Russian 4414: Course Description

This is a TBA course. TBA means "time to be arranged" (to accommodate as many students as we can). We hold an organizational meeting for all TBA courses at the beginning of each semester. The time and place of the meeting are posted under "Current Announcements" at our home page, (click Welcome in the navigation bar on the left).

Курс состоит из двух частей — просмотр фильмов (и чтение сценариев) и чтение вебсайтов. Обе части преподает Виктория Цимберова.


  • Тексты для чтения (газетные статьи с веб-сайтов по вашему выбору) на русском интернете. Выбирайте статьи такого размера и содержания, чтобы вы могли рассказать о них за 7-8 минут.
  • Художественный фильм «Папа». Тhe transcript is available online. The film is available on YouTube and at the language lab, see below.
  • Художественный фильм «Водитель для Веры». The transcript is available online. The film is available on YouTube and at the language lab, see below.
  • сценарий пьесы Александра Галича «Матросская тишина» (Четвертое действие). Text online here (scroll to Действие четвертое).

Watching the films:
At the moment, both Папа and Водитель для Веры can be watched on YouTube. If you cannot access them at the above links, or simply want better video quality, go to the language lab in Noyes Lodge and use any of the Windows or Macintosh computers. Log in (a password, if required, is provided by the lab staff) and start Internet Explorer or Firefox. From the Bookmarks or Favorites menu, select Movies for Courses, then log in to Video on Demand using russian9999 both as the user name and the password. Scroll down to the film you want, and click the cover picture. Note the links to online transcripts that you can open in a separate window as you watch the film. This can also be done in the two computer rooms in Uris Library. If you don't see a bookmark, then go to and click Media Library, then Streaming Videos for Class, and log in. If you have any technical difficulties, or prefer using a DVD and its menus, ask for the DVD at the counter: Daddy DVD RV96 and Driver for Vera DVD RV85.

  • consult the Syllabus and watch the assigned episodes. Make sure you understand at least 80% of the dialog. If some of the passages are difficult to understand, consult the transcripts and your dictionary.
  • When each student is also assigned a few scenes for more careful study, read the scene descriptions and summaries of your scenes and prepare a brief report (3 to 5 minutes). In class, you will be asked to present your report on your own, without any prompting. Try to use as many actual expressions from the text as you can.
  • Prepare to act out in class the scenes that are assigned for you individually in the Syllabus. Try to use as much of the actual language from the film as you can.

Working with Alexander Galich's play
Read the assigned portion of the text and be prepared to tell the story from the point of view of one of the characters (your choice). Prepare four questions for your classmates on the text.

Reading the Web sites (or newspapers)
Read the story you have selected form a Russian Web site or newspaper. Prepare to report on it in 7 to 8 minutes.

К последней неделе вы должны будете написать письменную работу (1 - 1.5 печатных страниц) на одну из тем, указанных в расписании.

Зачеты и оценки
Ваша оценка будет зависеть от вашей работы в течение всего семестра (75%) и от того, как вы подготовитесь к зачетным занятиям на последней неделе: два сочинения и устные сообщения на те же темы (25%).

Attendance is very important for your learning and your grade. If you have to miss a class, be sure to wrote to your teacher, preferably ahead of time.

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Dept. of Comparative literature • Russian Language Program • 240 Goldwin Smith Hall • Cornell University • Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email