Writing with a Good ‘Flow’


How much of rhythm should prose have? It is obvious that achieving a certain rhythm (I would even call it a ‘beat’) is critical in poetry, but in prose… should we care at all?

Dictionaries, which, in fact, are perfect antithesis to poetry, say:

In writingrhythm is defined by punctuation and the stress patterns of words in a sentence. Long sentences sound smoother, while short sentences make your content snappier.

Well, honestly, this definition does not look complete to me. Some significant component is missing here, because this definition speaks only about the mechanics of writing, but says nothing about the author’s talent of creating individual ‘beat’ that makes every sentence sound like this author’s unique, personal accent.

When we describe our most favorite books of fiction, we often say, among other things, that “they are easy and pleasing to read and have a good flow.” Critics usually say that “this is all down to the structure and length of sentences”, as well as to the amount of syllables in each chosen word-combination, and the breaks / pauses which the author puts on certain places. [Richard GilbertBen Smith]

writing that flows

When the authors of prose discuss their work, they like to brag about ‘making it sound nice’,  but unfortunately, with tons of books being published today, readers are becoming less and less interested in having it ‘flow’. And writers in their turn, stop paying attention to the ways they put words together.

Still, some people are used to reading fiction aloud in their heads, I am one of them. This habit makes us look for the desired rhythm in the first place. We would never finish a book which ‘is not good in the sound and rhythm’, and to my mind, it is the sound and rhythm that immeduately gives away a talented author. It is the rhythm that will either keep the readers turning pages, or bore them to a stop.

Let us look at a few examples, I just made a little analysis for this article:

Rhythm and Sound in W.S,Maugham’s Prose

It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” W.Someset Maugham

.._._._._;._._…_, …_._.

[A] [Y] [A] [A]  [jU]  [E] [E] [A] [E]

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[a]  [e]-[e]  [a]-[e]

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, (pause) no one knows what they are.” W.Someset Maugham

.._ _._.._.; ._..(pause) ._._.._

[E-U] [A] [A]  [O] [O] [A] [A]

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[a]-[o]  [o]-[a]-[a]

Love is only a dirty trick (very short pause) played on us to achieve continuation of the species.” W.Someset Maugham

.._._._(very short pause) _…_…_._

[A] [eO] [Y] [A] [Y] [A] [Y]

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[y]  [a]-[y]  [a]-[y]

In W.Somerset Maugham’s writing, the rhythm is complex, but you can sense the patterns which he follows in every sentence. There is a whole set of such patterns, but the set is unique for every individual writer.

This is what we call ‘авторский почерк’ (author’s unique handwriting or style) in Russian, and I am sure this is true for every piece of literature in every language of the world: the combination of rhythm and sound is the main criterion of every talented author’s unique manner of writing.

Here are a few more examples:

Rhythm and Sound in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Prose

What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[o]  [o]  [o]-[a]

When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.’

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[a]  [a]  [a]-[a]

Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.’

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[a]  [e]  [a]-[a]

Of course, rhythm is especially important in certain genres of prose, like fantasy, or — if we think deeper — also in mystery, in suspense, in romance, in… ah, everywhere!

Look at Neil Gaiman’s sentences: aren’t they truly poetic?

Rhythm and Sound in Neil Gaiman’s Prose

It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.’

Rhythm and sound pattern: [u]-[o]   [a][u]   [o]-[y]

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.’

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[e]   [a][e]   [a][e]   [a]-[e]

‘Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.’

Rhythm and sound pattern: [a]-[a]   [a]-[o]   [o][o]

Well, every talented author has a unique signature rhythm that keeps her readers turning pages. I think every writer should continuously explore their personal rhythms of writing. It is also very useful to study reader responses to different rhythms, melodies of speech and beats if we want to develop unique ways of writing and become recognizeable by our writing style.


‘One Man’s Meat…’ (A few words about clichés)


Every EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher always feels happy to find a new frequently used word or a popular phrase and share it with her students. As I was looking through recent publications about the art of writing this morning, I ran across an article called ‘The List of Clichés You Should Strike Down in Editing‘. The article offers great tips on writing for authors and provides “a non-definitive list of clichés to avoid”.

