Russian lessons

Going to the ballet

Going to the ballet

If you are planning to go out in Moscow, classic ballet at the Bolshoi theatre is certainly a number-one destination. Musicals come and go, but the Russian ballet with its classic pas de deux has always been a part of the national heritage and is still a wonderful opportunity to enjoy beautiful dancers, and to dress up to the nines.

MMM: Mysteriously Missing Money

MMM: Mysteriously Missing Money

What's better? Stuffing your savings into a mattress, or investing it in a profitable venture? Obviously, the thought of having your money work for you is appealing. Lots of Russians felt the same way and so bought shares in MMM – Russia's greatest financial fraud of the 90s. And as crazy as it sounds, many people out there are still investing in a "sure thing", just like our dialog's hero.

The troubles of Russian football

The troubles of Russian football

One of the best conversation starters with a Russian male (and often female) of any age is football. By football, we mean soccer – the only kind of football as far as Russians are concerned, and the sport nearest their hearts. Our lesson will help you in sharing your football thoughts with Russians – which will immediately warm them up towards you. If you don't happen to bad-mouth their home team, that is.

Reading Dostoevsky

Reading Dostoevsky

Have you read Dostoevsky? Even though many Russians haven't, they nevertheless all agree that he is the most influential and famous Russian writer ever. That is, if one doesn't count his eternal rival, Leo Tolstoy, of course. In today's lesson, you'll get to know both, and maybe choose where your preferences lie: Is it the darkish Dostoevsky or the classier Tolstoy?

Destination Baikal

Destination Baikal

If you're still undecided about your next vacation trip, how about Lake Baikal – one of Russia's greatest natural treasures of legendary purity and beauty? Admittedly, it's not easy getting there, and it is quite unlike the usual holiday resort with all its comforts – that's why the ultimate question is: Are you ready for an adventure – or would you rather stay on the safe sunbathing side?

Grandmas and grandsons

Grandmas and grandsons

Who's gossiping there on a bench near our house entrance? Of course, it's the grannies – or babushkas. And what would they discuss more gladly than their pride and joy – their grandchildren! Let's listen and find out more about babushkas and their role in Russian family life.

Planes, Trains, and May Day

Planes, Trains, and May Day

May Day, May Day! These words would never cause alarm in Russia: On the contrary, the first days of May are the best time for having fun and travelling around, because the whole start of May is like one long weekend in Russia. In today's lesson, you'll not only find out why this is so, but also get a chance to compare some of the most popular ways of long-distance travelling in Russia.

A friend in need

A friend in need

When you're down, when life sucks, or when your boyfriend has dumped you, nobody can console or support you better than your best friend. True friends might be brutally honest with you, but they'll never let you down and always lend a hand when needed – that's what the notion of true friendship means, and, as you find out in our lesson, Russians take it very seriously.