The Word's Worth
Get to know Russia from the inside out, with podcasts on Russian language, culture and the latest news.
The Many Faces of Живопырка
A magical word that seems to acquire new meanings wherever it goes.
On, Near, About and Round About in Russian
Another in my series of Mastering Russian Prepositions, this one is all about being near.
Maybe I May Be But Probably I'm Not
Maybe seems like such an easy concept. Может быть I'm wrong? Or is that быть может?
No Way, No How, No Matter What
What do courts and approaches and truth have to do with no one, nothing and no?
The No's Have It in Russian
How many ways can you say "no" in Russian? You have no idea...
Cleaning House the Russian Way
All you need are four verbs to satisfy all your cleaning, washing, polishing and murderous needs.
My Sweet Little Buggie-Wuggie
In her column The Word's Worth, Moscow Times Arts Editor Michele Berdy covers the intricacies of the Russian language — from the fascinating to the frustrating and everything in between.
The Moscow Times is Russia’s leading independent English-language media outlet. From our Moscow newsroom, we provide readers across the world with breaking news, engaging stories and balanced journalism about the largest country on Earth.
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The Monster Under the Bed
How to talk about human monsters in Russian - or how to avoid hearing about them.
Singin' in the Rain the Russian Way
Prepositions. I know, I know. They're miserable. I try to make them a little bit more palatable.
Procrastinating the Russian Way
Russians have so many delightful ways to dawdle, dilly-dally and delay, you may never work again.
Watch What You Call That Old Woman
Why are there are more names in Russian for nasty old women than for nasty old men?
Of Men, Galoshes and Horseradish
There are lots of Russian words, nice and not, to describe the older gentlemen in our lives.
All That Glitters is Russian Gold
Lots of things glitter and glimmer with sparkles of gold and silver in Russian. For example - air.
The Language of UnFreedom from the Gulag
An exhibition at the Gulag History Museum and a new dictionary reveal the other reality of the USSR.
Two Hundred More Ways to Get Russian Wrong
Lock or castle, cotton or clapping - it's all a matter of where the stress falls. Russian is very stressful.
Insurrection and Sedition in Russian Translation
Rebellions can be good or bad. Depends on who's rebelling and who or what they are rebelling against.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Moscow 2020
A special column for a special day.
2020 Words of the Year
This is the Year That Was in words and phrases.
All in a Day's Work in Russian
Which Russian verb do you use to work badly? How do you ride into heaven? It's all in a day's work.
The Borshch Battles
Borshch - is it Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish? Will language tell us? I dive back in time to find out.
Confusing Coffee and Bountiful Behinds in Russian
Would you want to be урод? In 1254 you would have been happy to be урод. Now - not so much.
Getting the Electoral College Right in Russian
You know how you sometimes wish your language had a foreign word in it? I want выборщик.
It's Time to Take a Stand in Russian
What do стоить and стоять have in common? Not much - oh, except for one very important thing.
Everything Has a Price in Russian
Is it worth reading? How much does it cost? It's nothing. All this for the price of one word: стоить.
The With, By, From, Per, About Preposition
Getting Russian prepositions and cases right is my life's goal. Judging by "c" I've got a long way to go.
Fast as a Russian Fly
Russians not only like to go fast, they like to talk about going fast.
The Fruit of Our Language Labor
Whoever names fruit cultivars in Russia should get a lifetime achievement award.
The Giant Saber-Toothed Grasshopper and Other Endangered Species
Watch День Радио, learn Russian, and laugh your head off. Win-win-win.
Muttering and Grousing the Russian Way
Russians didn't invent griping, but they have terrific words to describe it.
Autumn Leaves Are Not Yet Falling
Take a deep dive into months, calendars, years and other joys of Russian autumn.
August's Holidays: Honey, Apples, Bread and Nuts
Please Don't Hurt My Feelings
Is hurting someone's feelings illegal? Well, sort of. But maybe it shouldn't be. Read on...
You Gotta Have Heart
For Russians, a heart is way more than a pump in your chest.
How to Protest, From A to Zip Tie Cuffs
The weather might be cool, but people are hot to protest. Here's how to talk about it.
When Not Enough is Way Too Much
You can never have too much money or shashlyk.
Getting Out the Vote the Russian Way
People were voting by rules set in the Constitution they were voting on. How's that again?
Ten Ways to Be Tired in Russian
Being tired is just so exhausting I feel like a squeezed out lemon. Really.
When Time and Place Meet in Russian
Тут is such a simple, sweet-sounding word... and if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.
Flying Objects and Other Horrors of Russian
Russian paronyms - летучий, летящий, летательный, летающий and лётный - are horrible.
When a Russian Bum is Not a Bum
Answering a question in my mailbag sent me down the rabbit hole of Russian abbreviations - great fun!