Questions tagged [выбор-слова]

Questions about the difference in meaning or usage between two or more words.

1
vote
2answers
436 views

What is the original Russian word for a watermelon?

Wiktionary gives the following etymology of the word "арбуз" (watermelon): From Turkic. Compare Ottoman Turkish خربز‎ (harbüz), خربزه‎ (harbüze), Tatar карбыз (qarbız), Bashkir ҡарбуз (qarbuz), ...
6
votes
2answers
277 views

What should I do with non-Russian proper names that sound like Russian swear words?

Let's suppose I am writing a serious article in Russian about a person, a business, or a geographic object whose proper name sounds in the original language like a Russian swear or obscene word. Of ...
4
votes
3answers
90 views

What to start a scholarship application letter with

What is the best way to make an opening to a Russian language motivation letter to be used in applying for a university scholarship? is "уважаемые господа и дамы" good enough when addressing several ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Russian word for a male zebra

Let's suppose I am writing a fictional but realistic story about a male zebra. Here is the problem. On the one hand, the grammatical gender of the Russian word "зебра" is feminine, so it is ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

What is the difference between “дерзкий,” “наглый,” and “нахальный”?

Wiktionary gives the following definitions of дерзкий, наглый, and нахальный: дерзкий: brazen, impudent, impertinent, insolent, cheeky, pert bold, daring, audacious наглый: ...
3
votes
7answers
932 views

What are the words for people who cause trouble believing they know better?

Update: To put it simply, what I am looking for is a Russian word or expression that combines three things together: (1) inconsiderate (that is, not careful to avoid harm to others), (2) meddlesome (...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

What people are called boars (“кабан”) and why?

I discovered yesterday that the Russians often use the word "кабан" ("wild boar") or its Old Russian analogue "вепрь" to talk about people: (1) Что ещё раз доказывает, что здоровья у Уайта ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

The original word for a wild boar

I recently accidentally discovered that the Russians call wild boars by a word borrowed from Turkic languages - "кабан." The etymological dictionary by Preobrazhensky clearly states: Заимств. из ...
24
votes
7answers
15k views

Why do Russians call their women expensive (“дорогая”)?

My question is in the title of this post, and I do not know what else to say. I am just puzzled. Okay, to avoid my post being put on hold for being too succinct, I will add a couple of naive thoughts ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Words for “mow the lawn”, “cut the grass”

How would a Russian speaker be likely to say "mow the lawn" or "cut the grass" in Russian? (I'm thinking about the lawn associated with a regular house, not a mansion or a park.) Usually, I can find a ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Translating the untranslatable: Are there good translations of Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz? [closed]

The Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz - the Russian James Bond - are among the funniest, but are considered untranslatable. But are they really untranslatable? Being a big fan of my language and ...
3
votes
4answers
133 views

“Oбнулить” и “настраивать на нуль”

На викисловаре есть два перевода английского глагола zero. Суть "обнулить" и "настраивать на нуль". Насколько я вижу, "настраивать на нуль" гораздо реже чем "обнулить", но я об В этом не полностью ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Usage of “слушать” and “слышать”

I'm still confused about these two verbs. Can someone lay out the differences between them and when to use each? So far all I've been able to gather is that слушать means to listen whereas слышать ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Succinct and gender-neutral Russian word for “writer”

Imagine I want to translate to Russian the word "community of working writers" such that "writers" means both male and female ones. Here are obvious variants: Сообщество работающих литераторов и ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Flee: “бежать” or “сбежать”?

