Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете...

Today in the lab... Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете... 

Take your quiz when you're ready. 

Then grab a хэндаут and listen to this vignette. You'll want to listen to it at least twice--once to get an idea of what's going on, then again to identify the phrases and words you know, and a final time to put the pictures in the correct order. 

These words will help you to understand: вещи (things), мебель (furniture), ремонт and отремонтирован (repairs, rehab), троллейбус. сколько просите? (how much are you asking?) преступность (crime), сигнализация (alarm), посоветоваться (from the word совет, like Soviet Union--it means "consult"), экономист, пара (couple, a pair), позвонят (they will call). 

Don't spend more than 15 minutes on the exercise... Оно трудно! It's hard, isn't it? Но полезно. Useful.

Then, come to the tables, мы с репититорами с вами будем работать! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете...

Сегодня 21ое января. Привет! Как дела? У меня все хорошо! Или нет...

After you've taken your quiz... read this article for some cultural insights about the questions, How are you?...

In my experience, it's mostly true, though younger Russians (kids your age) understand that you're not really asking how they're doing when you ask... How do you do?
The question in question is, “How are you?”The answer Americans give, of course is, “Fine.” But when Russians hear this they think one of two things: (1) you’ve been granted a heavenly reprieve from the wearisome grind that all but defines the human condition and as a result are experiencing a rare and sublime moment of fineness or (2) you are lying. 

А теперь... Review quickly counting by tens. Listen to this recording and read along with the numerals from below. Listen a couple times...

А теперь... Послушайте, как я читаю числительные... Listen to a recording of me reading some "thousands"... One thousand, two thousand...

Make sure you have a lab worksheet, and do упражнение А, writing down the prices of the items. The challenge here is to figure out how many thousands and hundreds each item costs. You'll hear the word тысяча in various forms; the forms aren't as important as the numbers in front. 

Then, come to the tables! We'll work some more on the use and formation of the Genitive Case. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Сегодня в лингафонном кабинете...

Доброе утро! Сегодня среда, 15ое января.

С возвращением! Welcome back!

First, listen to the three разговоры (1 3). On the back of one of your lab assignments, jot down the answers, in English, to the following questions. Don't listen more than three times! Я вам помогу! I can help you... just ask! Попросите!
Before coming to the tables, take a second and listen to me read the conjugational pattern of a new verb, хотеть, to want. Notice that it's irregular: the singular present tense has -e- as its vowel (like работать); the plural persons (мы, вы, они) have -и- and -ят (like говорить). It's not irregular, хотеть is a hybrid!

Listen to the recording at least twice, and read along:

Now, come join us at the tables... Пожалуйста, к столам!

Мини-сочинение! На вторник! Вот задание...

Using the questions below as a guide, write a brief essay (half a page, 8-10 full sentences!) answering the question: Какой у вас дом? The essay is due next Tuesday at the start of class. (You can send it to me by email, if you wish!) I'll correct it, and you'll revise it for your portfolio.We'll work through the exercise tomorrow in class. Remember--this essay carries the same evaluative weight as your quizzes!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


So I found this really cute Russian cartoon with English subtitles. I thought it was interesting how they were encouraging smiling because I always thought that Russians generally saw smiling as foolish looking or something.

Unit 5: Russian Hospitality

When compared to other cultures/countries around the world, Russians are amazing hospitable, in some cases to a near unbelievable degree. Russians are often nominated for being the best hosts around the world - and not just for the drinks they provide. Friendly, open environments, and the ability to comfortably visit friends in Russia without needing an invitation is what separates Russians in this regard from not only Americans but most of the world as well. However, this hospitality does not only go one way. Gifts are almost always provided to the hosts from the guests at such visits, to such an extent that it is nearly shocking when guests arrive without gifts. Sadly, this sort of nice gesture is only beginning to come through in American society. Finally, Russians enjoy hosting foreign friends and showing them around, in addition to hosting more traditional events, such as holiday celebrations. Whatever the circumstance, you can bet Russians will be more accommodating to others than those snippy Americans.

A Few Things Never To Do in Russia That I Found Interesting

Don't go dutch

If you don't pay for her, she won't be going out with you again. She probably wouldn't even bring money to your date, unless she's afraid of having to make a quick emergency exit out the back and pay for a taxi home...

Don't burp in public

Bodily functions are a big no-no. Everyone on the bus will look at you like you are an axe-murderer and you've been killing puppies in front of them.  And for god's sake don't apologize, it's like raising your hand and telling the judge, "Yes sir I am very guilty."  So don't apologize, just let everyone ignore it and look terrified.

Don't take the last shirt

Russians will literally offer you their earthly possessions if you comment on them positively, this does not mean you should take them, they are just trying to be nice.

Don't joke about the parents

Russians literally don't care about any other kind of joke, whether it be racial stereotypes or puns. But don't joke about the RENTS! No one will understand you, they don't make your mom jokes.


This is one of the many dishes that we sometimes eat in my household, and is personally my favorite meal.
Here is the Russian blinchiki (блинчики) recipe:
2 ¼ cups of milk (молоко) or water (вода)
3 eggs
1 ¼ of flour
1 tbsp of sugar (if you want your blinchiki to be sweeter, you can use 2tbs of sugar)
1 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil
1.    Mix the eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
2.    Add milk or water to the mixture and mix well.
3.    Stir in flour, mixing well to make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
4.    Add vegetable oil to the batter (жидкое тесто) and mix well. Leave to stand for 10-15 min.
5.    Oil a skillet (Смажьте сковородку маслом). Pour the batter on the hot oiled skillet and cook on one side until golden then flip the blinchik over and brown the other side.
6.    Serve (подавать) sweet crepes (сладкие блинчики) with jam (варенье), sour cream,honey (мёд), syrup, melted chocolate, whipped cream, and fruit.
Very tasty! You will lick your fingers! (Так вкусно, что пальчики оближешь!) :-P

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

UNIT 5: Russian Baked Apples Recipe (Печеные Яблоки)

  • 4 large Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples
  • Lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided use
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins soaked in 2 tablespoons rum or water
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield4 Russian Baked Apples
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Find a baking dish that will just accommodate the apples without them rolling around. Coat it lightly with cooking spray. 
  2. Make the filling by combining in a medium bowl 2 tablespoons melted butter with toasted walnuts, drained raisins, honey, cinnamon and other spices, if using. Set aside. 
  3. Peel the apples. Rub them lightly with lemon juice. Slice off the top portion of the apples and core them, leaving the apples intact at the bottom to ensure that the filling will not run out. Place them in the prepared baking dish. 
  4. Divide the filling among the four apples. Rub the exterior of the apples with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Place 1/4 cup water in the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until the apples are soft, but before they collapse. If desired, serve with pan juices, and ice cream or whipped cream.
The Ukraine gave citizenship to a neo-Nazi, wanted in Russia for allegedly setting off a bomb near the Kremlin....on that note, the current Ukrainian President has included a rag doll into his daily musings on "how to protect the country".

View image on Twitter

1 Ruble = 63 USD

One ruble, the currency in Russia, is equivalent to $63. This is over double what the dollar was worth in Russia one year ago. According the the New York Times, this will make most Russians 50% poorer. The economic crisis Russia has been facing is due to Putin's controversial acts of military aggression toward Ukraine. The rest of the Western world has handed many sanctions down upon Russia and Putin has done his best to isolate as much of Russia as possible. The world is eagerly awaiting Putin's next attempt at expanding the Russian Empire, no matter what economic downturn for the average Russian it causes. I have attached the New York Time's article called "The Myth of Russian Oligarchs".