My first thought on seeing it was: “Oh, it is good to know for my future writing experiences.” But the longer I studied the list, the more interested I became.

“Wait a minute,” I said to myself, “as a foreigner, I didn’t even know that some of these word combinations have a reputation of hackneyed phrases, and probably people in other English speaking countries wouldn’t find them ‘hackneyed’, either.

hackneyed (1)

Then I thought that, as long as these phrases have gained the reputation of being used too often, they are probably well-understood and accepted by thousands of people, which means… that my students need to know them!

Really, what can disgust an editor becomes a desired tidbit for a teacher and her students. Here is the list from the article. Learners of English, enjoy!

Chip off the old block
Loose cannon
Ace up his sleeve
Scared of his own shadow
Add insult to injury
Avoid like the plague
Let the cat out of the bag
Bad to the bone
Cross that bridge when we come to it
Bald-faced liar
Trial by fire
Bark is worse than his bite
Beggars can’t be choosers
Armed to the teeth
Bee in her bonnet
Ugly as sin
Bent out of shape
Bend over backwards
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
Let off some steam
Burning the candle at both ends
Caught red handed
A checkered past
Until the cows come home
Take the bull by the horns
Fit as a fiddle
Chomping/Champing at the bit
Come hell or high water
Cute as a button
No stone unturned
The devil is in the details
All your eggs in one basket
Don’t rock the boat
Down in the dumps
Beat around the bush
Driven up the wall
Keep an ear to the ground
Level the playing field
Barking up the wrong tree
Everything but the kitchen sink
For all intents and purposes
Force to be reckoned with
In the nick of time
It goes without saying
Knock it out of the park
Neither here nor there
Bite the bullet
Nothing to sneeze at
Older than dirt
Open a can of worms
Pleased as punch
Quiet as a mouse
Weed them out
The whole hog
Go the whole nine yards
Work like a dog
Get up on the wrong side of the bed
Yanking your chain
Nip it in the bud
Tough as nails
At the end of the day
When push comes to shove
No use crying over spilt milk
Back to the drawing board
Phone it in


About English Verbs

Об английских глаголах (статья для изучающих английский язык)

Каждому, кто изучал английский в школе и в институте, знакомы понятия о правильных и неправильных глаголах (к первым относятся те, которые в прошедших временах заканчиваются на -ed – to like – liked, to want – wanted, to jump – jumped, а у неправильных есть свои собственные формы прошедшего времени: to break – broke – broken, to cut – cut – cut, to see – saw – seen). Помимо этого, школьные учителя рассказывали нам, что существуют глаголы смысловые, и какие-то вспомогательные, и некие модальные глаголы и даже глаголы-связки, но уж этих понятий почти никто в большую жизнь из школы не вынес. В этой статье мы коротко напомним вам о них.

Смысловые глаголы в английском не награждены особыми приметами, этим термином обозначаются все глаголы уже только за то, что они обозначают действие, а следовательно, используются в предложении для описания разнообразных действий.

Jack writes books. Джек пишет книги.

My friend studies biology. Мой друг изучает биологию.

Please, call me at five o’clock. Пожалуйста, позвони мне в пять часов.

А вот вспомогательные глаголы имеют свою специфику. Их всего пять, это глаголы to be, to have, to do, а также слова shall (should), will (would), которые тоже принято считать глаголами, хотя на самом деле никому вообще непонятно что это за чудо-юдо. Вспомогательные глаголы совершенно несамостоятельны: их можно использовать в предложении только в сочетании со смысловыми, то есть всеми остальными, нормальными глаголами, помогая образовывать любые времена или, например, делать из положительного предложения отрицательное или вопросительное.

Теперь скажем пару слов о каждом из них.

Глагол to be уникален на фоне остальных английских глаголов, потому что у него с древних времён сохранилось несколько форм:

– в настоящем времени он приобретает формы am (для первого лица), are (для множественного числа) или is (3-го лица, единственного числа):

I am driving to work. Сейчас я еду на работу.
He is writing a letter. Он пишет письмо.
They are waiting for you. Они ждут вас.

