All I Ever Wanted to Know – Language

When I was a kid, about age 12 or so, my lifetime goal was to be a polyglot. I checked out books from my Junior High library on how to learn Russian. I remember writing "DOM TAM" and "BOT TIM" in Cyrillic cursive, painstakingly, in my notebook. (For the record, the sentences mean "The house... Continue Reading →

Culture Lessons

The word for hose in Russian is “schlang”. When the short, stout Irina Leikina was addressing us in her mad bursts of Muscovite Russian, she demonstrated with her flying hands. “And my son,” she bellowed. “He was pouring water out of the schlanga--” She gesticulated towards her groin, as if she were her tall, half... Continue Reading →

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