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 ...
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16 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,992
12 votes

What are the actual linguistic similarities between Russian and Belarusian?

I highly doubt that Belorussian mutually understandable with Polish. On the other hand it is quite mutually understandable with Russian, a little more so than Ukrainian. The relation is following: ...
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  • 14.2k
12 votes
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Why are there letters which look similar but are pronounced differently between the English alphabet and Russian Cyrillic?

Cyrillic alphabet was developed in what is modern Bulgaria based on Greek alphabet, so: В was modeled after Greek Β (beta). This was originally pronounced [b] in ancient Greek but in modern (and ...
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  • 48.2k
8 votes
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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 ...
7 votes

How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

Trying to answer the last part of your question, the Bulgarian alphabet is very similar to the Russian one: а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я (Russian) а б в г д е ж ...
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  • 71
7 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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
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6 votes
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"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",...
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6 votes
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Why Russians use adjective when speaking about their nation and nouns for the rest of the world?

Не вполне пока понимая, как отвечать на вопрос «как так получилось», отвечу на вторую часть: есть ли аналогичные ситуации в других языках, когда автоэтноним (самоназвание) выпадает из общей схемы ...
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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.
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  • 48.2k
5 votes
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How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

Mongolian is phonetically very different from Russian, so, while you will still have a general idea about which sound corresponds to which letter, mechanical transliteration of Mongolian word into ...
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  • 48.2k
5 votes

How similar are Mongolian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic?

Russian and Khalkha Mongolian have extremely different phonetics and phonotactics, so different that half of the Cyrillic letters are pronounced differently in the two languages: Letter ...
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5 votes

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

В русской википедии есть подробная статья - Этнонимы русских, там описан процесс субстантивации https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%AD%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BC%D1%8B_%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%...
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  • 163
4 votes

What is the understanding of Church Slavonic among Russian native speakers?

The Church Slavonic is an artifical language created by orthodox missioners. It was based on southern-bulgarian dialect of slavonic language native to Saints Cyril and Methodius who created it. Its ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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  • 4,376
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 ...
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  • 20.7k
3 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 ...
3 votes

What are the actual linguistic similarities between Russian and Belarusian?

Belarusian is, in a sense, in between other slavic languages. Its grammar is close to that of Russian. Its vocabulary has lots of common words with all of Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish, so it's sort ...
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3 votes

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

I think that it is because there are no means in Russian to produce an ethnic noun from the word Русь. In related East Slavic languages the situation is as follows: in Ukrainian they use the word ...
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3 votes
Accepted

The value of translation at a beginner level

i'm using English as a bridge Using bridges brings too many problems. You could improve your English, but break up your Russian. Better not. I've used this one month period just to break that ...
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  • 15.2k
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; «...
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  • 124
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/...
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  • 4,460
2 votes
Accepted

Russian speaking at the ending credits track from "Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014)

It is "Раз, два, три, четыре!" which means "One, two, three, four!"
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  • 25.8k
2 votes

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?! ...
2 votes

The value of translation at a beginner level

I don't really understand the question, but I think the key to learning (any) language is realising that you have to learn to understand and think, and then speak (or read-write, of course) in the ...
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2 votes

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

The term sounds pretty sexist to me (in the very beginning, it’s said it’s about women only). Items 4-6 (makeup, clothing, body care) are obviously about a woman not behaving like society expects (...
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  • 825
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 ...
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