55 votes
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Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?

There's nothing special about Russian. In many European languages there's one word that can be used to state that something is highly esteemed and/or expensive. French - cher means both expensive (...
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39 votes
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Russian word for a male zebra

Russian has a long standing tradition of narrating fables (stories featuring anthropomorphic animals). In this tradition, the grammatical gender of name of the species (not necessarily the proper ...
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  • 47.6k
27 votes

Why does she say "Я понимаешь" and not "Я понимаю"?

Right punctuation is Я, понимаешь, я это чувствую, потом мы всё наверстаем, я предчувствую The translation is I, you know, I'm feeling it, we will catch all then, I forefeel it. "Понимаешь&...
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  • 1,158
25 votes
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Speed and Velocity in Russian

The Russian word скорость is used for both speed and velocity. If you need to be more specific, use вектор скорости ('the vector of speed' or velocity) or модуль/величина вектора скорости ('the ...
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24 votes
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"На английском" or "по-английски"?

They are more or less interchangeable as far as verbs for speaking and writing are concerned; there's a slight idiomatic preference for по-английски when referring to speaking and for на английском ...
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21 votes
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The original word for a wild boar

You are probably looking for “вепрь”. While understandable to a modern Russian speaker, it still has an air of “fairytale-ness”. I personally would just use “кабан”. I don't know how and why “кабан” ...
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  • 1,517
21 votes

Russian word for a male zebra

Zebra is a kind of horse, so жеребец (meaning stallion, a male horse) would be a perfectly valid word to refer to a male zebra. Of course it has to be clear from the context that the male horse you're ...
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20 votes

Is "мочиться" a vulgar or indecent word to any extent?

This is not indecent word. This is indecent theme (topic). Therefore the speaker made an excuse.
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  • 8,055
20 votes

What's the difference between "люблю" and "обожаю"?

Люблю читать is 'I like reading' while your task was to translate 'I love reading'. 'To love' is neutral любить when referring to relationships between people, but when it refers to things or ...
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  • 25.8k
19 votes
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Is there a difference between "отель" and "гостиница"?

Well, they are interchangeable but oтель has subtle connotations of something more if not luxurious but at least of higher class, so one can hardly name something very shitty отель ( unless it is ...
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  • 37.3k
19 votes

Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?

дорогой/ая is not only expensive, it's also dear, the word has at least two meanings Not only women are called дорогая in the sense of dear, men are addressed as дорогой as well, in formal ...
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18 votes

Активируется vs активизируется

Кнопка активируется, когда заполнены все поля. Активировать means to turn on,to make active what didn't work,to start a process. activate. Активизировать means to make a process more active, to ...
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  • 20.4k
18 votes
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How can I say in Russian "I am not afraid to write anything"?

To eliminate the awkwardness of such double negations a safer approach is to (steer away from English patterns and) use сложноподчиненное предложение, e.g.: Нет ничего, о чём я побоялась бы написать. ...
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  • 2,992
18 votes

What's the difference between "люблю" and "обожаю"?

I think that it's a three layered thing in Russian: мне нравится читать я люблю читать я обожаю читать Just like @V.V. also do believe that "я обожаю" is too strong here. After all, we'll end up ...
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  • 37.3k
17 votes

Why are United Nations and United Arab Emirates translated as "Объединённые", but United States as "Соединённые"?

Объединять and its derivatives were not used in Russian before about 1850. Kostomarov did use it time to time in his works, however, he mostly used соединить wherever a modern Russian speaker would ...
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  • 47.6k
17 votes

What is the difference between "ещё" and "больше"?

"Ещё" and "больше" intersect only partially and have a lot of usages that are by no means interchangeable. "Ещё" can mean: yet (like in "Я ещё не решил, идти ли мне в институт") again (like in "...
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  • 37.3k
16 votes
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Is there any difference between "окно" and "окошко"?

Окошко is a diminutive for окно. Russian readily uses diminutive forms for some nouns in their neutral meaning, like солнышко instead of солнце, листок instead of лист, червяк instead of червь etc. ...
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  • 47.6k
15 votes
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How to address a female friend

Both your variants suggest some humour and a certain degree of intimacy (the "подруга" much more so than the "друг" one). You could use either but the choice entirely depends on how close the two of ...
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  • 2,383
14 votes

What is the difference between "всё" and "все"?

всё can be spelled все, when it's possible to distinguish two words using available context. всё (with Ё) is used when referring to neuter gender singular nouns: всё время (compare masculine весь ...
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  • 293
14 votes
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Разница между словами "бунтарь", "мятежник" и "бунтовщик"

Бунт - это стихийное восстание, акция неповиновения. Как правило, при бунте нет явных лидеров и чётких целей. Люди участвующие в бунте - бунтовщики. Мятеж - это вооружённое восстание против властей. ...
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14 votes
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The difference between "свой" and "мой"

In this meaning свой means "belonging to the last agent in the sentence". Алиса отдала Бобу свои деньги // Alice gave Bob her own (Alice's) money Боб отдал Алисе свои деньги // Bob gave ...
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  • 47.6k
14 votes
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The infinitive of "уймитесь"?

It's "уняться". Well, usually the answer supposed to be somewhat wider, but in this particular case that's virtually all that can be said) UPD: To make this answer slightly more informative, here's ...
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  • 37.3k
14 votes
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Is there a positive Russian word for a whistleblower?

I think there is a good word изобличитель. In my opinion it suits perfectly. It has positive meaning for people who think that being a prophet gains a profit =) For people who think that unveiling ...
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14 votes
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"Индустрия выдержала удар пандемией" - why instrumental here?

In this very case it is rather problematic to tell if it is a mistake or an intended pun. The Instrumental case names an instrument, and удар пандемией alludes to удар плетью or удар кулаком and ...
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  • 25.8k
13 votes

Is there any difference between торопиться и спешить?

In the general case the only pattern, that came into my mind, when you can not interchange спеши́ть and торопи́ться is a talking about a gaining clock: Часы спешат на пять минут [The watch is five ...
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13 votes

Как перевести "beat that"?

Я бы перевёл "Слабо?" или "Выкуси!".
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  • 2,242
13 votes
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"Одену" or "надену"

Надевать / надеть что-то (на кого-то) means "to put something on (someone)". Одевать / одеть кого-то (во что-то) means "to dress someone (in something)". The direct object (one ...
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  • 47.6k
13 votes

Насмерть vs вусмерть

Those words have quite different domains of usage. In fact, any time you are talking about death, death literally, it's "насмерть" - разбиться насмерть. Also, when you are talking about extreme level ...
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  • 37.3k
13 votes

Difference between "прах" and "пепел"

Прах is remains of a dead human body, not necessarily cremated (мир праху его). The word is a little bookish and almost not used in everyday language. Пепел is remains of any burnt thing (бумажный ...
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  • 4,194
13 votes
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Насколько архаично слово "магнитофон"? Что сегодня используется наиболее часто вместо него?

Магнитофон = tape recorder; соответственно, этот термин нисколько не архаичен, если используется по назначению (т.е. для описания именно этого устройства). "Плеер", пожалуй, сейчас используется ...
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  • 2,652

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