31 votes
Accepted

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

Looking at the meanings of cognates of the Proto-Slavic čь̑rstvъ, one can notice the common meaning 'hard', 'strong', 'sharp'. I guess the Czechs and the Slovaks view fresh bread as 'hard on the ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Describe a Language Without the Noun for "Language"

Yes, it is quite common in conversational speech: Он знает английский. = He knows English. Она предпочитает русский. = She prefers Russian. Note that language names or nationalities are not ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
15 votes

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

I decided to turn my comment into an answer and add some references, etc. It is a very common phenomenon in related (but, nonetheless, different !) languages. A common language splits into branches ...
tum_'s user avatar
  • 3,012
8 votes
Accepted

What are some examples of special things about Russian?

When you pose such questions to (mostly) native speakers of any language, you'll usually end up with a lot of supposedly unique things that really aren't so much. They'll mostly reflect the amazement ...
6 votes
Accepted

What is the correct name of the ship, Il'men or Il'mena?

На «Ильмене» (prepositional case IIRC) is exactly the same form for nominative "Ильмен" and "Ильмена", so I bet this is the source of confusion. It is not possible to figure out the nominative from ...
Vitaly Osipov's user avatar
6 votes

What is the correct name of the ship, Il'men or Il'mena?

The correct name of the ship is Il'menа (Ильмена). Ilmena was a legendary Slavic woman, after whom, as the legend holds, the lake Ilmen was named. In English, the nominative forms should be used ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53k
6 votes
Accepted

"Ne pas" and "не раз"

The constructs are not linked etymologically. The French pas comes from the Latin word for "step" and the constructs like "ne … pas" originally literally meant "don't (move, walk etc.) a single step",...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53k
6 votes

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

The original meaning of the proto-Slavic etymon seems to have been "robust, sturdy". It had later shifted its meaning to "hard" in Russian and to "good, wholesome" in Czech.
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53k
6 votes

What are some examples of special things about Russian?

Surprisingly, no one bothered to point out that Turgenev did not even think of comparing Russian to other languages when he wrote this miniature. Moreover, the reasons why this piece came into ...
4 votes
Accepted

What is the Russian equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

Well, I could say that we don't have a long-living equivalent for it in Russian. Partially it will be серая мышь, partially синий чулок, sometimes we can come across тётка, but it's not the only ...
Elena's user avatar
  • 4,384
4 votes

"Ne pas" and "не раз"

I don't think there's any connection between these two phrases. What attracts attention is a mere coincidence in written forms,the visual image, so to say. Though going deeper into the matter, we can ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.5k
3 votes

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

Иногда одно и то же слово, встречаясь в двух языках, имеет в них значение не то что «несходное», а скорее прямо противоположное. Вот пример: мы говорим «черствый» о хлебе, который уже остыл и засох; «...
SimonE's user avatar
  • 134
2 votes

How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

OK, here is my answer with almost a two-years' delay. In general, no letter (even in a reputedly 'phonetic' writing system) gives absolutely exact sound representation. Even in two languages/...
Manjusri's user avatar
  • 4,502
2 votes

What are some examples of special things about Russian?

Russian is often said to have a rich morphology, i.e. many ways to build words and tweak existing words to convey different nuances of meaning. Although not quite a unique thing by itlsef, it often ...
2 votes
Accepted

Why the distinction between animate/inanimate appears in masculine accusative but only in feminine plural?

Animacy as a syntactic feature appeared in Proto-Slavic not long before its split, and it took some time for it to spread to all semantically animate nouns (meaning nouns answering the question "...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53k
1 vote

Какую букву посоветуете для обозначения “ьы/йы”, буквы типа я, ю, е, ё?

Всё же мы здесь обсуждаем русский язык, а не все варианты существования кириллицы. Как показывает опыт, для сообществ носителей разных языков не составляет проблемы добавить недостающую букву, как ў, ...
Elena's user avatar
  • 4,384
1 vote

What is the Russian equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

I think "мымра" fits best. However, its main meaning is "sullen and ugly/shabby". Also, мымра sounds quite offensive.
Matt's user avatar
  • 15.3k
1 vote

What is the Russian equivalent of 干物女 (dried fish woman)?

OK, you're trying to be pedantic, let me be pedantic as well. Her text replies are very slow and short - well, ancient Slavic people originally called someone whose text replies are short...oh, come ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
1 vote

What are some examples of special things about Russian?

In the style of "Love is ..." Russian is so mighty that it can express any idea by мат alone. There's a joke about a foreman shouting to workers loading a truck, "Нахуя дохуя нахуярили?! ...
1 vote

How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

The bulgarian is the closest slavic language to russian so if you want to start russian for a second language you can try bulgarian.(Of course you can say the bulgarian is the closest one if you ...
Tsvetomir's user avatar
1 vote

How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

Less than 2 years after asking this question, I ended up doing a beginner's course in Russian. I started learning Russian about 6 months after I finished getting some beginner's lessons for Mongolian. ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 1,119
1 vote

Why Russians use adjective when speaking about their nation and nouns for the rest of the world?

Just wanted to add my two cents on this. Even though nominalization of adjectives is something that not that exotic to Russian - a lot of quite used words evolved that way - speaking of ethnonym it's ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k

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