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Russian culture

Russian culture – русская культура (roosskaya kultoora) – experienced a golden age in the 19th century, followed by a silver age in the 20th century, producing, during these two centuries, an enormous amount talent. Besides, it is possible to learn something about Russian culture, even if you have not been to Russia. In fact, Russia has produced several world-famous celebrities – знамени́ты (znamineetee). CREF would like to present a small review of Russian culture, accompanied by some useful vocabulary.

You have probably heard – слы́шали (slishali) about at least one of the following artists: Chagall, Tchaïkovski, Dostoïevski and Stanislavski.

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November is here and with it comes a new event : Beaujolais Nouveau

The event will take place on November 17th (a friday) at 19:30 at CREF.

Regardless of whether you are a client of the CREF or not yet, we will be happy to see you at this evening, which promises to be 100% French!

You can come with friends and take part in our competitions, karaoke, and, of course, wine tasting Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 …

We suggest you register by calling CREF or writing an e-mail to russian@cref.ru at your earliest convenience, as the number of seats is limited (participation fee: 300 rubles per person).

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Magic Formulas

Although Moscow today has certainly become more bilingual, there are still several signs that are only in Russian, hence the interest in learning the Cyrillic alphabet, which is a lot easier than it looks. On moving to Moscow, it’s equally important to find one’s bearings. CREF, as is our wont every September, has taken the opportunity, provided by the arrival of new expatriates, to share a few useful expressions that offer a window into life in the Russian capital.

Будьте добры – Boodtiye dabree (Please…)

A more refined way of making a request than можно (mowzhna), which literally means “possible”. Here, the equivalent is asking someone to “be so kind as to”, and it is a more sophisticated way to start a conversation when one wants to ask a question or make a request. Read more

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RUSSIA TOUGHENS REGISTRATION RULES


Dear students,

We would like to inform you of temporary changes to the registration procedure for every foreign citizens staying in Russia for the duration of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup (from June 1st to July 12th 2017).

Between June 1st and July 12th, 2017, the time given to process your registration is shortened to 24 hours after your arrival.

This means that if you plan to leave Russia or travel around the country (and get registered in another city, hotel, …) and return to Moscow during this period, you MUST bring your passport to CREF on the morning of your re-arrival in order to renew your registration within 24 hours after your arrival.

A fine between 40 000 and 50 000 rubles can be charged by the Russian authorities to anyone not complying with this temporary measure in case of police check for instance.

Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact your manager at CREF.

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A new intensive Russian group for beginners

For all those who want to learn Russian quickly:

A new intensive Russian group for beginners will start on monday 29 may 2017.

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF. To register or get more information, call

us at +7(495)5454745 or russian@cref.ru

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A stroll in downtown Moscow

With its broad sidewalks – тротуары (trotwaree) and painted facades – фасады (fasaadee), downtown Moscow (tsentr Moskvy) has morphed into a great place to go for a stroll – прогуливаться (pragoulivatsa). It is also the intersection for a variety of architectural styles – архитектурные стили (arkhitektournyé stili). Let CREF take you on a journey through time to get you better acquainted with the city.

It’s easy to pick out the quintessentially traditional in Russian architecture: roofs that are steep and multi-faceted – многогранный (mnagagrannyi). Another hallmark: the “shatyor” – шатëр, a pyramid-like structure that crowns not only the Kremlin’s peripheral towers, but also numerous other ancient towers – часовни (chasoavni). The oldest stone specimen can be found on the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye Park (built in 1532). One can encounter Russian residences characteristic of the 16th century – палаты (palaaty) sprinkled around Moscow: squat houses painted white, with small windows – окна (oakna) and gray-tiled roofs – крыши (kryshi), like in Varvarka street, or like those from the Romanov era near the Red Square. Read more

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A new intensive Russian group for beginners

For all those who want to learn Russian quickly:

A new intensive Russian group for beginners will start on monday 15 may 2017.

Register now and learn Russian quickly and efficiently with CREF. To register or get more information, call

us at +7(495)5454745 or russian@cref.ru

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Open doors at CREF

Open doors at CREF on thursday, 27th of april from 18:00 to 20:00

We welcome all expats and foreigners in Moscow to our open door. Our “Open Days” event is a great opportunity for you to get to know us better, as well as:
• Participate in free Russian language lessons
• Assess your competence in Russian
• Meet our qualified teachers for advice and discuss Russian language study plans

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Back To Basics

Any and all foreigners- иностранцы (inastrantsee) who have ever studied Russian would agree that this language – язык (yazeek), spoken by nearly 170 million people, is not only beautiful, but also remarkable for its sound – звучание (zvoochaniye), and its alphabet – алфавит (alfavit). But where does it come from? CREF offers a look back in time to its origins.

As is often the case, the language predates its writing system, with each Slavic group – славянский народ (slaviyanski naroad) having its own dialect – диалект (dialekt). The first Cyrillic alphabet was invented in about 860 AD, or a little more than a century before the Christianization of Russia. It was the work of two saints, Cyril and Methodius – Кирилл и Мефодий (Kiril i Méfodi), two brothers – братья (bratia), from the city of Thessaloniki, at the time a part of the Byzantine Empire, and where, along with Greek, a Southern Slavic dialect was also spoken.

Cyril was sent to Moravia (a historical country making up the eastern part of today’s Czech Republic) to work as an Orthodox missionary and to teach – учить (oucheet) the Scriptures to the Slavs. To achieve this, he and his brother, along with their students, translated the holy books – богослужебные книги (bagaslouzhebnye knighee) into an alphabet inspired by Greek. In order to accomplish this, he felt it necessary to build an abecedary– азбука (azbouka). Read more

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At work

This month, CREF would like to take you on a journey, putting you in the shoes of an intern – стажëр (stajzhior) in Moscow, Nizhny-Novgorod, or anywhere, for that matter, in Russia, to discover a few useful words used at work – в офисе (v’ofisey).

Your boss – начальник (nachalnik) happily welcomes you, taking you to your desk – рабочее место (rabochiie myestuh). But there’s no time to dawdle: you need to get started on some invitations – приглашения (priglashenya) for an event – мероприятие (merapriatiyé) and your boss asks you to update the addresses on the client list – список клиентов (speesok kliyentov) and print – напечатать (napétchatat’) the invitation letters. It’s a job – задание (zadanié) entirely within your means to do, since you are familiar with datasheets – таблицы данных (tablitsy dannykh) and the Russian bits of the Internet. He sits you down in front of your computer – за компьютером (za compioutérom) and it’s “off you go!”!

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