What is stylistically neutral word for "to flee": "бежать" or "сбежать"? EDIT: I consider here the formal register (such as in Wikipedia articles or TV news). I know that both words can describe ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

Choice of Russian words for dishes

Recently the respected user @SergeySlepov suggested that the dish for soup is тарелка or миска, not чашка. His suggestion came as a reaction to my expression чашка супу. I have always been confused ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Why is по pronounced “po” but по русски is pronounced pa-ruski? Or am I saying one of them wrong? [duplicate]

Literally, the very first thing in Russian that I learned was the phrase "я не очень хорошо говорю по русски" so I know that по русски is pronounced pa ruski, but I was adding a pronunciation for the ...
5
votes
2answers
113 views

When do you use так как, потому что, из-за, благодаря, по, ради

There are many words in Russian for 'because'. I am unclear whether they are equivalent or are they used in different situations.
0
votes
3answers
125 views

римановое многообразие or риманово многообразие?

In mathematics the technical term Riemann manifold (or Riemannian manifold) denotes a type of space investigated by the nineteenth century German mathematician Bernhard Riemann. The corresponding ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

может быть a могу

I hear both as "I can", but when is it appropriate to use either or? I am aware the former means "maybe".
1
vote
2answers
112 views

When to use “спасибо нет” or “нет спасибо”?

I understand that both expressions are acceptable translations of “no, thank you” in order to politely answer no to a question. Are they always interchangeable? In which situations would we use one ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

When to use поехали, давай or пойдём?

I understand that these three expressions are an invitation to do something or go somewhere. I would use “давай” as in “come on” or “come with me”. “поехали” and ”пойдём” would be more like “let’s go”,...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What is the difference between сумерки and сумрак?

As I have been reading about «Ночный Дозор», which I intend to read soon, Wikipedia hinted that those words have slightly different meanings. However, that explanation is very subtle and it left me ...
4
votes
4answers
128 views

How does “попасться” compare to “наткнуться”?

In conversation, I just said: Тебе наверняка попадется целая толпа мошенников, называющих себя инвесторами. Не верь. Now I'm wondering how "Ты наткнешься на ..." would have compared to "Тебе ...
4
votes
3answers
116 views

How to express the idea of “the general public”, as opposed to “the royal family”?

In conversation, I just said: Никогда бы не подумал, что у принцев могут быть проблемы, как у обычных людей. I'm wondering how "как у простых людей" would have compared to "как у обычных людей" -- ...
7
votes
4answers
165 views

When to use “на первом месте” – and “в первую очередь”?

In conversation, I just said: Пусть он предприниматель, но думает не только о деньгах. Будь нажива для него на первом месте, он бы больше заработал, нарушая правила. Now I'm wondering how "в ...
2
votes
4answers
128 views

How does “задирать” differ from “доставать”?

Она меня постоянно задирает. Она меня постоянно достает. In conversation, I use "задирать" or "доставать" with the meaning of "сильно раздражать". I'm wondering how they compare with one another ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

Why would one use “свой” instead of a more direct word in the following context? [duplicate]

Today I learned that the "standard" Russian translation of "I lost my ticket is Я потерял свой билет. Why would you use свой instead of мой? My understanding is that свой can refer to "one's own." ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

Difference between “папа” and “отец”?

In Russian is there a difference between папа and отец? If there is, is it like Dad vs Daddy in English?
2
votes
3answers
120 views

“Сказать” and “поговорить” as perfective aspects of “говорить” in the past tense

I'm struggling to understand the difference between говорить/сказать and говорить/поговорить. I've been making notes from the Master Russian website, which lists говорить/сказать as meaning to say, ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

When to use “куча” and when to use “уйма”?

In conversation, I said jokingly: С молокососами нередко бывает куча хлопот. Сдается мне, я постоянно убираю за ними... С тем же успехом я вполне мог бы вести дело совсем уж в одиночку! {vs}: ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

Function of «во» in «… верят в то, во что никто не верит»

Just came across this phrase: Эти странные русские верят в то, во что никто не верит? and I still can't figure out what's the function of "во" here. Can't I just say something like: Эти ...
5
votes
2answers
60 views

“Оправдаться” or “оправдать себя”

Sometimes I don't know which reflexive form is better. I know that оправдаться means "to be justified". But, if I want to tell "I don't need to justify myself" (in the sense of "I don't need to give ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

“Худой” or “плохой”

What's the difference between худой and плохой? Are these words interchangeable? When should each be used?
4
votes
2answers
92 views

How are the impersonal “доводилось” and “приходилось” nuanced?