– в прошедшем времени у него две формы: was (для единственного числа), were (для множественного числа)

He was writing a letter when I called. Он писал письмо когда я позвонил..
They were waiting for you at 12:30 yesterday. Они ждали вас вчера в 12:30.
– в будущем времени он приобретает форму will be :

They will be waiting for you tomorrow at five. Они будут ждать тебя завтра в пять.

Вспомогательный глагол to do используют для построения вопросов или отрицаний, причём в настоящем времени имеет форму do или does (для третьего лица в единственном числе), а в прошедшем времени – did.

Do you know her? Ты ее знаешь?
She doesn’t live in this house. Она не живет в этом доме.
Did he go to school last Friday? Ходил ли он в школу в прошлую пятницу?

* Вам вероятно приходилось встречать и такие фразы:

Do you do this exercise daily? – Делаешь ли ты это упражнение ежедневно? – здесь “do” появляется два раза: первый из них – это как раз вспомогательный глагол, который служит для построения вопроса, а второй в данном примере выступает как обычный смысловой глагол “делать” (to do) в настоящем времени.

Глагол to have тоже используют для построения разных временных конструкций, включая вопросительные и отрицательные предложения. В настоящем времени он имеет формы have или has (для 3го лица в ед.ч.), в прошедшем времени – had, в будущем времени will have.

My mother has been to Spain. Моя мама бывала в Испании.
He had seen this movie before we saw it. Он видел этот фильм до того, как мы посмотрели его.

will служит для образования форм будущего времени.

Will you go with me? – Ты пойдёшь со мной?

Shall теперь используется совсем редко: только, когда мы сомневаемся и хотим задать вопрос, следует ли (стоит ли) нам что-то делать –

Shall I write it down for you? – Не записать ли всё это для тебя?

Shall I help you? – Не помочь ли тебе?

А формы should или would помогают обеспечить согласование между разными временами в сложных предложениях:

My husband said that he would be in office. Мой муж сказал, что будет в офисе.

She thinks she should go there by herself. Она считает, что ей следует идти туда одной.

Есть ещё в английском несколько модальных глаголов, которые дают возможность говорящему выразить свое отношение к происходящему или различную степень уверенности (неуверенности) в действии. Это глаголы can (could), may (might), must (had to), need, ought to, should, have to, to be to. Многие из них обладают способностью самостоятельно строить вопрос:

May I help you? (Do I may help you?) Могу ли я вам помочь?

Can you call him now? (Do you can call him now?) Можешь ли ты позвонить ему сейчас?

У модальных глаголов есть свои секреты и о них стоит написать отдельную статью; мы это сделаем в ближайшее время.

А так называемые глаголы-связки – или фразовые глаголы – привязывают к себе другие слова, чтобы получить составное сказуемое:
be, become, keep и некоторые другие:

to become clever – становиться умным,

to keep well – держаться молодцом.

Некоторые глаголы могут одновременно относиться к разным группам глаголов (например, be, do, have), потому что способны выполнять в языке самые разнообразные функции. Более подробно о каждой из групп глаголов мы поговорим в отдельных статьях. Оставайтесь с нами!

English: the Lingua Franca of the World

lingua franca 01

Historically, the term lingua franca was used to identify a bridge language, representing a mixture of Italian with French, Greek, Arabic, and Spanish, formerly used in the eastern Mediterranean. Today, the term has acquired a much wider meaning: lingua franca is a common language used as a means of global communication. We, people, have always needed it, but today, when the world’s population grows incredibly quickly along with the boosting development of communication technologies, the need for a language of global interaction has become crucial for our survival… and interestingly, it appeared by itself, without waiting for our global negotiation, memorandum signing, or approval. People have chosen English to be their “universal” language, and today this fact is accepted by everybody.

