It had been a winter of great discord, with even Russia's wealthiest cities stalked by a sweeping tide of violent bolshevism. And yet how far the Tsar's summer home seemed from all this blood, as the rich strolled on the warm grass oblivious to the death fast approaching. And even now was their blindness anything but the arrogance of the Imperial throne, and characteristic of this age of contradictions?

Learning Chinese? Our lesson for today is inspired by several of the Russian television series we've seen imported into China over the years, and dedicated to anyone who has ever watched a full episode of these imported soap operas, or even just stumbled across the name of the Russian Foreign Minister when working through the news. Because you're not alone to find eight-character foreign names excruciatingly difficult to pronounce.

 said on
March 1, 2013
You guys forgot the patrynomic.
 said on
March 4, 2013
Thanks for addressing my issue guys! David, just as you predicted, once I pushed forward with Red Harvest and some other similar reading, it all got easier. I think it's largely the terror aspect of seeing so many groups of strange characters (foreign names) sprinkled throughout the first pages as characters (人物) are being introduced. Once you get to know your new friends, life gets better.
 said on
March 17, 2013
Dear Popup Chinese,

Somehow it took a few listens for me to receive your call. This goes to show my level of attention when listening :-(... 怪不得我的听力还那么差劲。Brendan那么厉害,他说俄语名字的发音很棒。Stalingrad应该是叫Samara(Самара),现代的名字跟古代的名字一样。Samara变成了Stalingrad后来变成了Volgograd,最终再变成Samara了。 Vastrovich (Войстрович?)好像是个姓,Ifyvanovich好像就是名加patrynomic(Ив Иванович),只不过在俄语里面一般不会把名字加上同志那个词。在对话的时代不能用斯大林格勒,也不能用斯维尔德洛夫斯克州(Свердловская область - 这个我也要查一下, 原来是 Yekaterinburg district - екатеринбургская губерния).
 said on
August 20, 2013
Volgograd is still Volgograd (called Stalingrad for six days of the year to commemorate 2nd world war resistance and generally confuse people; it started out as Tsaritsyn), Samara is a different city.