RUSSA6634 Course Description in the Russian Language Program at Cornell University
Russian 6634: 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, russian.cornell.edu (click Welcome in the navigation bar on the left).

Russian 6634 is a variable credit course. When it meets twice a week for 50 minutes each time, register for three credit hours. When it meets once a week, register for two credit hours. The decision is made at the organizational meeting where the materials and format for the course are discussed and defined.

This course is taught differently each year depending on the interests of the students who take it. This is also discussed at the organizational meeting.

The course is open to native as well as non-native speakers of Russian.

This year (2014) we'll hear one presentation each week from each student on a different subject each week, to be picked by the students as we go. In each class, both presentations should be on the same subject. Be ready to speak for 7 to 10 minutes. Stay on topic, but don't be too specialized. A discussion will follow. Each presenter should send the draft of his or her presentation to Slava no less than 36 hours before the class. Slava will provide useful comments and suggestions and will send the text back to the presenter on the eve of the class.

Some years 6634 was taught as a practical translation course. We analyzed several classic Russian translations of English-language literary texts published in Russia as well as some Russian literary works published in English in the English-speaking world. The rest of the semester was spent translating American short stories into Russian and, in some cases, comparing the students' translations to published professional translations of the same works.

Some years, this was a course in speaking Russian in a variety of styles, and then analyzing sound recordings of these discussions: what could have been said differently? What could have been said better? What speech patterns should be avoided, and what speech patterns need to be developed and cultivated?

Once, recently, we spent most of the semester rendering in Russian (not translating) American media publications from various periodicals in various fields as well doing the reverse: writing accounts of Russian media stories in good academic English.

A variety of other matters related to Russian can also be treated in this course. We're open to suggestions. Come to the organizational meeting and talk to us.