Currently, more than 350 millions of lucky guys around the world speak English as their native language, plus 430 million people are using it as the second language, and it is not difficult to find English speakers practically in all corners of the world. More and more frequently now, English is called the international language of business, science, politics, trade, academic world, journalism, travel, Internet, global press, and its influence continues to increase right at the moment, while I am writing these words.

lingua franca 1

(These figures are of the year 2014)

But why is it English? It is not the most spoken language in the world. What makes it our lingua franca today?

Though the number of its speakers soars up with acceleration, it is native to 350 million, while there are 500 million of Spanish speakers, nearly 500 million of Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu) natives and 900 million of Mandarin Chinese speakers in the world. The main explanation of the reason why English has gained the status of the world’s lingua franca lies in its linguistic specificity. English is widely considered as a “simple” language which is relatively easy to pick up. It has no noun genders, no complicated morphology, no tone system, it is written in the Roman alphabet which is pretty good at accurately mapping sounds to symbols, and majority of the English learners agree that, due to its mathematically logical structure, it is relatively easy to build understandable phrases in it. Besides this, the prevalence of English-language movies, television programs, and Internet sites makes the language quite accessible to practice.

At the same time, English has an extensive vocabulary and a highly inconsistent spelling system, which can turn one’s learning process into nightmare. It also has hundreds of irregular verbs, some problematic sounds such as “th”, and a large inventory of vowels which can make it difficult for a foreigner to understand the native speakers of English. Still, representatives of many nations would rather prefer to take time and learn English rather than take up Mandarin, Hindustan, or Arabic, for example.

There is one more explanation of the role of English: a historical one. Generations ago, the United Kingdom became the first industrialized nation; the boosting development of technologies started from there and since then, the English speaking nations have pioneered in technologies and science. They managed to colonize the rest of the developing world far faster than other European countries. At some point, the British Empire covered a quarter of the globe at its largest, including North America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, much of West and Southern Africa, South Asia, and parts of South-East Asia. The UK set up English-speaking systems of government, industry, trade and business, which established English as the language of global power in the industrial era. In the 20th century we could see the transfer of power from one English-speaking expansionist to another: the USA’s cultural, economic, political, and military domination has also encouraged the process of global recognition of English as the most important and influential global language. Today, when the world has entered the informational stage of evolution, English has officially become the language of IT, meaning that its status of the global lingua franca has been reconfirmed, and it is unlikely to change any time soon.

lingua franca 02

Quickly About Russian Question Words


Russians love asking and answering questions. In fact, quite often, our communication process keeps going mainly by means of aking each other short questions and jumping from one topic to another just for the sake of the speech process itself. When meeting, Russian close friends seldom greet each other by traditional “здравствуй” (Hello) or “Доброе утро” (good morning), they rather start with questions right away: “Ну что? Как дела?” (So? How are things?), “Что нового?” (What’s new?), “чем занимаешься?” (What’s keeping you busy?), “Что скажешь?” (What will you tell me?) “как оно?” (How’s it going?)… I could continue this list on and on. All these phrases are cliches: we use them so often that we pronounce them automatically, and quite often a newcomer may not recognize them by an unprepared ear. This is why, I listed the main Russian question words below in this article and supplied them with simple transliteration notes for your convenience.

I think I should share one more little secret here: unlike the English-speakers, when Russians ask something, they expect a full, detailed unswer. The talk may move from one topic to another and return back a number of times; Russian love to interrupt each other by telling stories that just came to their mind in association with the object of discussion, and usually they cannot wait to tell their stories.


People who ask too many questions are friendly called Почемучка (A-why-so-man or woman); those who seem to know answers to all questions are called Знайка (All-knowing guy).

The good news is the face that many questions in Russian language can be made by simply changing intomation of your sentence. For example, the phtase “Ты можешь мне позвонить” (You can call me) can be considered an affirmative sentence when pronounced with ordinary intonation, and the same phrase can turn into a question “Ты можешь мне позвонить?” (Can you call me?) simply by changing the intonation.

Still, there are a number of question words which, like in every other language, serve to ask for details of some events or actions. Here are these question words, and below, a couple of tables explaining how these words can/should be changed depending on the case, gender, or other grammar specificities.

The main question words in Russian:

Что? [shto] – What?      Кто? [hto] – Who?     Как? [kak] – How?

