RusPod Shorts: Free Russian lessons

God is with it!

God is with it!

Russians have a lot of different ways of saying they don't care about something. In this very first episode of Ruspod Shorts you'll learn the subtle differences between two of them: "God is with it" and "Devil is with it." 

Girls and women

Girls and women

Want to learn to talk to a Russian girl? For starters, let's go through the different ways to adress a woman that exist in Russian. Listen to this episode and don't say we haven't warned you about some crucial mistakes you might make and sadden a girl of your interest!

Boys and men

Boys and men

Just like with women, there are different ways to address a man in Russian, ranging all the way from "a boy" to a specifically Russian concept of a muzhik. That and all in between in this episode of Ruspod Shorts!

Yes and no

Yes and no

"Yes" and "No" seem to be such simple straight-forward words. And yet, there are some hidden rocks even when it comes to these essentials. Listen to this episode of Ruspod Shorts to find out what other meanings Russian da ("Yes") has, and what in the world the combination of "Yes" and "No" means in Russian.

Alcohol

Alcohol

As much as we'd like to fight the stereotypes, it would be silly to argue with the fact that alcohol is a big part of the Russian reality. If you come to Russia, you will be offered a drink at some point, so it's better if you know what you are being offered. In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn the essential drinking vocabulary.

Sleeping and dreaming

Sleeping and dreaming

Unlike English-speakers, Russians distinguish dreams you see at night and dreams of shiny future you invision when you're awake. In "Martin Luther King had a dream" and "I had a weird dream last night", the word "dream" really does mean different things, doesn't it? Learn how to talk about both kinds in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

New Year and Christmas

New Year and Christmas

Happy New Year to all of our listeners! In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn some holiday vocabulary and also find out how come Russians care more about the new year than about Christmas, how Russian Grandpa Frost is different from Santa, and why the words "Old New Year" make sense in Russian.

Davai and davaite

Davai and davaite

The short word "Davai" (or "Davaite" in its formal version) is a very common one, and has a whole bunch of meanings: From "Let's", as in "let's do it" to "Come on!" and "Bye!". If you want to know all of them, just listen to this episode of Ruspod Shorts!

YOU and you

YOU and you

The Russian language is full of traps: even the simple pronoun "you" can get you in trouble if you choose the wrong version of it! Learn how to be polite or rude, stay formal or get intimate just by using the right kind of "you" in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Hi and goodbye

Hi and goodbye

Once again, the differences between the formal and the informal Russian speech bring complications into basic human interaction. In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn several different ways to say "Hello" and "Goodbye" in Russian, as well as how to choose the right word depending on the situation.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

A Russian proverb says, "Don't postpone it for tomorrow, if you can postpone it for the day after tomorrow." In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, we'll talk about days before the ones that were before, days after the ones that are approaching, and all in between.

Days of the week

Days of the week

Ruspod Shorts is a weekly show, with a new episode being published every Friday. And yet we still haven't learned the Russian words for either "a week" or "Friday." Let's fix it in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

City transport

City transport

A very important thing for a tourist is to not lose your way around the city, and know how to get from point A to point B without much trouble. In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn about the main kinds of public transportation in Russia, and improve your Russian too!

To go by foot and by vehicle

To go by foot and by vehicle

The short English "to go" can be translated in four different ways into Russian, and each of them will give the listener more information on the process than just simple "to go." The four words, and a story of a man chasing a train for miles in winter, in slippers and track-pants — in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy

Russia is sort of notorious for its bureaucracy and its obsession with different documents and stamps on them. If you come here, you'll have to deal with it too. This episode of Ruspod Shorts will give you all of the essential vocabulary on this subject.

All apologies

All apologies

Russian for "Excuse me" and "I'm sorry" are pretty much interchangeable, while "I'm sorry to hear that" and "I'm sorry I did that" are very different. Learn all the subtleties of being polite or guilty in Russian in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Buying food

Buying food

This episode of Ruspod Shorts will give some information on where to buy food in Russia, some essential shopping vocabulary and even a little insight into the way shopping has changed in the first years of capitalist Russia.

Going out

Going out

In this episode of Ruspod Shorts: places to go out in Russia. Learn Russian words for bars, restaurants, cafes and so on — and find out what "an anti-cafe" is. Then, armed with vocabulary, go and have fun!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, learn everything about Russian birthdays: what to say, how to celebrate, when did the holiday become important, why pulling somebody by their ears is a good thing, and saying "Happy birthday" too early is bad — all that and a little more. 

