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Russian MiniLessons: Talk About Music

Published: October 1, 2020

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.

Much of Russia’s modern music language is related to English. For example, the names of most genres can be directly translated: Рок, Рэп, Джаз, Хип-хоп, and even Фанк and “Эмо-музыка”. Technical terms are also very closely related (having both come from Latin roots): аранжировка, гармония, мелодия, and even половинная нота. Of course, many of these words are not in common usage and many are technical terms that are really only known to those who follow and study music.

Among young people, a set of slang words has evolved to describe music they like:

Драйвовая (from the English “Drive.”)
Зажигательная – (from the Russian “Зажигать”)
Взрывная – (from the Russian “Взрывать”)
Чумовая –  (from the Russian “Чума”)
“Грузон” – (from the Russian “Грустить”; also similar to “Грузить”.)

About the author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life, Worldpress.org, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an PhD from West Virginia University in Political Science. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource.

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Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad Programs

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