59 votes
Accepted

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 (...
Frank from Frankfurt's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.5k
27 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 ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
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&...
artptr's user avatar
  • 1,158
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 ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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” ...
Ainar-G's user avatar
  • 1,527
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 ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
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 ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
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 ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
18 votes
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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 ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.7k
18 votes
Accepted

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. ...
tum_'s user avatar
  • 3,012
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 ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.5k
17 votes
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Different expressions for "ten" in Russian: десять, десятка, десяток

Десятка - Typically, an informal reference to something numbered 10 (like a bus following route 10) or about a 10 ruble banknote (in the past, when it mattered more). Now, it can sometimes informally ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
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 "...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
17 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 ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
16 votes
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Difference between "девушка", "девочка" and "подруга"

Подруга is the feminine form of "friend", друг and can mean, depending on the context, both: either just a friend or a girlfriend (though this is figurative and obsolete). Девушка is a girl ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
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. ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.5k
15 votes
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What's the difference between "благодарю" and "спасибо"?

They are interchangeable to a certain degree. Благодарю is much more formal. In some cases, it might also be considered more polite. This being said, Спасибо is absolutely "safe" and polite in any ...
Arthur Kazykhanov's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

What is the Russian word for the color "teal"?

When I was born, my parents owned zero houses. I would call this color бирюзовый (literally, "turquoise"). As far as I understand, it's another English word for "teal". I own more ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.5k
14 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 ...
Abakan's user avatar
  • 4,319
14 votes
Accepted

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 ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
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 ...
Andrew Lukjanov's user avatar
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 ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
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 ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 3,108
13 votes

Why does Russian have three words for marriage?

We have more words related to the topic.Брак (wedlock,marriage ) is an official term.The verb is вступить в брак. It is related to both parties (a man and a woman ) Супружество (spousehood ) is the ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Why does Russian have three words for marriage?

This terminology isn't specific to Russian language. It's rather a common point for the whole Slavic culture. Замужество ultimately means a status of a married woman who lives at her husband's place (...
Matt's user avatar
  • 15.3k
13 votes

Is there a difference between "болен" and "заболел"?

In most cases they are synonyms. Я болен means I am sick at the moment. (I am sick) Я заболел means I wasn't sick before, but now I am (I got sick) The context: -You don't look well. How are ...
sr9yar's user avatar
  • 606
13 votes

Difference between "азбука" and "алфавит"

In addition to the correct answer provided I just want to add that азбука can be used to indicate something very basic, the most fundamental laws, like in following phrases: Это просто настолько ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
13 votes

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

You can use the informal word приплести to strongly express your disapproval and skepticism about it. It would emphasize the irrelevance of the source used. В поддержку своих безумных идей он ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
13 votes
Accepted

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? Yes, there is, and no, it is not like Dad vs Daddy. ''Отец'' is a formal, official word and ...
Sandra's user avatar
  • 1,477

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