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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 leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.

Program attended: SRAS Staff Member

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Josh Wilson

Josh has lived in Moscow since 2003, when he first arrived to study Russian with SRAS. He holds an M.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in History from Idaho State University, where his masters thesis was written on the political economy of Soviet-era censorship organs affecting the stage. At SRAS, Josh assists in program development and leads our Home and Abroad Programs. He is also the editor-in-chief for the SRAS newsletter, the SRAS Family of Sites, and Vestnik. He has previously served as Communications Director to Bellerage Alinga and has served as a consultant or translator to several businesses and organizations with interests in Russia.

Program attended: SRAS Staff Member

View all posts by: Josh Wilson