Articles by Nick Allen

Oimyakon Delivers on the Cold Winter Front

Is there no Russian winter in Russia anymore? After weeks treading Moscow's nondescript slush and filth, it was looking that way, despite the forbidding temperatures posted by other parts of the country in weather bulletins.

Down and Out of It in the New-Look London

""I'm sorry, sir, the passport number in your Russian visa differs from the number in the passport itself. We can't let you fly, we'd get fined.""

Placing a Bet on the Great Lada Lemon Lottery

""Don't worry, once you replace absolutely everything, it will run just fine."" - Ilya, Lada mechanic.

THE WORD'S WORTH: Brazen Falsehoods Fail To Spoil City Getaway

THE WORD'S WORTH: Finding a Way Across Superstition Minefield

THE WORD'S WORTH: Mobsters and Presidents Share Common Tongue

THE WORD'S WORTH: Stoicism in the Face of Life's Little Accidents

THE WORD'S WORTH: Things You Should've Been Taught at School

THE WORD'S WORTH: Holding Your Own In Talk of Possession

THE WORD'S WORTH: Catch the Sick Talk AsGripp Grips City

THE WORD'S WORTH: Lend Me Your Ears and Hear How Money Talks

THE WORD'S WORTH: Making Conversation Loathsome, Entrancing

THE WORD'S WORTH: How to Talk Yourself Into a Better Home

THE WORD'S WORTH: Using 'Now,' 'Again' for Good 'First' Impressions

THE WORD'S WORTH: The Passenger's Guide To Driving in Moscow

THE WORD'S WORTH: To Be, Or Not to Be, It's a Tricky Question

THE WORD'S WORTH: Routes Are Many To Pleasant Flight Home

THE WORD'S WORTH: Routes Are Many To Pleasant Flight Home

THE WORD'S WORTH: Be Cool Like Russians About Chilly Weather

THE WORD'S WORTH: Making Light Work Of Language of Labor

THE WORD'S WORTH: Etiquette, Eloquence Of Birthday Festivities

THE WORD'S WORTH: Spicing Speech With Particles - Vot Tak!

THE WORD'S WORTH: Mustering the Courage For 100 Years of Russian

A few years ago, I visited the apartment of an American friend who told me that it was a case of ""kill or cure"" as far as his learning Russian was concerned. Almost everything from his guitar to the cutlery bore a small printed label with the Russian name for that object. As a confirmed bachelor of spartan habits he only had one knife, fork and spoon, and one all-purpose, blackened frying pan, so at first glance it didn't seem that big a deal. Until I went to the bathroom and saw he had written mochalka on his loofah in black marker pen, and tagged the word bachok onto the cistern on his toilet. I knew then he was destined to become fluent. Just how extensively you plan on learning Russian obviously depends on your social and professional needs, not to mention your general disposition. Some people seem to manage to smile their way politely through several years living in Russia, without knowing much more than the azy, the ABC of the language.

THE WORD'S WORTH: The Word That Lands You in a Place or a Bind

GROWING PAINS: Inside, Outside Show It's Time to Move On

GROWING PAINS: Worries for Baby Take Edge Off Ruble Crisis

Police Sweep Away Programs for Homeless

Lenin's Niece Appeals For Communist Aid

Flying Fire Extinguisher Empties Metro

Unpaid Miners Take Protest Into 5th Day