Сколько? [skolka] or [skoka] – How many?

Почему? [pachimU] – Why?

Когда? [kagdA] or [kadA] – When?

Где? [kde] – Where? (Used when you are searching for something. “Where is the bank?”)

Куда? [kudA] – Where to? (indicates motion towards something. “Where are you going?”)

Откуда? [atkUda] – Wherefrom? (indicates motion away from something. “Where are you coming from?”)

Какой? [kakOi] (m), Какая? [kakAia] (f), Какое? [kakOe] (n) – Which? What sort of?

Чей? [chei] (m), Чья? [ch’jA] (f), Чьё? [ch’jO] (n), Чьи? [ch’ji] (pl) – Whose?

Notes: Where gender is shown, the word should agree with the noun it relates to.
The word Какой declines like a stressed adjective, so it must also agree in case.
The words Что? and Кто? have different forms in different cases. Above is nominative. (others shown below)

Cases for the question words Кто? [hto] – Who? and  Что? [shto] – What?      

кточтопадежи This is a similar table, but is provides examples of related words and prepositions which are traditionally used with thes words when we answer case forms of questions Кто? [hto] – Who? and Что? [shto] – What?


I hope this information with help you a little bit. Don not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

How to Memorize Russian Words with Less Effort

russian alphabet background

The English-speaking learners of Russian often complain about having hard time memorizing Russian words, which seem too long and difficult to pronounce. In this post we will look at some ways to simplify the process of memorizing Russian words.

First of all, let us agree that memorizing is a learning skill, which requires time and concentration of the learner’s attention, which means that the words cannot “jump” into our memory without our participation. So, the first condition of good memorizing is your intellectual and emotional state. Do not even try to memorize anything when your mind is busy thinking over some work problem or when you are excited or disturbed by something. Also, a very important thing is motivation. If you know exactly why you are learning Russian and how you may use knowledge of these particular words in the future, then you will memorize everything quickly and, as some students often put it, “almost without effort.”

To make your memorizing process as efficient as it can be, you may want to start a book (or a file) of new words, then you can enter every new word you come across, and thus, you can see your progress, daily. Some people, however, are not big fans of writing, they memorize everything “by ear” or “by their eyes”, so let us leave this choice to every person, individually.

The first thing you meed to do to remember a new Russian word is to look at it with full attention, and read it loud, trying to hear your own voice as you pronounce it and remember how the word is spelled with your eyes.

Let us take the word неожиданность, for example. It is long and difficult to read for a beginner. First, you need to know the basic information about the word: it is a feminine, singular noun, it has 5 vowels, which means it has 5 syllables (неоИан-ность), it has a stress on the 3-rd syllable (letter и is stressed) and it is used in its dictionary form (has no specific ending). All this information is usually available in dictionaries.

Now, for the pronounciation. Try to read it loud: неожиданность [ni-a-zhi-dan-nast’]. Repeat the word a couple of times and get your tongue accustomed to saying it.

So far so good, you will say, but what does it mean? The unpleasant thing is the fact that this word does not have a direct, completely equivalent translation into English, “неожиданность” means: an unexpected event, a surprise, something that happened unexpectedly. All right, you can probably remember the meaning of the word, but how can you remember this incredible sequence of letters?!

Here is a way: look at its syllables first-

неожиданность – [ni-a-zhi-dan-nast’] – and interpret it as: [new-a-zhid-an-nast] or even as: [new-as-shit-on-us]. I am sure this way the word is crooked all over, but it is beginning to create a trace in your mind.

The fact is, when you try to build up a meaningful association between a new piece of language [ni-a-zhi-dan-nast’] and something already familiar [new-as-shit-on-us] – no matter how crazy it may sound, our memory “catches” the new meaning right away, creates a visual association (I am sure your brain has already built an image in association with the [new-as-shit-on-us] combination), and then memorizing takes place. The only thing you need to know now is to make a mental note for yourself that Russian word неожиданность means something new happening unexpectedly, that is is a noun and sounds somewhat similar to the phrase [new-as-shit-on-us]: ni-a-zhi-dan-nast’.