In conversation, I just said this – and the sentence with "доводилось" sarcastically: Не зря говорят, что японцы трудоголики и все такое, но... он в самом деле заходит слишком далеко. Как-то не ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

How to express the ironic “managed to do”?

Так, сейчас посмотрим... Сегодня мы успели свалиться в пропасть, а затем ... Here I'm not talking about "manage to do" in a positive sense (succeed), but rather its ironic use when you have made a ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

Which is the difference between “поперек” and “через”?

In my understanding, they both mean across, right? Are they interchangeable or used in specific situations?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

A Russian verb for finding support for one's idea or theory from a hardly-relevant source

What verb would best describe in Russian the act of trying to find some support for one's idea or theory from some source that doesn't necessarrily support or even focus on that idea? For example, ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

Difference in usage between “наоборот” and “напротив”

Она его не упрекала, потому что знала, что сложись все наоборот, если бы её парень упал, а она бы продолжала идти, она бы тоже не остановилась. I assume that "наоборот" cannot be replaced with "...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Difference in usage between “мол” and “де”

Натолкнувшийся на меня Фарсад, невесело улыбнулся – мол, не у одного тебя кошки на душе скребут, потом вдруг со всего размаха врезал меня по плечу, и проговорил: As particles to mark reported speech, ...
6
votes
3answers
166 views

Which verb would start a “серию убийств”?

Which verb or a combination of verbs would best describe the act of starting a "серия убийств" (I want to keep "серия убийств", but the grammatical case can be different from Nominative)? "Начал ...
3
votes
3answers
148 views

How to say “historical reenactment” in Russian?

How to say "historical reenactment" in Russian? For example, when talking about some festival with a historical reenactment of some medieval battle. EDIT: "историческая реконструкция", as far as I ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

“навсегда”, “навек(и)”, “вовек(и)”, “вечно”: When to use each one?

остаться здесь навсегда уснуть навеки / навек вовеки / вовек не забуду любить тебя вечно Тhey can all translate as "forever" in English, but they each seem to match better with some ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

When to use “прекрасный” and when to use “красивый”?

прекрасный вечер прекрасная девушка красивый пейзаж I wonder if the choice depends on what noun follows?
8
votes
5answers
338 views

О конях и лошадях

I know the difference between "лошадь" and "конь" - лошадь is a female horse and конь is a male horse. I also know that we should treat "конный спорт" as a set expression. Thus, "лошадиный спорт" ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Nuances between “столь/настолько/так (твёрдо) уверен”

To express the idea of: How come you're so[that much / this much / to this extent] sure of it? The following phrasings all seem to be saying more or less the same thing: Почему ты в нем столь / ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Usage of “все” vs “ещё”?

So I just came across the following sentence: Прошло 2 года,а я все слушаю If I had to make a guess I'd translate this to something like: It's been two years and still i'm listening It appears ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Difference between “некий”, “какой-то”, “кое-какой”, and “некоторый”?

Здесь была металлическая пирамидка, размером с ладонь, некое устройство, состоящее из двух пересеченных колец, ... I'm wondering how those four synonyms are nuanced and if in this context it is ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

В чем разница между «через X после Y» и «спустя X после Y»?

Через неделю-другую , после обсчёта результатов оказалось, что человек не рыбка. [no dash before negation] Спустя неделю-другую , после обсчёта результатов оказалось, что человек не рыбка. [no ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

How commonly is the neologistic word “опция” used as a variant of “вариант”?

В таком случае помни, что есть масса опций: ты всегда можешь воспользоваться доставкой цветов — пусть даже ты вообще в другом городе. Here, "масса опций" is used with the meaning of "tons of options",...