27 06, 2016

Winter competition: Russian

After another wet winter weekend in Auckland, it is time to improve your winter vocabulary with the help of Sergey, our Russian teacher. In some parts of Russia, temperatures do get brutal during winter. Yakutsk, for example, which is located about 450 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, has an average winter temperature of −34 °C. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast of Yakutsk and those were lower than -60°C. Yakut folklore says that, at such temperatures, if you shout to a friend and they cannot hear you, it is because the words have frozen in the air. However, when spring comes the words "thaw" and one can hear everything that was said months ago. But now back to our winter competition: Paint, draw or create an image of the poem below that Sergey provided and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art to one of the lovely people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Russian language poem: А. С. Пушкин. "Вот север, тучи нагоняя..." * * * Вот   север ,  тучи   нагоняя , Дохнул, завыл — и вот сама Идет волшебница зима. Пришла, рассыпалась; клоками Повисла на суках дубов; Легла волнистыми коврами Среди полей, вокруг холмов; Брега с недвижною рекою Сравняла пухлой пеленою; Блеснул мороз. И рады мы Проказам матушки зимы.   (отрывок из романа Евгений Онегин)

20 09, 2015

Spring quiz: Russian

Today we are going to learn about spring time in Russia. Sergey, our Russian teacher, found a poem by one of the greatest Romantic poets of Russia, Fyodor Tyutchev. As part of our quiz we have three challenges for you again. Take part in order to win a little chocolate treat which must be claimed by Friday, 2nd October 2015, by coming to class and presenting the answers to your teacher. Here is the poem:   Зима недаром злится, Прошла её пора – Весна в окно стучится И гонит со двора.   И всё засуетилось, Всё нудит Зиму вон – И жаворонки в небе Уж подняли трезвон.   Зима еще хлопочет И на Весну ворчит. Та ей в глаза хохочет И пуще лишь шумит...   Взбесилась ведьма злая И, снегу захватя, Пустила, убегая, В прекрасное дитя...   Весне и горя мало: Умылася в снегу И лишь румяней стала Наперекор врагу.   Here are the Russian challenges: The landscape painting ‘Early Spring’ is the work of a Russian artist who lived from 1858-1911. What is the artist’s name? What is the Russian word for ‘spring’? What weather conditions does the poem describe?  

14 04, 2014

Your fascination with Russian

Russia is a hot topic Russia is all over the news lately. From the Sochi Olympics to the Ukraine uprising, from civil rights protests to the Syrian civil war, not a single day passes without the dominant and firm figure of Vladimir Poutin showing up on the media, smile-less as ever. This might be a subtle reminder of the somehow forgotten power of the Russian Federation, but there is more to Russia than its politics. There is its Language. Russian is spoken by more people than you think Needless to say that with over 140 million native speakers, Russian is one of the most spoken languages in the world. In fact, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and is adopted by 6 countries as their official language. But aside those boring facts, its History hides some interesting twists. Russian has a fascinating history Up to the 14th century, the main cultural and political center in eastern Europe was not Moscow, rather Kiev, a city that is clearly stating its independences from the growing Moscovite influence. At that time, people in Kiev and Moscow were speaking two dialects of the same language: Eastern Slavic and Old Russian language. Today, these dialects, along with Bielorussian, have become different languages. Russian is an international language with international roots The political and cultural power shifting to Moscow contributed further to the evolution of the Russian Language. This was marked by the appearance of Polish and German words into the language, modifying it from the official state language, which was still old Russian. This era was then followed by an important wave of reforms initiated by Peter the great to standardise the alphabet and modernise [...]