On-line course materials
These open in new windows.Zoom
The Anthrax Diaries
The Russian Dictionary
The Human Body
Водитель для Веры
Интервью из России I
Интервью из России II
Дети из России
На атомной речке
Интервью из Швеции
Important Cornell links
These open in new windows.Word usage
Bilingual word usage
Abbyy Lingvo dictionaries
Словарь русского языка
Dictionary of Synonyms
Медуза/Meduza news, etc.
Радио «Эхо Москвы»
Россия 24. Программа передач. | Прямой эфир
Study in Russia
We are in the News!
Russian 2204: Course Description
The course description below is identical to the one for the first half of this course, Russian 2203, including the assignments that ask you to record very short video clips and send them (or links to them) to the teacher. (You may use Zoom or any other tools for these recordings.) The only difference is that in 2021 we could not find a good day for the midterm test, so there will be no midterm this year.
The subtitle of the textbook refers to a tremendously popular book written in the early Soviet years and best defined as a picaresque novel. The readings and the accompanying film present an abbreviated version of this classic tale, full of satire and adventure.
Russian Web sites
Grading and attendance:
The course includes a few review weeks, when the most recent Lessons are reviewed, and additional reading classes are taught (mostly using contemporary materials from Russian Web sites).
See Rooms and times for meeting times and places. See Syllabus for specific assignments for each class. The rest of this Course Description tells you how to do your homework and what to expect in class.
Assignment for the Text class:
Assignment for the Mini-Video class
Assignment for the Film class:
The 12 Chairs multimedia is a Cornell-only resource available from http://lexiconbridge.com/cloud. Create an account with a cornel.edu email address, and you will be automatically subscribed to all titles. If you do not have access to a computer, use the ones in the Language Resource Center in Stimson Hall when it is open. You will watch the movie on the computer screen. On the same screen, you will see a window with various notes on the episode (summaries, transcripts, and descriptions). Every word in the notes has an English gloss: just click the word. Some words and phrases are linked to still images or short video clips. If you need help in using the site, read its on-screen Help (click the question mark button) or ask your teachers for a demonstration.
For the film work, the class is divided into two groups. Each student in the class should watch the entire assignment. In addition, each group is assigned a few scenes for more detailed study. See Syllabus for details.
When the Syllabus says "watch and understand..." you should watch the assignment a few times and try to understand as much dialog as you can. Consult the notes on the screen. If some of the dialog is difficult to understand, consult the on-screen transcript. Be prepared to answer questions about the entire assignment.
Then watch again the individual episodes that are shown in the syllabus as your group's assignment for "detailed study." Re-read the notes. Memorize as much of the dialog and the notes as you can. Be prepared to report on the episodes in class. Each scene's Summary will help you to report on the events. Each scene's Description will help you to report on the characters and objects. The stage remarks in the summaries and transcripts will help you to report on specific actions. Be prepared to answer other students' questions about the episode(s). You may also be asked to act out your scenes.
Meet with a classmate on Zoom and record a dialog or a story improvised on the basis of the episode you watched. See Recording Video, above, for directions. The syllabus includes one or two questions for each scene assigned for detailed study; you can use these questions to guide your own creativity. Make sure you do not use any language that might be unfamiliar to your classmates.
For each film class, prepare 2-3 questions on the assigned episodes. In class, your questions will be answered by your classmates as part of the discussion.
Assignment for the Verb class:
The purpose of this class is to learn how to conjugate all verbs listed in Exercise 7 (and practiced in all other Лексико-граммaтические упражнения) and to use them correctly in your own speech and writing.
A note about Grammar sections at the back of the book
(also online under "Russian Verbs" in the On-line course materials
section of the navigation bar):
Assignment for the Translation class:
Assignment for the WWW class:
Read the assigned Web page and try to figure out what it says. Use a
good dictionary (a paperback edition of a R-E and E-R dictionary by Kenneth
Katzner should serve you very well), but do not try to translate every
sentence. The art of reading in a foreign language requires a fair proportion
of guessing. When reading Russian, an understanding of the grammatical
structure of the sentence will often provide very good clues.
You will not be asked to discuss these stories or to use their Russian vocabulary. The purpose of this assignment is to practice reading and understanding. Do not spend more than an hour and a half on this assignment.
Dept. of Comparative Literature
Russian Language Program
240 Goldwin Smith Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email email@example.com