Questions tagged [лексикон]

Sets of words or words with specialized meanings that have to be learned.

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38
votes
2answers
6k views

How can "to teach" and "to learn" be translated to Russian?

I know that there are several Russian verbs can be used to translate the English verbs "to teach", "to study", and "to learn", e.g. учить, выучить, научить, учиться, изучать, ... However, I am a bit ...
37
votes
8answers
5k views

Why doesn't Russian have native words beginning with А?

I've heard that Russian has no native words beginning with the letter A. The claim is that the words appearing under A in dictionaries were all imported at some stage or another. Browsing through the ...
31
votes
11answers
8k views

What is the Russian translation of "excited about something"?

I find it very hard to translate "excited" to Russian. Dictionary says "взволнованный, возбуждённый" which doesn't fit in most cases. For example how would you translate the following sentences: ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

What is correct: "их" or "ихний"?

My wife always corrects me when I say ихний or ихних instead of их. However, I've seen these pronouns in classical literature many times (Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky). Which form is correct in ...
27
votes
13answers
9k views

How to address people in the street?

Suppose you want to ask someone for directions or to attract someone's attention. What is the appropriate way to address this person? Context: ..., подскажите, как выйти на улицу Чехова? or ......
27
votes
9answers
2k views

Equivalent adjective of 'thirsty' in Russian

When you're hungry, you say Я голоден. When you're thirsty you say Мне хочется пить. Is there an adjective in Russian that means thirsty? Perhaps derived from жажда (thirst)? Has there ever ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the difference between -либо and -нибудь?

The pairs кто-нибудь and кто-либо, когда-нибудь and когда-либо etc. have slight differences in meaning, and each particle is used in specific settings, but I can't quite pinpoint what the difference ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference between "мир" and "свет"

What's the difference between мир and свет to mean world? When would one use one over the other, and are there any set expressions where these are not interchangeable?
23
votes
7answers
14k views

"Left" and "right" in Russian

On a German page about the Russian language, I learned the words прямо [prjáma] – gerade aus (straight on) направо [napráwa] – rechts (right) налево [naléwa] – links (left) for directions (...
23
votes
6answers
15k views

The history and meaning of "ни фига себе"

I understand how the expression is used pretty well, but wonder where did it come from? What exactly does фиг mean?
22
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there a word that starts with "ы"?

I remember from my school years that there is no such thing as a word that starts with 'ы'. Is this true? If so, is there something fundamental that prevents this from happening? If no, can anybody ...
19
votes
1answer
908 views

Idiomatic translation of "Debug"

Is there a proper idiomatic translation of "Debug" into the Russian Language? I am not sure about "наладка программы", which I found on en.bab.la
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Russian words for magic. Etymology, usage and connotations

Something that I realised early on when learning Russian were the different words Russians would use where an English speaker would just say magic: The first word I came into contact with was ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How to say "Kafkaesque" in Russian?

What is the best way to convey the meaning of the English word "Kafkaesque" in Russian as succinctly and correctly as possible? I'm interested in both noun and adjective versions. I understand "...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Как назвать искреннего ханжу?

Определение ханжи таково: Тот, кто притворно набожен, добродетелен; лицемер. А как назвать человека, который непритворно, а искренне набожен, добродетелен? Он лезет ко всем с нравоучениями, ...
15
votes
4answers
484 views

Addressing taxi/bus driver by "шеф"/"командир" - where does it come from?

While using buses and marshrutkas as a means to reach point B from point A, I often hear drivers being addressed as "шеф" or "командир", as in: Командир, возьми за проезд! or Шеф, до вокзала ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Different words for "German" in Russian?

The Russian word for German is немецкий which means something like, "voiceless" or "mute." And yet the country is sometimes referred to as Германия. Why the difference between the two?
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between дыра and дырка?

What is the difference in usage, if any, between дыра and дырка? For comparison, my impression is that нуль and ноль are largely equivalent except that there are some standard phrases using one word ...
14
votes
10answers
873 views

How to say "handwaving" in Russian? [closed]

If someone gives a derivation of a formula in math, physics, etc. without justifying the steps, you can say in English that the person is giving a "handwaving argument" or "this step is handwaving". ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Difference between "использовать" and "пользоваться"

I know that the verb to use can be translated to Russian as использовать (with accusative) or пользоваться (with instrumental). I wanted to ask if there is a difference in meaning / usage between ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Various words for "priest". What are their emotional connotations?

There are various words used for "priest" in Russian language: поп, батюшка, священник, иерей, ксендз... What are emotional connotations of this words and when are they appropriate to use?
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Put noodles onto somebody's ears?

I've been asked to explain why people say вешать лапшу на уши for uncovering lies and expressing distrust. Where does it come from?
13
votes
6answers
22k views

What are the common responses to "как дела?"

When somebody asks как дела?, what are the common things that I can use to answer?
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Which word in Russian has the longest consonant cluster?

I've heard about this word контрвзбзднуть which has 9 consonants in a row. Obviously this word doesn't exist. Which real word(s) has the longest consonant cluster?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the proper use of the word ли?

My understanding is that it means "whether" in some contexts, but can mean "if" in others. What is the difference in usage? And what might be the difference between ли and Если, assuming that they ...
13
votes
1answer
685 views

Is there a difference between "отель" and "гостиница"?

