Archive for the Category: Russian

Handwriting and typing Cyrillic

I finally finished learning the handwritten cursive version of the Cyrillic alphabet for Russian today – I’ve been learning it a few letters at a time, so it has taken a while. Now I can write down the Russian words and phrases I’m learning more easily – writing the printed versions of the letters seems […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 5 Comments


Книга /’kniga/ is a Russian word for book, and also appears in other Slavic languages: кніга in Belarusian, книга in Bulgarian, Macedonian and Ukrainian, knjiga in Croatian and Slovenian, kniha in Czech, knéga in Kashubian, kъńiga (book, character, writing) in Old Church Slavonic, książka in Polish, and књига in Serbian. It apparently comes from the […]

Also posted in Czech, English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments


In the Celtic languages when you want to say that you have/own/possess something, you say that the thing is at/by/with you, often with the prepositions merging with the pronouns. For example, this is how to say ‘I have a book’ in those languages: – Irish: Tá leabhar agam [lit. "is book at-me] – Scottish Gaelic: […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic 25 Comments


I’ve been concentrating on Russian for a week now and am making some progress. I listen to Russian language radio in the mornings while working on Omniglot, so my attention isn’t entirely focused on what they’re saying, but even so I am becoming more familiar with the sounds and rhythyms of the language. The names […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 1 Comment

Верблюд стоит на трёх ногах

A few years ago I tried to learn Russian just using Rosetta Stone Russian to test how well it worked. I chose Russian because I hadn’t studied before and because I thought it would be an interesting and useful language learn. At that time I also needed to put together web pages in Russian from […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language learning 8 Comments

Lyrics Translate

The other day I came across a useful site called Lyrics Translate, where you can find, submit and request translations of songs. It currently contains translations between a wide range of languages, including English, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Polish and so on, and the site itself can be viewed in a variety of languages. There […]

Also posted in Breton, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Translation, Turkish, Welsh 2 Comments

Russian mountains

Yesterday evening I discovered that the French term for roller coaster is les montagnes russes or Russian mountains. This got me wondering what roller coasters have to do with Russian mountains, and I’ve found that from the 17th Century the Russian were constructing “Russian Mountains” – series of hills and slides of ice reinforced with […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Language, Portuguese, Spanish, Words and phrases 21 Comments

Is Russian losing ground?

Since the break up of the Soveit Union, Russian has been losing ground in many of the former Soviet Republics, according to an article I found the other day. The “Year of the Russian Language”, which was officially opened in Paris in August, is an effort to address this trend by promoting the Russian language […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 13 Comments

Learning Russian and Manx

I’ve been learning Russian with Rosetta Stone for just over six months now and don’t feel like I’m making much progress. The Rosetta Stone Russian course is a fairly effective way of learning vocabulary and some sentence patterns, but not particularly useful if you want to learn how to converse in Russian. So I’m considering […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Manx 6 Comments

Word of the day – плотник

плотник (plotnik), noun = carpenter After a break of a few weeks, I started studying Russian again today. This week’s lesson is about occupations. It provides the Russian words for various jobs, but unfortunately doesn’t tell you how to say “I am a …” or “I work as a …”. Such sentences will hopefully appear […]

Also posted in Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments