12 votes
Accepted

"The Grand Inquisitor" book cover - what does cyrillic letters stand for?

It means nothing. It just reads "The Grand Inquisitor" in English with a few Cyrillic letters thrown in to replace English letters that they look vaguely similar to. This is an example of Faux ...
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  • 401
7 votes

Russian classic literature with stress markings

I want to propose you a better solution of the problem http://morpher.ru/accentizer/ - this program makes stress marks in every Russian text. Or Google: Тексты с ударениями For example https://ru....
7 votes

Дружба by Pushkin

Is the word похмелья really meaning hangover (like that the day after drinking)? That's the modern meaning. In Pushkin's times it was rather "drinking, drunkenness", e.g. Когда для шумного похмелья /...
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  • 276
7 votes

Why "об Чацком", not "о Чацком"

Было приемлемо и в данном случае не вызвано метрической необходимостью. First of all, we are talking about poetry, and in Russian poetry this kind of slight modification can be made just because ...
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  • 37.3k
7 votes
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What does "всякий взор" mean in this context? Is it a phrase?

It is a scanning mistake, the word is: Вздор Но останавливаться на лестнице, слушать всякий вздор про всю эту обыденную дребедень... Just use other sources of the text.
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  • 2,992
6 votes

Is "Трудно быть богом?" (as in the title of the book) a valid question in written or formal Russian?

In (written) Russian, any statement can be turned to question by adding the question mark. So, Трудно быть богом? is a correct question. Трудно быть богом. is a statement. In book names, the period ...
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  • 8,387
6 votes
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What word and case is `одною` in the phrase "помещалась одною лестницей ниже"?

Whenever you are looking for a declension of specific word, start from wiktionary and switch to the Russian-language section, in the majority of cases there'll be a table with declensions. "Один&...
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  • 37.3k
5 votes
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Дать кому денег до среды (From Двенадцать стульев). What does that mean?

Знакомые не занимают ему денег до среды (his acquaintances don't lend him money "till Wednesday "(even for a short period of time) When you ask someone to lend you some money, you usually promise to ...
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  • 20.4k
5 votes

How were these expressed in the original Russian of Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"?

The used word is "стопудово". It consists of "сто" (hundred) and "пуд" (a unit of weight which is about 16 kg). It sounds strange in this context. I would understand it as "very slowly and heavily". ...
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  • 4,194
5 votes

How to understand «стал было во главе обороны»?

"Started but not finished" is the closest option. The next sentence says Тщетные усилия! (All in vain / Wasted effort). So, стал было во главе обороны means that he did become the head of city's ...
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4 votes
Accepted

How to understand «стал было во главе обороны»?

This construct is a relic of old Slavic pluperfect tense. кто-то делал / сделал было что-то is usually followed by some kind of a "but", and means "someone had been doing / had done ...
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  • 47.6k
4 votes

Дать кому денег до среды (From Двенадцать стульев). What does that mean?

...мы удивляемся, как ни один предприимчивый издатель не выпустил до сих пор в свет "Самоучителя одесского языка" на пользу приезжим. Без знания одесского языка тут вас ждёт масса ...
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  • 252
4 votes

Is "Трудно быть богом?" (as in the title of the book) a valid question in written or formal Russian?

This form can be a question only if it is followed by an explicit question mark: "Трудно быть богом?" Otherwise, it is hardly perceived as a question, since the more usual form would include a ...
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  • 181
4 votes
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about Pushkin's Дружба : how to read it

безде́лья, as the rhyming scheme suggests. The pattern is iambic tetrameter. Caesurae aren't integral to Russian syllabotonic verse; other than the one after дружба, they're largely a matter of ...
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4 votes
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Wordplay between Кузьмич and со всех сторон

Actually, there is no joke there, on the contrary, it is supposed to be a highly serious and patriotic passage. It goes like this: Prince Vassily was telling how Sergey Kuzmich, the governor of St. ...
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  • 25.8k
4 votes
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"И после ей наедине // Давать уроки в тишине!"

Имеются ли в виду уроки "науки страсти нежной" Определенно, той самой, "которую воспел Назон", причем во всех смыслах. или же Онегин смеётся над любовью девушек, научая их чему-то вместо свидания? ...
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  • 15.2k
3 votes

"И после ей наедине // Давать уроки в тишине!"

Полагаю, что автор намеренно допускает двойственность. Понятно, что (так как Евгений учился "чему-нибудь и как-нибудь" и обширными научными знаниями похвастать, вероятно, не мог) "науку страсти ...
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3 votes
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Pushkin's shortest poem's meaning

According to this source Митрополия is a palace of митрополит (a head of church province) which also has a church: Митрополия - резиденция митрополита с церковью при ней. In the document linked ...
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  • 11.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Does one use (still) / did one really used once гангрена (проклятая)! as curse word, as it appears in Двенадцать стульев?

"Гангрена" is almost never used. It seems that Ilf (Feinsielberg) & Petrov (Kataev) have chosen quite rare idioms to make their texts really expressive. Yet mentioned above "холера" is used ...
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  • 15.2k
3 votes
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Дружба by Pushkin

I found no traces of легкий (slight) there. Yes, apparently it was omitted for the rhyme. It should be "slight hangover's faction" meaning apparently slight conflict between the friends the day ...
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  • 14.1k
3 votes

Russian classic literature with stress markings

You should look for books labeled "Russian for foreigners" (Русский язык для иностранцев). They are available for sale quite cheaply, for instance, at litres.ru. Not all of them have stresses marked, ...
3 votes

How were these expressed in the original Russian of Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"?

No, there is no symbolism in I and U (Russian Ю), at least not in the sense you interpreted them: they cannot be read as Russian personal pronouns. For the record, the Russian personal pronouns are: I=...
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2 votes

Дать кому денег до среды (From Двенадцать стульев). What does that mean?

Could it be that around the time the novel was written Wednesday was a common employees' payday until which people would usually borrow money, just like today they do so until monthly wage payday? ...
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2 votes

How were these expressed in the original Russian of Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"?

I think, no translation errors here. Both irrational numbers and imaginary numbers exist, in Russian it is "иррациональные числа" (the word "иррациональный" is borrowed, it is "irratsionalnyj" in ...
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  • 1,940
2 votes
Accepted

How were these expressed in the original Russian of Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"?

The word used is стопудово, it's a adverb from a phrase сто пудов - a hundredpuds. For the time it could have well been a neologism (as those were the days of revolutionary innovations in the language)...
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2 votes

Is "Трудно быть богом?" (as in the title of the book) a valid question in written or formal Russian?

First, Трудно быть богом is a statement, not a question unless finalized with a question mark. As for your question - this form is quite acceptable but a bit informal. If used in scientific articles ...
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  • 2,242
2 votes

чтоб in written form

To refer to the part of the question about the historical written usage patterns - one might hypothesize that "чтоб" has seen a rise in usage frequency in the 20th century for three reasons: before ...
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2 votes
Accepted

чтоб in written form

It is common, just not formal. Consider these: "I own no horse"/"I have no horse"/"I haven't got a horse"/"I got no horse"/"Ain't got no horse". The first is strikingly unnatural and formal, the last ...
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  • 5,120
2 votes

Does one use (still) / did one really used once гангрена (проклятая)! as curse word, as it appears in Двенадцать стульев?

sorry cannot comment yet. 1st you have to remember this is a comedy from 1920th; 2nd keep in mind the censorship and PC speech in Soviet Russia when it was written. Russia is big. And keep in mind,...
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2 votes

about Pushkin's Дружба : how to read it

Considering metrics, here Pushkin uses 4-iambus as he usually did (actually, he nearly always sticked to 4-iambus or 4-trochee). So at his home field he's absolutely brilliant. The main scheme is ...
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  • 15.2k

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