I would like to know the conventional and/or colloquial way in Russian to express that one is reading up on a subject. In English, to read up on/about something means to inform oneself about a subject through much reading and research; typically this refers to establishing or refreshing one's basic understanding of a subject. It also applies to multiple contexts (professional, academic, casual).

I'm reading up on popular chess openings (here, familiarizing oneself with)

я ознакамливаюсь с шахматными дебютами

I'm reading up about trunk paralysis, a disease specific to elephants.

Я осведомляюсь о параличе хобота — болезнь поражающая исключительно слонов.

Do these sound normal to a native speaker? Here are some other rough translations I could come up with, from most formal to least formal in register:

я информирую себя о...
я пытаюсь разузнать о...
я захожу в тему чего-л.
?я начитиваюсь статей о?

Are there any other common expressions I am missing? How would a native speaker express that they are "reading up" on something?

2 Answers 2


Осведомля́ться, ознака́мливаться, информи́ровать are all very formal. It is impossible to "информи́ровать себя́" (I hereby inform myself... )

"Я чита́ю" is quite universal:

  • Я чита́ю о параличе́ хо́бота у слоно́в.

Or if you want to sound more casual:

  • Я тут ко́е-что почи́тываю о слона́х.

In the past:

  • Я тут подначита́лся немно́го о слона́х. Ока́зывается, у них быва́ет парали́ч хо́бота.

You could also say something semi-ironic like "восполня́ю пробе́лы своего́ образова́ния в нау́ке о слона́х."

  • I might be opinionated on this, but to me Я читаю про <тему> sounds better than Я читаю о <теме>. If you want to be more specific that it is scientific research or of a greater interest, Я читаю статьи по теме/про/о ... is more concise.
    – Lyth
    Mar 9, 2021 at 11:28

Я изучаю шахматные дебюты (проблему паралича хобота у слонов).

  • Specially to downvoters: "Charles spent his first day at the office reading up all facts and figures" - "...изучая все факты и цифры", "If you are planning to take up bee-keeping, read up about it first" - "...сперва изучите [предмет]". In both cases it comes to people's not having the slightest apprehension of the issue. So it can't come up to simply "дополнительно почитать или ознакомиться".
    – Eugene
    Mar 25, 2021 at 9:29

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