discuss how to get in and out of an airport and how not to mix the airports up!Today's grammar is about the verbs of the second group and their plural present tense....

Host: Masha, Nikita
Topic: airport

Published: March 18, 2013

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Polar Night

Would you like to live in a place where the night sometimes lasts for more than a month? Exotic as it may sound, there are several big Russian cities where the polar night is a part of everyday life. Let's listen to a telephone conversation with one such city and learn more about the conditions beyond the Arctic Circle.In today's grammar, we'll continue with the accusative case of animate and inanimate nouns – this time of the feminine gender....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: March 15, 2013

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Learning Russian

Oh those Russians, oh that Russian language… So difficult to learn, or is it? With a little effort, you're already making progress, and we hope that soon you'll master the basics. Step by step – that's the key!Today, we're revisiting some of the most important grammar basics: Russian grammatical gender and case; and also continue our study of the present tense: today's focus is the singular forms of the second group of verbs....

Host: Masha, Nikita

Published: March 13, 2013

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Comrade, can you spare a dime?

Beggars are a sad part of every city in the world, and Russia is no exception. On the contrary, the populace of panhandlers is so vast and multifaceted that one can talk about a separate complex subculture – or sub-society. In this lesson we'll get to know it a bit closer – but not too close: Some murky waters are better treaded carefully.In today's grammar we'll learn more about different forms of the Russian accusative case, concentrating on plural nouns....

Host: Nikita, Tanya

Published: March 08, 2013

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