Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introduction to our Blog

Welcome to our new blog! The point of this blog is to help fill in the gaps for those who have studied Russian outside of the Russian-speaking world and are preparing to move to the Russian-speaking world.

Within your first few hours in Russia, someone is likely ask you “чай будешь?” (the colloquial way to offer tea), advise you on the best маршрутка (minibus) to take, or warn you to stay away from гопники (track suit-wearing hooligans). Unfortunately, many Russian majors would be completely stumped by these incredibly common words and phrases. For various reasons almost none of the frequently used textbooks in the US cover basic, actual spoken Russian. Part of this stems from the fact that an artificially academic and high form of the language is presented, in other cases there are no cultural equivalents for many words and there is also a great deal of common slang that hasn’t yet made it into textbooks. As our project gets going, we hope it will form a useful supplement to other Russian courses for people planning to move to the former USSR. With just a little linguistic knowhow, you can really open up this wonderful part of the world!

Erin and Derek are starting this project but welcome the contributions of others. Please contact us if you have something to contribute!

About us:

I started learned Russian at Yerevan State University in Armenia, then continued studying it in the U.S. I really started speaking Russian on a daily basis while on the Critical Language Scholarship program in Nizhniy Novgorod. I learned colloquial Russian from teaching English in a Russophone region of Moldova in 2009-2010. I currently live outside the Russophone world in Prishtina, Kosovo.


I first began to use Russian on a day-to-day basis while living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I’m currently making my way around the world as an English teacher. At the moment I live in Ukraine.