Please note: I tried to find the closest Russian/English equivalents possible, but of course there are subtle nuances between the phrases. So if you feel like you have something to add to my translations/interpretations, or if you know/want to discuss better phrases/equivalents, please feel free to comment. If anything, we will be happy to see genuine and active participation!
1. А Васька слушает да ест.
Taken from: ’The Cat and The Cook (Кот и Повар) Literal meaning: ‘And Vasya listens and continues eating’ Meaning: When someone ignores criticism, listens to advice but continues doing one’s own thing English equivalent: to turn a deaf ear, like talking to a brick wall
2. А ларчик просто открывался.
Taken from: A Little Box (Ларчик) Literal meaning: ‘…and the box could be opened easily”. Meaning: some seemingly difficult problem turned out to have a simple solution English, I would say: there was nothing to it (after all), it wasn’t that hard.
3. Да только воз и ныне там.
Taken from: Swan, Pike and Crab (Лебедь, Щука и Рак)
Literal meaning: ‘the load is (still) there until the very day’ Meaning: refers to long and useless discussions that lead nowhere
English: everybody’s pulling and nothing’s moving, things aren’t moving, not much progress
4. Кто в лес, кто по дрова.
Taken from: Musicians (Музыканты) Literal meaning: some went to the forest, some went for firewood Meaning: cat’s concert; action with no coordination among the participants English: all at sixes and sevens
5. Как белка в колесе.
Taken from: The Squirrel and the Trush Literal translation: ‘like a squirrel in the wheel’ Meaning: to be very busy English: busy as a bee
6. Рыльце в пуху/ пушку
Taken from: The Fox and the Marmot (Лисица и Сурок) Literal translation: to have feathers in one’s snout Meaning: to be involved in something (usually a dishonest, indecent matter) In English, I’d say: a hypocrite
7. Слона-то я и не приметил.
Taken from: Любопытный Literal translation: I didn’t see the elephant Meaning: to overlook something obvious
Similar English phrases: can’t see forest for the trees
8. У сильного всегда бессильный виноват.
Taken from: The Wolf and the Lamb (Волк и Ягненок) Literal translation: ‘always are the weak at fault before the strong’
Meaning: the stronger often blames the weaker (often referring to abuse of power/unjustified accusations by those in higher positions)
9. Хоть видит око, да зуб неймет.
Taken from: the Fox and the Grapes (Лисица и Виноград) Literal translation: even though the eye can see, the tooth can’t taste Meaning: Desire of something impossible to obtain Similar phrases in English: so near/close and yet so far
10. Что сходит с рук ворам, за то воришек бьют.
Taken from: Вороненок Literal translation: things that great thieves can get away with are often the same things little thieves are punished for (please note the phrase: это сойдет тебе с рук: you will get away with something; also note the changed word order) Meaning: truly expert criminals are never caught Similar phrases in English: little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
The Academic Word List (AWL) contains 570 word families which were selected because they appear with great frequency in a broad range of academic texts. The list does not include words that are in the most frequent 2000 words of English (the General Service List), thus making it specific to academic contexts.
sector • available • financial • process • individual • specific • principle • estimate • variables • method • data • research • contract • environment • export • source • assessment • policy • identified • create • derived • factors • procedure • definition • assume • theory • benefit • evidence • established • authority • major • issues • labour • occur • economic • involved • percent • interpretation • consistent • income • structure • legal • concept • formula • section • required • constitutional • analysis • distribution • function • area • approach • role • legislation • indicate • response • period • context • significant • similar •
community • resident • range • construction • strategies • elements • previous • conclusion • security • aspects • acquisition • features • text • commission • regulations • computer • items • consumer • achieve • final • positive • evaluation • assistance • normal • relevant • distinction • region • traditional • impact • consequences • chapter • equation • appropriate • resources • participation • survey • potential • cultural • transfer • select • credit • affect • categories • perceived • sought • focus • purchase • injury • site • journal • primary • complex • institute • investment • administration • maintenance • design • obtained • restricted • conduct •
So I found this really cool channel. It’s mostly aimed at foreigners who are learning Russian, but the subtitles are in both languages, so I think it’ll be useful for both. In each video, the crew walks around the streets and interviews different people on a random topic, (which includes: ‘What makes you happy?’, ‘Who is your favourite writer?’). The idea is that it is possible (and necessary) to learn Russian ‘from the streets’. Their videos are always incredibly entertaining and positive, so I suggest you guys take a look - you won’t regret it, I promise :)
In this episode, Anya asks people about their favourite Russian sayings. Here are a few that were mentioned in this video:
век живи, век учись: live an learn / it’s never too late to learn кончи дело - гуляй смело: business before pleasure язык мой - враг мой: my tongue is my enemy/ a man’s ruin lies with his tongue/ i am my worst enemy чужая душа - потемки: a stranger’s heart is a deep well без труда не вытащишь рыбку из пруда/ под лежачий камень вода не течет: no pains, no gains/ no sweet/ without sweat тише едешь - дальше будешь: slow and steady wins the race в чужом глазу соринку разгляжу, в своем бревна не замечу:
Hunchback does not see his hump, but sees his companion’s
насильно мил не будешь: love cannot be compelled.
