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RUSS 101 - Any Topic (McLellan): Learning Vocabulary

This guide is for the Slavic 101 assignment to do a presentation on a topic of your choice.

Russian Vocabulary for Your Topic

It doesn't always work to translate phrases from English into Russian.  Some phrases just don't translate exactly.  There are some tricks you can use, however, to learn what words or phrases the Russians use.

The Wikipedia Method

  • Go to the English version of Wikipedia.
  • Search on your topic in English.
  • Scroll down the page until you see the list of languages on the lower left-hand side.
  • Click on "Русский" to view a page on your topic in the Russian version of Wikipedia.
  • NOTE:  Pages in different versions of Wikipedia are not direct translations.  They will have different content.  Pages in the Russian version will be written by Russian speakers who have some knowledge of the topic.

Learning How to Pronounce the Words

  • Use your dictionary to find out how to pronounce words that are new to you.
  • Mark the stress in your notes so you pronounce it correctly when you give your presentation
  • For words that are not in your dictionary, you can sometimes find the pronunciation in Wikipedia.


  • Don't wait until you give your presentation in class to go through it the first time.
  • Go through your presentation several times practicing speaking clearly and at a volume that the whole class can hear.
  • Time yourself to make sure you stay within the time limit.
  • Don't just read the slides out loud.  Your presentation will be much more interesting if you vary what you say from the words on the slides.


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Annie Platoff
UCSB Library
Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
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