The next step will be to train using this word in other word combinations (preferably, in the most commonly used combinations – just as it appears in its language:

приятная неожиданность – a pleasant unexpected event

Вот так неожиданность! – What an unexpected event!

You may also try to make up a sentence containing the word:

Это была полная неожиданность – It was a completely unexpected event (news)!

There are many other methods of memorizing language material, and we are going to look at more of them in our future posts, but most of those methods aim to achieve the same effect: to develop an image in your mind, which will “stick” to the meaning and to your way of “hearing” the new word. Try the above method for now – play with your words, try to develop associations with their meanings or the ways they sound and memorizing will become a lot easier.

As the last little tip I’d like to suggest you not to waste your time trying to memorize difficult words. If a word seems quite difficult, just skip it for now and go on to work with the next one; try to choose the easiest and the most “likeable” words in the first place. Try the ones which you can easily pronounce and associate with something familiar. This will save you the time and emotion of having to remember the “immemorizeable” stuff.

Did you understand what I meant by “immemorizeable”, by the way? Right, I meant to say: something that cannot be memorized. Your mind just did the job of understanding of this word (which does not exist in the English language, but is understandable to you because of its quite understandable parts). When you try to memorize Russian words, your brain pushes every new word through a similar process. This is why, if you learn to divide the “meaningless” Russian words into meaningful units of sounds, you can easily use your existing mind strategies for memorizing of the new words.

Thank you for reading this! See you soon with our next post.

Speak It! или: О пользе и вреде… говорения

(an article in Russian for learners of English)


“Говорение” – это термин, который придумали педагоги и лингвисты, чтобы дать название процессу построения высказываний учащимися на иностранном языке. Говорение – это не только диалог между несколькими людьми, но и любая попытка составить осмысленное высказывание. По сути это тренировка навыков соединения слов в предложения, причём так, чтобы ваши высказывания были понятны носителям языка.

Каждый, кто когда-либо занимался иностранным языком, знает, что преподаватели уделяют особое внимание говорению, нередко заставляя учащегося рассказывать о себе, например, по-английски, уже на самом первом занятии. Многие удивляются: “Как я могу что-нибудь рассказать, когда я ещё не научился читать и писать? Я же наделаю миллион ошибок и сам же их запомню! Не лучше ли начать с грамматики, упражнений и чтения текстов?

Нет, не лучше. Классическим “дедовским” подходом вы только затянете обучение на долгие месяцы или годы, а некоторые рискуют не научиться говорить вообще никогда (спросите своих мам и бабушек, которые десятилетиями занимались английским “просто для себя”, да так и не научились разговаривать). Дело в том, что процесс говорения начинается в нашем мозгу. Всякий раз, когда вы пытаетесь построить осмысленную фразу, ваш мозг укрепляет определённый навык построения высказывания. Некоторые навыки приходят легко, потому что в родном языке у нас есть эквивалентные “формулы” построения высказываний:

Я люблю музыку” – “I love music”

“Он принимает это лекарство три раза в день” – “He takes this medicine three times a day”

Позаботься обо мне, а я позабочусь о тебе” – “Take care of me, and I will take care of you

Опытные преподаватели обычно знают, как организовать обучение, чтобы вы без труда усвоили определённый набор таких “простых” высказываний и почувствовали относительную свободу в построении предложений. Но в каждом языке есть множество уникальных способов соединения слов, которые не имеют эквивалентов в нашем языке. Вот тут обычно начинаются трудности, и только те, кто, встретив новую языковую структуру, пытаются построить с ней свои собственные фразы, быстро достигают успеха и начинают говорить.

