Dictionary of Advanced Russian Usage

A Guide to Idiom, Colloquialisms, Slang and More

Michael Kayser

Look here when you need a full-throated English-Russian/Russian-English translation when you have exhausted all other sources
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Schreiber Publishing
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9780884003502
Pages : 640
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks


This dictionary represents a painstaking, sincere effort to fill in the gaps left by even the most comprehensive English-Russian/Russian-English dictionaries. It is not intended for beginners who are looking for basic word-to-word equivalents such as “table – стол” or “window – окно”. It is intended for those who, upon reading through several possible translations of a specific word, phrase or idiom, often find themselves saying: “None of this is quite right, none of these possibilities hits the bull’s eye.” An inspired translation will satisfy on three levels: 1) precision of meaning; 2) the image which is evoked and 3) the actual sound of the word or phrase. For example, if one is to look up “Boot Hill” in virtually any English-Russian dictionary or on-line, one will invariably find the following: “кладбище (на Западе США); кладбище в пограничном городке на Западе США”. Even a moderately gifted student or translator would scoff at such a translation because it does not begin to render the spirit or impact of the English phrase “Boot Hill”. It is totally inadequate on two of the three levels listed above. How does “Мёртвая гора” (кладбище на Дальнем Севере - Death/Dead mountain) sound? It is a thousand times better on all three levels than what one finds ANYWHERE. Where does one find such a phrase? You keep your eyes peeled and your ears wide open and your Russian-English subliminal translation machine constantly in gear because you never know when such a gem will pop up. I ran across this particular expression while reading Boris Shergin, a far-northern writer and teller of tales. Have you had to translate “wow factor”? You won’t find much in any dictionary – quite often it is rendered as “wow фактор” or “вау фактор”. If you’re not offended by this, then the fate of the Russian tongue is obviously of no concern to you. How about “степень отпадности”? Current slang for something awesome is “отпадный”, so you’re just right around the corner from forming the suggested translation. Multiply this by several thousand examples based on decades of study and you a tool like no other.

About The Author

Michael Kayser is a former English-Russian translator at the Voice of America, an American Translators Association certified English-Russian/Russian-English translator and a former English-Russian simultaneous contract interpreter for the US Department of State. He has been published both in the U.S. and in Russia.

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