Degrees of friendship

Degrees of friendship

Who do you call your friends? Somebody you can hang out with, or somebody you can depend upon in a tough situation, or somebody who can literally take a bullet for you? These all seem to be different categories of friends, don't they? In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, learn a whole bunch of Russian words for different degrees of friendship.

All by oneself

All by oneself

Just three letters, one syllable — "сам" — can be translated into English as "myself", "himself", "yourself" and all kinds of other "selves." This whole episode of Ruspod Shorts is fully devoted to this one short, but important word.

To drinking!

To drinking!

Some Russian lessons are usually given by Russians who are too drunk to teach to English speakers who are too drunk to learn. We decided to fix this, and ended up with this episode, a sober explanation of different ways to say "cheers", or, more accurately, propose a toast in Russian.

A cow goes WHAAAT?

A cow goes WHAAAT?

Many English speakers have this misconception that dogs go "woof!" Well, maybe they do in some countries, but definitely not in Russia. To learn how dogs, cats, cows, pigs, and other animals talk in Russian — and how to talk to them — listen to this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

False Friends

False Friends

"False friends of a translator" are misleading words that trick you into thinking that you know them and then they stab you in the back by meaning something very different from what expected them to mean. In this episode of Ruspod Shorts you'll learn a whole bunch of Russian words that sound or look very similar to the English ones but are, in fact, completely different.

Common names

Common names

Did you know there are more than 160 different spellings of the name Unique, such as Uneek, Uneqqee, and so on? Good news for a Russian student is you won't have to deal with anything similar in the Russian language. We use just a bunch of common names, and you can learn the most common of them, along with the patterns of forming last names, in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Music

Music

In this episode of Ruspod Shorts: subliminal alcoholic messages of 70s rock hits,  and Russian music vocabulary, including derogatory terms for bad pop-music and names of specifically Russian musical genres.

Education in Russia

Education in Russia

How does the Russian educational system work and how do we name different parts of it in Russian? Learn Russian for "kindergarten", "school", "university" and so on in this episode of Ruspod Shorts!

Cities and villages

Cities and villages

In this episode or Ruspod Shorts: is Russia a rural country or not? How do you say "a city" or "a village", and what is the Russian word for something that is not a proper town, but is definitely not a village either?

All in the family

All in the family

The Russian word for the family — семья — can be broken up into two words: "Семь я" means "Seven I's", seven different personalities. To learn the Russian words for all of those personalities, listen to this episode of Ruspod Shorts dealing with the family vocabulary.

Calendar

Calendar

This episode of Ruspod Shorts deals with the calendar. How do we say "a year", "a month", "a week", and so on; why in the world do we celebrate the October revolution in November; what is the Old New Year — and a bunch of useful expressions to talk about time. All here.

Geography

Geography

A geography lesson on Ruspod.com! Learn the cardinal directions in Russian, get introduced to the regions of Russia, find out what “Asiope” is, and (try to find the logical link here) how you can say “to waste on alcohol” with just one Russian word.

Politics

Politics

Our listeners seem to have a shared love for Russian culture and Russian people, but the Russian Federation as a state, and the government of that state sometimes are a more divisive topic.

RUnet

RUnet

So you're learning Russian over the Internet. But do you know anything about the Russian Internet? In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn the essential web vocabulary, and find out what services and social networks are more powerful than Google or Facebook when it comes to the 1/6 of the land called Russia.

How are you?

How are you?

Russians who go abroad often get confused: why is everybody asking them how they feel? Westerners coming to Russia get confused too: why does their simple "how are you?" sometimes trigger such a long and complicated answer? In this episode of Ruspod Shorts: ways to ask "How are you?", ways to asnwer that question, and the attitude Russians have about it.

Women, knives, dances

Women, knives, dances

Today's episode of Ruspod Shorts is a curious one. You'll learn how women of different nationalities relate to knives, dances, construction tools, meat, and many more — as far as the Russian language is concerned, of course.

Snowden story

Snowden story

A spy story in this episode of Ruspod Shorts: a secretive American agency, a transit zone of an airport in Moscow, the President of Russia and his awkward relationship with human rights, Russian social networks, a dog with its tongue out... what the hell is a dog doing here? Listen to find out.

Hodgepodge of essentials

Hodgepodge of essentials

A popular Russian online magazine, The Village, has recently asked several foreigners living in Russia, "What Russian words did you learn first, and why?" Turns out, we at Ruspod have already covered the bigger part of that list, but there were some words we haven't gotten to yet — and they are quite essential for your survival in Russia. So we're fixing it in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Untranslatable

Untranslatable

A special episode of Ruspod Shorts focuses on a bunch of Russian words that are very rarely translated into English: some, because they actually entered the English vocabulary; some, because they describe specifically Russian things; and some, because there's just no way to translate them, they can only be explained. 