(without ever going to an English speaking country)
So, earlier today, @aspoonfuloflanguage asked me (thank you) to talk about how I got proficient in English, give some tips on certain things. Here they are! And if you feel like I could expand on something or I didn’t touch on something you want to know about, please just ask me!
I know this is so long, I’m so sorry! But I hope you like it!
If you go to take the SAT without #2 pencils, snacks, a calculator, or water because you assumethat the testing center will provide them, you’ll have a bad time. (You would be foolish to assumesuch a thing when even the school you attend every day doesn’t provide them for free.) 🤦🏻♂️
If you go on a blind date without bringing your wallet because you assumethat the other person (whom you’ve never met) will pay for dinner, you will probably have an awkward moment when the check arrives.
I thought it would be good to share with you a fun skill that helped me out a while back.
Language accustoms our mouth, lips and tongue to creating sounds unique and common for it. This is especially true with first languages and many people struggle to shake off their initial accent because of this fact. For instance, Russian speakers are encouraged to produce firm sounds, so when it comes to navigating English pronunciation, they tend to sound a little too rigid and tense.
But wouldn’t it be cool to impress your examiner? Could it be that you are self-conscious about your accent and would like to sound closer to native speakers? Do not fret, we have a tip!
Stick a pencil between your teeth and try reading! :)
As comical as it sounds, this method dates back to Ancient Greece, where speakers would put their heart and soul into proper annunciation, and pebbles — in their mouths. To follow their steps in a more conventional way, insert the pencil horizontally between your teeth and hold on to it tight. Try not to hurt yourself in the process! Now pick up a book, preferably in English, and try reading it without letting go of the pencil. It will be difficult at first but gradually your lips will loosen up: by giving them a bit of a challenge, they become more flexible and allow you to annunciate better. After reading for about 5 minutes, have a go at those expressions that always came out slightly awkwardly — this method works a miracle!
And don’t forget, practice makes perfect.
to help (someone) out: помочь, выручить (кого-то) a while back: некоторое время назад to accustom: приучить first language: родной язык to struggle: бороться to shake (something) off: избавиться (от чего-то) initial: изначальный firm: твердный to navigate: ориентироваться rigid: жесткий tense: напряженный impress: впечатлить to date back to: брать начало, датироваться annunciation: в этом контексте - объявление. pebbles: камешки conventional: общепринятый, традиционный to insert: вставить to let go: отпустить gradually: постепено to loosen up: расслабиться have a go at: попробовать(сделать что-то)
as + adjective + as + noun + verb: устойчивое выражение, аналог русского как бы ни…
as comical as it sounds: как бы смешно это ни звучало
put (their) heart and soul: вложить сердце и душу to work a miracle: творить чудеса to hold on tight: крепко держаться practice makes perfect: пословица, дословно - “практика приводит к совершенству”, аналог русского “повторенье - мать ученья” self-conscious (about): стесняться (чего-то) Don’t fret!: Не отчаивайтесь!
“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” is a common idiom that means ‘I won’t worry about a potential problem until it becomes an actual problem.’ For example, “I might need a lawyer, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” (Translation: I won’t worry about needing a lawyer until this situation becomes so bad that I need to hire one.) 👨⚖️