Посмотрите на эти фразы, в них общий смысл передан верно, но перевод на английский язык сделан не буквально:

“Американские женщины обычно ведут себя очень независимо” – “American women are used to being very independent” (to be used to doing something)

“Он не прервал эксперимента даже в условиях ограниченного финансирования” “He pursued the research, regardless of the problems with funding” (to pursue something; regardless of…; problems with…)

“Не шумите. Вы мне мешаете” – “Do be quiet. You are breaking my concentration.” (to be quiet; to break someone’s concentration)

Именно тогда (и только тогда), когда вы пытаетесь самостоятельно переложить русскую фразу на английский средствами английского языка (а не русского!), ваш мозг укрепляет новый навык и создаёт в памяти “запись” о новой языковой формуле вроде тех, что вы прочитали в примерах. Поэтому обыкновенного чтения текстов и даже выполнения упражнений с использованием таких формул – недостаточно. Без практического применения в живом говорении они неизбежно забудутся.

Что же делать, если вы изучаете язык самостоятельно и вам не с кем разговаривать по-английски? Ответ прост: заниматься самостоятельным говорением (и конечно, неутомимо искать возможности общаться с другими). Рассказывайте себе самые разнообразные истории, пересказывайте телепрограммы и прочитанные статьи, старайтесь описывать всё, что видите вокруг себя, и делайте это регулярно! Не беда, если вы делаете ошибки и не замечаете их. Когда вы начнёте общаться по-настоящему, с носителями языка, эти ошибки сами собою пройдут, если вы будете слышать вокруг себя грамотную речь. Главное то, что вы будете говорить, а значит ваш мозг будет всё больше приспосабливаться к специфике иностранного языка.

Говорите! Это полезно. А те, кто считает, что это вредно, могут молчать, если им так хочется! 🙂


The Russian Language Survival Guide

Russia graffity-600x600

This one-page guide to basic Russian phrases will help you on your trip to the Russian-speaking cities.

Russian Language Survival Guide

English Russian Pronunciation
Good day/hello. Добрый день. Dobry den’
Hi/hello. Привет. Privet
Good evening. Добрый вечер. Dobry vechir
Goodbye. / Goodnight. До свиданья. Da svidan’a
See you. До встречи. Da fstrechi
Yes. Да. Da
No. Нет. Net
You’re welcome. Пожалуйста. Pzhalsta
Thank you. Спасибо. Spasiba
How much? Сколько? Skol’ka
I don’t understand. Не понимаю. Ni panimaju
Cheers! На здоровье! Na zdarovie
Can I have the bill/check? Счёт, (пожалуйста). Schot (pzhalsta)
Beer пиво piva
Water вода vada
Wine / vodka Вино / водка Vino / votka
May I? Можно? Mozhna?
Good. Хорошо. Harasho.
Excellent! Отлично! Atlichna.
Bad. Плохо. Ploha.
So-so. Так себе. Tak sibe.
Excuse me. Простите. Prastiti.
I don’t speak Russian. Не говорю по-русски. Ni gavaru pa ruski.
I’d like to… Я бы хотел… Ja by hatel
buy купить kupit’
I need your help, please. Помогите, (пожалуйста). Pamagiti (pzhalsta)
Where is…? Где…? Kde
Please,… Извините,… Izviniti
I don’t know. Не знаю. Ni znaju
Sorry. Извините. Izviniti



A Few Facts About the English Language in Russian



Несколько интересных фактов об английском языке, собранных с разных сайтов в Интернет. 

1. Английское слово «alphabet» происходит от названия первых двух букв греческого алфавита «alpha» и «beta».

2. В предложении «The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog» можно встретить каждую букву алфавита.

3. «I am» и «I do» — самые короткие предложения в английском языке с подлежащим и сказуемым.

4. В старые времена на протяжении определённого времени амперсэнд (символ “&”, в английском языке означающий союз “и”) был буквой английского алфавита.

5. Самые распространенные буквы в английском языке – это R, S, T, L, N, E. Реже всего используется буква Q.

6. Точка над буквой «i» в английском языке называется tittle (малейшая частица/капелька).

7. Самым длинным словом в английском языке, согласно Оксфордскому английскому словарю, является слово pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (обозначает болезнь легких, в слове 45 букв).

8. Самые длинные односложные слова в английском языке – это “screeched” (визгливо крикнуть) and “strengths” (сильные стороны).

9. «Almost» (почти) – самое длинное слово английского языка, в котором все буквы расположены в алфавитном порядке.