A Good Listener, Or Whatever

A Good Listener, Or Whatever

After almost 40 episodes of Ruspod Shorts, you might want to take a little break from the long Russian words and zee evil Russian pronunciation. In this episode, you'll learn a whole bunch of very informal, very short and very simple ways to communicate your emotions.

Gadgets

Gadgets

In 2013, technology is a huge part of our lives. Think of the last time you forgot your cellphone at home: it's an experience both liberating and unsettling. If you go to Russia, you'll have to learn some vocabulary in order to not feel like that all the time. In this episode of Ruspod Shorts: Russian words for different gadgets; why cellphone providers are nicer here; how to ask for a charger or an outlet to use one.

Movies and TV

Movies and TV

Lenin is quoted to say, "The most important of arts are movies and circus." In this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you'll learn vocabulary related to cinema, television, youtube and even, a little bit, to circus. 

Moscow mayor election

Moscow mayor election

An unusual thing happened in Moscow last week: for the first time in 10 years, there was a mayoral election. Even more unusual, there was a real oppositional candidate. A borderline crazy part of the story is that the elections were closely observed by independent contollers, who prevented massive fraud. The whole story plus a lot of basic political vocabulary - in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Soft Drinks

Soft Drinks

When you see words "Russian" and "drink" in the same sentence, you kind of expect to also see "vodka" or "alcohol." We're breaking this pattern in this episode of Ruspod Shorts: learn all kinds of non-alcoholic beverages you can get in Russia, including everything from cola to tea, from juice to kvass.

Colors

Colors

As the trees in Moscow are changing their color, we decided to talk about colors and the surprising second (and third!) meanings of them in the Russian language. What's the difference between a "light-blue" and a "dark-blue" person? Why is Red Square called Red? How is "black" controversial? Find out in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Olympics: Introduction

Olympics: Introduction

Today's episode of Ruspod Shorts is the first in a series of podcasts in which we use the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games as a starting point to learn more useful Russian vocabulary. We start with some basic vocabulary about the Games, sports and weather.

Olympics: Arrival

Olympics: Arrival

All the basic crossing-the-border vocabulary in the second episode of the ongoing Olympic series of Ruspod Shorts. Check in with the pre-Games journey of the Olympic fire and learn the words you'll need at the airport, dealing with taxi drivers, getting to the hotel and so on.

Olympics: Settling in

Olympics: Settling in

So you came to Sochi to support your national team; you managed to go through all the hussle at the airport, got yourself a taxi and arrived at the hotel. Now you stand in the hall, suitcase in your hand, and you search in your head for things to say in Russian. It this episode of Ruspod Shorts that you're trying to remember.

Olympics: The Games

Olympics: The Games

With the Sochi Olympics just three months away, we thought you might want to learn some actual sports vocabulary. All kinds of winter fun — skiing, skating, ice hockey, and so on — plus some special Olympic terms are waiting for you in the 4th episode of the Olympic series of Ruspod Shorts.

Olympics: Getting in

Olympics: Getting in

Another one for the sports fans. If you want to go and see the Sochi Olympics - or if you want to see any game anywhere in Russia - you'll need to know how to buy tickets, how to find your way to the stadium, and then how not to get lost once you're inside of it. All the vocabulary that youl will need to appear in the right place at the right time is in this episode of Ruspod Shorts.

Olympics: Unhealthy interest

Olympics: Unhealthy interest

Today's episode deals with the most exciting part of any sports event: competition. The thrill of winning, the frustration of losing, and the strange connection that exists between the athletes and their fans. Also, learn how the concept of rooting is linked to being ill in the Russian language.

Olympics: The city

Olympics: The city

We've been talking about the Sochi Olympics for several weeks now. It's about time we learn something about the host city — the subtropical resort capital of Russia that surprised everybody by becoming the Olympic capital as well. Click on the play button and you'll get a quick overview of what Sochi is about.

Olympics: Season Finale

Olympics: Season Finale

The Sochi Olympics start THIS WEEKEND. However, since we've already discussed all the sports issues, we decided not to dwell on the subject and, for a change, think of Sochi as a resort city that will come back to its natural life after the Games are over. So in this episode of Ruspod Shorts, you're going to learn some leisure vocabulary: what do people do when they come to Sochi on a vacation?