Is there a difference between words отель and гостиница? Can I always use either of them for some given estate?
13
votes
6answers
11k views

Words in Russian of foreign origin

Like any language, Russian has plenty of words of foreign origin. Specifically: there are lots of words from Latin (most likely, because Latin was wide-spread from old time), e.g. вакуум, ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a difference between "кидать" and "бросать"?

In many cases, you can find that words which initially appear to be absolute synonyms actually have slight differences in meaning, so that one can be used in a specific setting while the other cannot. ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

A Russian translation for "privacy"

How would you translate privacy into Russian? May I have some privacy? I care about my privacy.
12
votes
3answers
413 views

Has заец really become an acceptable spelling?

This is a follow up to the question Has кофе become neutral? I have read somewhere on the web that it is now acceptable to write заец instead of заяц. Not that I am going to do that, just like I am ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

Значение слова "политота"

Я стал встречать по-видимому новое слово политота. Когда я попросил объяснить мне его значение, мне его объяснили так: Это школота, только в политике. Это пролило некоторый свет на то, что оно ...
12
votes
3answers
420 views

When are diminutive forms of time words (e.g., часик, неделька, годик) used?

I was searching the Russian National Corpus recently and in the results I noticed that nouns referring to duration in time are sometimes marked with a diminutive suffix, as in the following examples: ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the phrase пойти в разведку mean?

I assume that in casual usage, it doesn't really mean to serve in an intelligence agency, or to reconnoiter an enemy position, right?
11
votes
8answers
3k views

To be confused about something

How would one express that one is "confused about something"? I was once told that no direct translation exists, as in Russia no one is confused, but jokes aside, I wonder how I would say it.
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the meaning of "напортачил" and "портак"?

What exactly do these words mean? How can you correctly use them in speech? I know that "портак" is some sort of a prison tattoo, but then what does "напортачил" mean?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

The meaning of verbs with prefix "раз-\рас-" and postfix "-ся"

Can the following words be used in any context? I even doubt that some of them exist, but I cannot think of any reason why they shouldn't: разработаться расчитаться (from читать) раздуматься ...
11
votes
3answers
465 views

Is there a difference between "порадовать" and "обрадовать"

When someone is about to tell you some long-awaited news: Угадай, что мне сказал шеф сегодня. Guess what my boss told me today. you may ask him y saying one of these phrases: Давай, порадуй ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

What are synonyms for "срач"?

I need to translate the word "срач" to a different language. I am having a hard time trying to say it in different words in order to accurately explain the exact shade of the meaning. Could you please ...
10
votes
3answers
992 views

What are some expressions that starts with "курица - не птица"?

I've heard of: Курица - не птица, баба - не человек! Курица - не птица, Украина (Монголия, и т.д.) - не заграница! any other interesting ones?
10
votes
5answers
258 views

Verb roots: -секать/сечь

I've been trying to master your verbs, especially verbs of motion and with prefixes (приставки). it's interesting to me how verbs with the same root but different приставки can have dramatically ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

The meaning of "влекомый"

Is it possible to use "влекомый" as a passive participle of the verb "влечь" in meaning "to cause"? I can only think of examples where it is used in meaning "to carry" or "to attract": карета, ...
10
votes
2answers
392 views

Is there a single word to mean съедобный for drinks?

What съедобный is to food, __________ is to drinks. Of course, one can say которую можно пить, and there's the word питьевой, but both are not quite equivalent in meaning and usage to the ...
10
votes
3answers
314 views

Гол!... - нет - штанга!

Русская футбольная терминология естественно заимствована из английского. Многое было переведено на русский, многое русским освоено, кое-что продолжает существовать в обоих вариантах. Есть, однако, ...
10
votes
1answer
360 views

Why do "наддать" and "поддать" have the same meaning?

There are examples like наддать пару and поддать пару (not my favorite Russian words, but still they both exist). They have the same meaning, at least that is what gramota.ru suggests: наддать, ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

The word подарок - abstract meaning?

In my Russian class, we are learning holiday vocabulary, and I am wondering if there exists an abstract meaning for “подарок». For example, could you be talking about “the gift of forgiveness” or “the ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What do I call somebody being a smart ass in Russian?

What do I call somebody being a smart ass in Russian? UPDATE Well, I would say smart asses are: arrogant, annoying, think they are witty and funny, but they are not, think everybody cares of what ...
9
votes
3answers
881 views

Examples using "народ" versus "люди"

What are the differences in usage between народ and люди? I'd like to see some examples to explain such differences.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Усатый нянь or what to call a male nanny (babysitter)?

Following the question about common feminine suffices for profession titles. Word няня has several meanings. According to gramota.ru: 1. Работница, занимающаяся уходом, присмотром за детьми (в ...
9
votes
3answers
16k views

Невестка и сноха

Есть два русских слова: невестка: Замужняя женщина по отношению к родным её мужа: отцу, матери, братьям, сестрам, женам братьев и мужьям сестер. и сноха: Женщина по отношению к отцу и матери ...
8
votes
3answers
270 views

What did крестьянин из государственных mean in the 1897 census?

What did the phrases крестьянин из государственных and крестьянка из государственных mean in the Russian Imperial Census of 1897? State-owned serfs had been emancipated long before, in 1866. If I ...