10. В английском языке есть слово с одной и той же гласной, которая повторяется 5 раз – «indivisibility» (единство, невозможность отделить).

11. “Four” (четыре) – единственное числительное в английском языке, количество букв которого соответствует обозначаемому числу.

12. Слово “set” (в значениях существительного и глагола) имеет больше значений, чем любое другое слово в английском языке.

13. Слова «racecar» (гоночная машина), «kayak» (каяк/байдарка) и «level» (уровень) являются полиндромами, то есть одинаково пишутся и читаются справа налево и слева направо.

14. Единственное слово в английском языке состоящее из 15 букв в котором буквы не повторяются “uncopyrightable” (не охраняемый авторским правом).

15. Ни одно слово в английском языке не рифмуется со словами «month», «orange», «silver» и «purple».

16. Буквосочетание “ough” в английском языке может читаться девятью различными способами. Следующее предложение содержит их все: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”

17. Самое функциональное слово в английском языке – это «shit». (О способах его использования подробно можно прочитать здесь http://www.funfacts.com.au/the-most-functional-word-in-the-english-language/ )

18. В английском языке больше всего слов (около 800 000) и самые богатые синонимические ряды. Американский президент Бенджамин Франклин собрал более 200 синонимов слова «пьяный» (англ. drunk), включая такие «шедевры» как «cherry-merry», «nimptopsical» и «soaked».

19. Самая сложная скороговорка в английском языке – это “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”.

20. Согласно закону штата Иллиной (Illinois), в штате запрещено говорить по-английски – официальным языком здесь принято считать американский.

21. «God be with ye»- полная версия слова «goodbye».

22. Древнейшее слово в английском языке – town (городишко), означает, как правило, городок с населением не более 5 тысяч человек

23. Со словами month, orange, silver, purple, английские поэты не могут найти рифму.

24. В одной верхней строке клавиатуры можно набрать английское слово «typewriter».

25. Когда-то слово «pants» считалось ругательным в Англии, теперь его используют на каждом шагу.



How to Use ESL Tests for Self-Study

О пользе тестов по английскому языку для самостоятельного обучения (статья на английском языке)

Everyone who studies a foreign language has to take tests at one point or another. Though it is probably one of the students’ least favorite things to do, testing  and self-testing is a very efficient way to study a language. There are hundreds of testing systems for ESL students, they are supposed to test different types of knowledge and require different test taking skills. Today, I will focus on a the most popular types of tests that ESL teachers use in their classrooms.

If you take a test and do it in your personal study time, the test may turn into a very efficient learning tool: it is an exercie, which you can do without having to be nervous about the final results or think about time. If you do a test at home, paying attention to every detail and using the answer keys to self-check your results. it is no longer a test, but a very good exercise and a great way to memorize structures of the Engish language. Among the most popular (and beneficial) test practices, I would pick out the following:

  1. Completion tests. This type of tests require you to complete a sentence: fill in the blank tests, cloze testsfree answer tests.
  2. Matching tests, which ask you to pair items in one column with those in another.
  3. True/false tests, which are, in fact, alternative response tests.
  4. Multiple choice tests, where you are supposed to select and check out one answer among a few options (usually 3 0r 4).
  5. Essay tests, where you write an essay and thus, you can be creative with the language you know, and express your ideas freely. These tests are less common in the ESL classrooms since they require a larger base of general knowledge than simpler test forms.
  6. Oral testing. This kind of testing is particularly important because spoken language is the ultimate goal in any language program. Oral tests focus on your ability to communicate with what you know. Since spoken language is creative and flexible, it gives you a way to build your own, unique style of speaking, and to acquire fluency in communication. Certainly, speaking to yourself during your self-study time does not guarantee you against making mistakes, but still it is the most effective methos of learning, so you’ve got to use it as frequently as you can.


Criminal Indent

on writing about thrillers

~ dreams to remember ~

Willie Gordon Suting | poet | writer | freelancer | bibliophile | crooner | fashionista | Shillong,Meghalaya,Northeast India

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